Kenneth Grahame (8th March 1859 – 6th July 1932) was a Scottish writer known best for his children’s classics The Wind in the Willows and The Reluctant Dragon. Born in Edinburgh Scotland, Grahame’s mother died when he was 5 and his care was taken over by his grandmother, meaning a move to Berkshire where the writer was raised.
Grahame didn’t set out to be a writer, he had hoped to go to Oxford University but this was scuppered due to cost. Instead he started working at the Bank of England in 1879, a job he held until 1908 when he quit due to ill health. It’s thought that an incident in the bank where he was shot three times may have precipitated this move, but it did leave him time to write the books he is best known for today.
Today we’re remembering the author with some of our favourite quotes.
“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.”
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
“The moon, serene and detached in a cloudless sky, did what she could, though so far off, to help them in their quest; till her hour came and she sank earthwards reluctantly, and left them, and mystery once more held field and river.”
“the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”
“For my life, I confess to you, feels to me today somewhat narrow and circumscribed.”
“The smell of that buttered toast simply spoke to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
“Independence is all very well, but we animals never allow our friends to make fools of themselves beyond a certain limit.”
“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.”
“It’s my world, and I don’t want any other. What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.”
“Children are the only people who accept a mood of wonderment, who are ready to welcome a perfect miracle at any hour of the day or night. Only a child can entertain an angel unawares, or to meet Sir Lancelot in shining armour on a moonlit road.”
The group is attempting to “stop President Trump from using the machinery of government to retaliate or threaten reprisals against journalists and media outlets for coverage he dislikes”. The First Amendment of the US constitution protects freedom of speech and PEN aren’t the only group to voice concerns about how Trump has attempted to shut down journalism.
Schott stated that when the news was announced that the Dean of Westminster had given permission for a memorial to Wodehouse in the abbey, “there was a ripple of joy that it was happening, but also puzzlement that it hadn’t happened before.”
Postman Pat has been a part of many British children’s lives since 1981 when the first story was published. Cunliffe took inspiration from the Lake District when creating Postman Pat’s home- the fictional village of Greendale- with its rolling hills and dales, and small farms and villages.
Pat, and his feline friend Jess, drive about the village delivering letters, working through problems, and getting into the occasional scrape. The stories were commissioned by the BBC to produce a series of animations, which proved popular for over 40 years!
This volume celebrates forty five famous writers including Mark Twain, Haruki Murakami, and Ursula K. Le Guin, who have shared their home and writing space with a feline friend. There are photographs and stories all exploring that special bond between wordsmith and mouser.
Here’s a taster: