The Wind in the Willows

The manuscript of The Wind in the Willows still has its early title, ‘The Mole and the Water Rat’, and is fluently written in Grahame’s legible hand, with occasional neat corrections and revisions. He created the oblong pages by carefully tearing large sheets in half, and then punched them in the top left corner so they could be tagged. The result is a charming and accessible manuscript which may have been sent to potential publishers. Grahame submitted two chapters of The Wind in the Willows to an American publisher, who promptly rejected them. The novel eventually appeared in England in 1908, and after a slow start established itself as a lasting favourite among young and old alike and a classic evocation of idle pleasures.

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Autograph
369 leaves in two volumes; 162 × 203 mm
Bound for the Bodleian by O.V. Calder, Oxford, in 1943: blue goatskin with blind and gold tooling and leather onlays of various colours