Grahame, Kenneth

Kenneth Grahame was best known for The Wind in the Willows, first published in 1908. He approached Arthur Rackham for the illustrations, but it could not be managed and the story was published unillustrated, apart from a monochrome frontispiece by Graham Robertson entitled And a River went out of Eden. Later editions were illustrated by Paul Bransom, Nancy Barnhart and Wyndham Payne, but perhaps the drawings which are now the best known were those done by Ernest Shepard in 1931, following A A Milne's dramatization of the story as Toad of Toad Hall. Rackham had long regretted his earlier decision and, shortly before his death, completed his own illustrations for the work which were published in 1940 (US) and 1950 (UK).
The Golden Age, Enraght-Moony illus. edn 1915 (Kenneth Grahame)A new edition of The Golden Age was published in 1915 with colour illustrations by R J Enraght-Moony. It is a remarkably advanced jacket for its period.

The 'NETT' on the spine has mismatched 'T' characters, perhaps due to uncertainty of the correct spelling.

Jacket illustrations by Robert James Enraght-Moony.

ReproJacket #309-A-1, size 259.6x588mm
The Golden Age, Shepard illus. edn 1945 (6th printing) (Kenneth Grahame)Grahame wrote The Golden Age in 1895 as a collection of reminiscences of childhood. A new edition was published in 1899 illustrated by Maxfield Parrish, and another in 1928 by Ernest H Shepard. Here we have the 6th printing of the Shepard edition from 1945.

Jacket illustrations by E H Shepard.

ReproJacket #239-F-1, size 190.5x479mm
The Wind in the Willows,  1st edn 1908 (1st printing) (Kenneth Grahame) This is how the original jacket -- now fabulously rare and priced accordingly -- first appeared, on 8th October 1908. Subsequent printings were priced at 7/6 Net.

It was reviewed by Arthur Ransome, who judged it an out-and-out failure - 'like a speech to Hottentots made in Chinese'. However, in later life he likened himself to Old Badger in The Wind in the Willows.

The jacket illustration is assumed to be by Graham Robertson, who provided the frontispiece.

See the Esprit section for a variant of this jacket, which reflects the gilt boards of the book together with contemporary author's photo and review of the book.

ReproJacket #122-A-0, size 196.8x444mm.
The Wind in the Willows,  1st edn 1908 (2nd printing) (Kenneth Grahame)The second printing shows an increase to the price at the foot of the front panel.

Jacket design assumed by Graham Robertson.

ReproJacket #122-B-0, size 196.8x444mm.
The Wind in the Willows,  Shepard illus. edn 1931 (Kenneth Grahame)This new edition illustrated by E H Shepard was published not long after the 'Christopher Robin' series featuring Winnie-the-Pooh, and shortly after Milne's dramatization of the story in Toad of Toad Hall. It's interesting to note that this title has 'illustrations' rather than 'decorations' by Shepard, which perhaps tells us that 'decorations' was a fancy of A A Milne rather than Ernest Shepard himself.

Grahame didn't live long enough to see the book released with Shepard's illustrations. In a 1950s edition of the book Shepard described his meeting with Grahame: "Not sure about his new illustrator, he listened patiently while I told him what I hoped to do. Then he said 'I love these little people, be kind to them'. Just that; but sitting forward in his chair, resting upon the arms, his fine handsome head turned aside, looking like some ancient Viking, warming, he told me of the river nearby, of the meadows where Mole broke ground that spring morning, of the banks where Rat had his house, of the pool where Otter hid, and of the Wild Wood way up on the hill above the River. He would like, he said, to go with me to show me the river bank that he knew so well, 'but now I cannot walk so far and you must find your way alone'."

Shepard wrote in the preface to this edition "There are certain books that should never be illustrated. Perhaps if it had not already been done I should not have given way to the desire to do it myself."

ReproJacket #110-A-2, size 193x471mm.
The Wind in the Willows, 1st edn 1908 Esprit  (Kenneth Grahame)This Esprit ReproJacket shows the beautiful gilt-stamped boards of the very first edition of this famous book. The cover illustrations are presumed to be by Graham Robertson, who provided the frontispiece entitled And a River went out of Eden.

Also included are a contemporary review and a photograph of the author on the back flap. The front flap shows the price of the 1st issue, six shillings; it was increased to seven and sixpence for the 2nd issue!

ReproJacket #122-A-1 Esprit, size 196.8x444mm.