Who did Kenneth Graham write his books for?
Kenneth Graham was born in 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father was a lawyer. At the age of five, the boy experienced his first loss – his mother died of scarlet fever, and his father sent the children (Kenneth was the third child in the family) to Berkshire, where his grandmother lived. Soon his father also died .
Kenneth Graham (March 8, 1859 – July 6, 1932) was a British (Scottish) writer who became world famous for his book The Wind in the Willows, written in 1908.
There, on the banks of the Thames, the boy for life fell in love with the English landscape and later reproduced it on the pages of his most famous bestseller “The Wind in the Willows”.
At St. Edward’s School in Oxford, Graham was one of the best students and was going to enter Oxford University, but it was not affordable for the family, and instead of continuing his studies Graham had to in 1879 to enter the clerk in the English Bank, where he gradually rose to the manager.
To brighten the boring everyday life, Kenneth Graham begins to engage in literature. His first works appear in print and get even in the prestigious magazine “National Observer”. In 1893 comes out a collection of short stories “Pagan Notes”, followed by two more – “The Golden Age” and “Dreamtime”. The reading public favorably received them, but they were soon forgotten.
On July 22, 1899, Graham married Elspit Thompson, a very arrogant lady, in consequence, the marriage could not be called a happy one. The only thing that truly united the couple was their son Alastair, born prematurely on May 12, 1900 – a sickly, weak, blind in one eye boy.
In the small circle at home parents called him Mouse. His stubborn nature inspired Graham to create the image of Mr. Toad, the hero of the fairy tales he began telling his son before bedtime when the boy was four years old. The prototype of Mr. Toad was Alastair himself, who grew up a very emotional and impulsive child, while his parents among themselves considered him an unrecognized genius.
Graham then pieced the tales together into one complete work. Initially English publishers rejected the manuscript, only later, published in 1908, Kenneth Graham’s “The Wind in the Willows” was a resounding success and was translated into almost every language in the world.
Despite his literary success, Graham almost completely ceased his literary activities. A heavy blow to him was the suicide of his only son, who threw himself under a train on May 7, 1920, shortly before his 20th birthday.
Out of respect for the writer, the official notice of Alastair’s death listed accident as the cause. The tragedy virtually rendered the lives of Graham and his wife meaningless. Nothing else came out of his pen.