The Wind in the Willows, Shepard illus. edn 1931 (Kenneth Grahame)
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|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.