Friday, 26 November 2010

The Wind in The Willows

The copy of Kenneth Grahame's famous book The Wind in The Willows, shown above and inscribed "To Foy Felicia Quiller-Couch from her affectionate friend Kenneth Grahame. Oct. 1908." was auctioned at Bonhams in March and, at £32,400, fetched ten times its estimate after 'fierce bidding'. Maybe it is not that surprising because it is one of the world's best loved children's books and the inscription is to the daughter of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch who is supposed to have been the inspiration for the character Ratty. Indeed, the whole book was conceived in boating trips up and down the River Fowey and its harbour, because Kenneth Grahame spent a fair amount of time there and was even married in the parish church of St Fimbarrus; although it is fair to say that Kenneth Grahame's home life at Pangbourne on the River Thames also provided some inspiration.

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