Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Wind in the Willows

Photo from guardian.com

One of my favourite books of all time is Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. I've read the story countless times, and yet have not tired of it. The book in the  picture above is the copy I have at home. Printed on luxuriously thick paper with gorgeous colour illustrations inside, this cloth-bound beauty is my treasure. 

Here is my favourite verse from it. Yes, it has to all tie in with food isn't it?

'When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries. Toad sat up on end once more, dried his eyes, sipped his tea and munched his toast, and soon began talking freely about himself, and the house he lived in, and his doings there, and how important he was, and what a lot his friends thought of him.'
Chapter 8: Toad's Adventures
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

The first book I came across as a little girl was a Penguin edition with a beautifully illustrated cover with several black and white drawings scattered throughout. I can remember the drawing of Pan very well It was a fine specimen of Pan indeed! As it was a library copy, it went back to the library, and I eventually bought another version of this classic.

About two years ago, while searching for a vintage 1940s copy of the book (which I found!), I also discovered a second-hand copy of the book illustrated by Charles van Sandwyck for The Folio Society. Both were well-worth the price, so I got both! One for me, and one to give away.

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