The Wind in the Willows, written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908, is still considered a classic. I am sure a lot of seniors and baby boomers today remember the book fondly. It was also the last book to be illustrated by Arthur Rackham.
The characters Mole (Moley), Rat (Ratty), Mr. Badger and Mr. Toad (Toady) are all part of an adventure, started by Mole abandoning his spring cleaning and going outside for some sunshine. He drifts along the riverside and the adventures begin.
The title itself, to me anyway, stirs those feel-good emotions about enjoying time outside in the warmth of nature. Then the animals, with their human characteristics, sharing the ups and downs of life, while embracing each others idiosyncrasies, definitely warms the heart. You may not like all the characters but it is a tale of friendship, loyalty and adventure that deserves the credit of being considered a classic.
It has been referred to as misogynistic by a few people, but it is a product of it’s time and I think it is only because of it’s lack of female characters more so than anything else. Perhaps I am wrong. While in today’s world, that definitely would not be acceptable, this is still a wonderful tale that can be enjoyed by children.
I believe there is an audio version, adapted by Dina Gregory, that tells the same story, but makes the key characters all female. It has received mixed reviews and unfortunately I cannot offer a personal opinion, as I haven’t heard it myself. Either way, I feel we should acknowledge that The Wind in the Willows is a reflection of the time it was written, and not allow it to take away our enjoyment of it. Understanding that is represents part of our history.
This book is available for sale in my Etsy Vintage Store. For more information, photos and a video click on the link below.