Audio: Listen to this post | © ClassicBooks.com
Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 8th, 1859. He was a year and a few months old when his father received an appointment as a sheriff-substitute in Argyllshire. A few years later, his mother died of a fever caused by uterine infection following childbirth. His father, who was addicted to alcohol, abandoned the family and stopped taking care of Kenneth and his siblings.
As a result of that, Kenneth and his siblings moved to their maternal grandmother’s home in Cookham Dean, Berkshire, in England. Living in Cookham was the greatest thing that happened to Kenneth and his siblings. Their uncle taught them how to boat in the Riverside. Living close to the River is one of the things that inspired him to write the novel The Wind in the Willows.
Kenneth seems to be an introvert with a high imaginative power and intense affection for nature. He attended St. Edward’s School in Oxford from 1868 to 1875 and was one of the best brains in his school-days. Unfortunately, his schooling was disrupted by the inability of his uncle to meet his financial obligation.
Kenneth Grahame’s primary goal was to attend Oxford University, but he couldn’t. In 1879, he took up a banking job at the Bank of England. In his working career, he rose to the position of secretary. He was not able to finish his career in the banking industry due to poor health. The bank sent him on retirement with a yearly pension of 400 pounds. He moved down to his English Countryside, where he had time to travel and concentrate on his writing.
Kenneth Grahame, in his early life, wrote some stories such as St. James Gazette, Golding Age, and Dream Days and published as pagan papers. A few years later, he wrote the famous book The Wind in the Willows.
Love, marriage, and death
Kenneth married Elspeth Thompson in 1899. A few years later, the couple got a baby boy which they called Alastair or Mouse. His retirement from the bank gave him time to concentrate on his writing skill and had time to spend with his child.
On May 7th, 1920, a few days to his birthday, Alastair was seen dead before his graduation on a railway track. At the age of 73, Kenneth Grahame died in his home church cottage in Pangbourne, Berkshire, England.
Wind in the Willows has been adapted form film. Examples include the one t by AA Milne, which made the book famous just like Alice’s Adventure in the Wonderland.
Kenneth Grahame remains an icon, a gem whose work will continue to resound in the memory of many.