Synopses & Reviews
Mole was happy with his life until one day, in the middle of spring cleaning, he emerges from his hole at Mole End and starts meandering the English countryside. Everything is new for the simple but stalwart mole. Never before had he seen a river, taken a boat ride, or encountered the woods.
But this is nothing compared to what awaits him when he gets tangled up in the escapades of the indomitable Mr. Toad, the society-hating Badger of Wild Wood, and the easy-going Water Rat! Motorcars, gypsies, jailbreaks, and a weasel rebellion are all in store for these intrepid animals. Beyond mischievous life adventures, the story conveys the typical turn of twentieth-century life in Britain and the struggle between the noisy, common way of life and the genteel.
A classic of magical fancy and enchanting wit, this children's tale follows the adventures of an intrepid quartet of heroes—Mole, Water Rat, Badger, and the incorrigible Toad.
About the Author
Kenneth Grahame is best known internationally as a writer of children's books and is accredited with deeply influencing fantasy literature. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1859, he was the third child of an affluent lawyer. His great grand-uncle was the poet and curate James Grahame, and he was also the cousin of Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins, who wrote The Prisoner of Zenda under the pen name "Anthony Hope." During his early years, Grahame lived with his family in the Western Highlands. His father was an alcoholic, so when his mother died of scarlet fever, the children were sent to live with their maternal grandmother in the village of Cookham Dene. He later used this village as the chief setting for The Wind in the Willows. Grahame was educated at St. Edward's School, Oxford, but was unable to enter Oxford University. Instead, after a period of working for his uncle in London, he joined the Bank of England as a gentleman-clerk in 1879 and later rose to become secretary to the bank. While pursuing his career at the bank, Grahame began composing light nonfiction pieces as a pastime. Throughout the 1890s, his articles and short stories were published in such journals as the St. James Gazette, the National Observer, and the Yellow Book. Many of these short stories, featuring children, were were published together in three well-received collections: Pagan Papers, The Golden Age, and Dream Days. Grahame married Elspeth Thomson in 1899, and a year later their son, Alistair, was born. Grahame wrote parts of The Wind in the Willows originally in a letterform to entertain his young son. After an American publisher rejected his manuscript, The Wind in the Willows was published in England in 1908. The book did not receive instant acclamation; however, its reputation grew, and it became a children's classic.Grahame experienced poor health and retired from the Bank of England in 1907, but he did continue to write. Tragically, his son committed suicide while he was an undergraduate at Oxford, two days before his twentieth birthday. Hereafter, Grahame and his wife spent long periods in Italy, and he did not write any other significant pieces. Grahame died peacefully at his home in Pangbourne, Berkshire, on July 6, 1932. In addition to narrating audiobooks, Shelly Frasier has appeared in many independent film and theater projects in Arizona and southern California and has developed character voices for animation projects and voiceover work for commercials. She trained at the Groundlings Improv School in Hollywood and South Coast Reperatory's Professional Conservatory in Costa Mesa, California. She has performed at theaters throughout North Hollywood and Orange County. Recent performances include Blue Window, The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry, The Haunting of Hill House, and a British farcical version of A Christmas Carol. She resides in Hollywood.