Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Grahame, Kenneth from Philip's Encyclopedia

Scottish writer of children's books. He created Mole, Rat, Badger and Mr Toad in the classic Wind in the Willows (1908), which formed the basis for the A.A. Milne play Toad of Toad Hall (1929).

Summary Article: Grahame, Kenneth
from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


Scottish children's writer

Born in Edinburgh, the son of an advocate, he was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford, and in 1876 entered the Bank of England as a clerk. He became its secretary in 1898 and retired for health reasons in 1908. His early work consisted of collected essays and country tales, such as Pagan Papers (1893), The Golden Age (1895) and Dream Days (1898), which revealed a remarkably subtle, delicate and humorous sympathy with the child mind. In 1908 he published his best-known work, The Wind in the Willows, originally written in the form of letters to his son Alastair, and featuring the quaint and unforgettable riverside characters Rat, Mole, Badger and Toad. It did not at first win acclaim, but within a few years of Grahame's death had become a children's classic.

  • Prince, Alison Kenneth Grahame: An Innocent in the Wild Wood (1994).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

Related Articles

Full text Article Grahame, Kenneth
Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature

G., author of the classic children's FANTASY , The Wind in the Willows (1908), was the third of four children of a rather...

Full text Article Grahame, Kenneth
Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature

Grahame is best known for The Wind in the Willows , published in 1908, a work often ranked with Lewis CARROLL ’s ...

Full text Article Grahame, Kenneth (1859 - 1932)
The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

Born in Edinburgh, Grahame went to live with his grandmother in Berkshire as a child after the death of his mother. After...

See more from Credo