Kenneth Grahame: Facts About the Author of The Wind in the Willows

Here are some facts about Kenneth Grahame.

  • Kenneth Grahame was born at 32 Castle Street in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 8 March 1859.

  • His mother died of scarlet fever when he was five, and Kenneth Grahame, his two brothers and his sister went to live in Berkshire with his grandmother, Granny Ingles.
  • It was at Cookham Dean in Berkshire that Kenneth’s uncle, David Ingles, took him boating. The experience of spending time on the river Thames and exploring the riverside is thought to have inspired the setting for The Wind in the Willows.
  • After he left school, Kenneth Grahame worked at the Bank of England.
  • He married Elspeth Thomson in 1899. They had one son, called Alastair. Unfortunately, Alastair was killed by a train just before his twentieth birthday.

Kenneth Grahame

  • Kenneth Grahame’s first stories were published in London periodicals, and in the 1890s he published three collections of stories, Pagan Papers, The Golden Age and Dream Days.
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame’s most famous and well-loved work, was published in 1908.
  • The character of Toad from the The Wind in the Willows was based on his son (a young boy at the time). Ratty was inspired by his good friend Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.
  • Kenneth Grahame died in 1932 in Pangbourne, aged 73, Berkshire. He was buried in the same grave as his son, Alastair.
  • William Horwood wrote a series of sequels to The Wind in the Willows in the 1990s.
  • The Wind in the Willows has been adapted for TV, film and stage on numerous occasions.

What next? Discover some facts about other famous authors.

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