A first edition of the much loved children’s classic, Wind in the Willows, inscribed by Kenneth Grahame to the daughter of the man who inspired the character of Ratty, is among the star lots offered at Bonhams Printed Books, Maps and Manuscripts sale at New Bond Street on 23 March.
First published in 1908, the year the author retired as secretary to the Bank of England, the book focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie.
The inscription in the book to be auctioned reads, “To Foy Felicia Quiller Couch from her affectionate friend Kenneth Grahame, Oct. 1908″. Foy was the daughter of the noted Cornish author, essayist and anthologist Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch at whose home, The Haven at Fowey, Kenneth Grahame often stayed and where he first found the inspiration for Wind in the Willows. Quiller-Couch is thought to have been the model for the character of Ratty, both having a liking for “messing about in boats”. The estimate is £3,000 – 5,000.
For further sale information please go to www.bonhams.com/books