To This Great Stage of Fools: Born March 8th

Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, b. 1859.

“The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring cleaning his little home. First he swept; next he dusted. Then it was up on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash. Finally he had dust in his
throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above him, reaching even into his dark little underground house. Small wonder, then, that he suddenly threw his brush down on the floor, said “Bother!” and “Oh dash it!” and also “Hang spring-cleaning!” and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat.”

A.A. Milne on Grahame’s book:

One does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and, if she does not like it, asks her to return his letters. The older man tries it on his nephew, and alters his will accordingly. The book is a test of character. We can’t criticize it, because it is criticizing us. But I must give you one word of warning. When you sit down to it, don’t be so ridiculous as to suppose that you are sitting in judgment on my taste, or on the art of Kenneth Grahame. You are merely sitting in judgment on yourself. You may be worthy: I don’t know, But it is you who are on trial.”

Willows links:

Inspiraculum: “I’ve just read ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame for about the fourth time.”

Ahab’s Quest: The Wind in the Willows is Charming.Willows is a sensuous experience because Grahame so deliberately takes the reader through the small, pleasant things that fill our days. Every meal is described in detail, such that one tastes the picnic along with Mole and Rat.”

Britannica Blog: The Wind in the Willows Turns 100. “Grahame wrote The Wind in the Willows as a gift for his young son, who had asked for a tale about moles, rats, and giraffes. Grahame excused himself from having to include the last, perhaps on the grounds that they weren’t found in the English countryside, but he more than made up for it with the addition of Toad and Badger.”

And a video:

5 thoughts on “To This Great Stage of Fools: Born March 8th

  1. One of my favourite kids books ever! Love it!

  2. I love that quote by A.A. Milne – excellent advice on judging people’s character!

  3. There is nothing better than messing about in boats! Thanks, Sherry.

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