The Wind in the Willows

ISBN : 9780199567560

Kenneth Grahame; Peter Hunt
224 ページ
130 x 197 mm
Oxford World's Classics
  • The Wind in the Willows is one of the best-known classics of children's literature and yet it is primarily a book for adults. This new edition considers this conundrum and provides a wealth of fascinating contextual information about the book's author and its historical, cultural, and literary significance.
  • The Introduction by one of the foremost scholars of children's literature focuses on the book's status as a classic, and as both a self-portrait of Kenneth Grahame's psyche and the portrait of an age. It considers the book's general and specific influence on children's literature.
  • Explanatory Notes explore the sources of the book - biographical, psychological, geographical, and literary - and contain much new material.
  • Note on the Text recounts the history of the book from Grahame's letters to his son to final book publication.
  • Up-to-date bibliography.
  • Reproduces the text of the first British edition.

New to this Edition:

  • Introduction by Peter Hunt.
  • Up-to-date bibliography.
  • Note on the Text.
  • Explanatory Notes (previous edition had none).
  • Newly set text in a more attractive, larger typeface.

'Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.'

So says Rat to Mole, as he introduces him to the delights of the river and his friends Toad, the spirit of rebellion, and Badger, the spirit of England. But it is a world where the motor-car is about to wreck the gipsy caravan, the revolutionaries in the Wild Wood are threatening the social fabric, the god Pan is abroad, and the warm seductive whispers of the south are drifting into the English lanes.

An international children's classic, The Wind in the Willows grew from the author's letters to his young son, yet it is concerned almost exclusively with adult themes: fear of radical changes in political, social, and economic power. Mole's acceptance into the conservative world of the River Bank, and Toad's wild attempts to escape from it, are narrated in virtuoso language ranging from lively parody to elaborate fin-de-siècle mysticism. A profoundly English fiction with a world following, it is a book for adults adopted by children, a timeless masterpiece, and a vital portrait of an age. 
"Perfect summer reading." - Christopher Hirst, The Independent


Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Kenneth Grahame
Explanatory Notes


Kenneth Grahame
Edited by Peter Hunt, Professor Emeritus in English and Children's Literature, Cardiff University
Peter Hunt has written or edited around twenty books on the subject of children's literature, including Children's Litearature 1802-1902, An Anthology (Blackwell, 2000) and Children's Literature, A Guide (Blackwell, 2001) and An Introduction to Children's Literature (OUP, 1994). He is co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Children's Literature (2005) and has edited the new edition of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass for OWC.

In this Oxford World's Classics audio guide, Peter Hunt, Professor Emeritus in Children's Literature at the University of Cardiff, who was responsible for setting up the first course in children's literature in the UK, introduces the newcomer to reading critically texts written for children.

Click on the links below to hear Peter's thoughts on the field and then explore The Wind in the Willows in more detail.

About The Wind in the Willows