Last night I was watching a TV documentary about the life of Kenneth Grahame, who wrote The Wind in the Willows. His mother died when he was very young, and although he excelled at whatever was expected of him, he was a bit of a dreamer who wanted something better from life. The Wind in the Willows was described as a refuge of his, which is not surprising, as in some sense it becomes a permanent refuge of anyone who reads and likes it. You feel that if life gets a bit icy, chill, and dark in the woods, weasels slinking evilly around, their baleful eyes shining from the shadows, you can fall into Badger’s home and relax by his crackling fire.
Someone in the documentary (I can never remember who was talking, as it all sails past like a dream!) said that some authors such as Kenneth Grahame don’t want to write about the realities of life, so they write a reflection of life. Those little animals and their sometimes idyllic life were his kind of reflection.
On TV last night, a little boy said “everybody’s favourite character from The Wind in the Willows is Toad!” Which caused me to wonder if that’s true. Here’s a poll. Which is your favourite Winds in the Willows character?