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Kenneth Grahame was a Scottish author best known for writing the children's book The Wind in the Willows.
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Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 8, 1859. He worked at the Bank of England while writing in his spare time, authoring several books before achieving success with The Wind in the Willows in 1908. The book was inspired by bedtime stories that Grahame told to his son, Alastair. He ceased writing after Alastair's death in 1920 and died in Pangbourne, England, on July 6, 1932.
Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 8, 1859. When Kenneth was barely a year old, his father accepted a position as the sheriff of Argyll, prompting the family to relocate.
Shortly after Grahame's fifth birthday, his mother died of scarlet fever after giving birth to another son. His father spiraled into alcoholism, losing the capacity to raise his four children. As a result, Grahame and his siblings moved in with their grandmother. His father fought to overcome his drinking problem and regain custody of his children. After he had a significant relapse, however, the children returned to their grandmother's care while their father moved to France. The Grahame children were not in contact with their father after that time.
At the age of 9, Grahame began attending St. Edward's in Oxford. He did well at school, achieving awards in Latin, theology and rugby. Despite his intellectual capabilities, Grahame lacked the money to study at Oxford. He took a job at the Bank of England, where he worked as a clerk. This position brought Grahame to London, where the bank was based.
During his early years in London, Grahame became involved in local literary circles. He started out publishing essays in small publications. He then branched out to publish in literary magazines, including the St. James Gazette, the National Observer and The Yellow Book.
Several of the essays he wrote were about a family of orphaned children called The Olympians. In 1895, 18 of these short stories were published in a collection called The Golden Age. A second collection, Dream Days, was published in 1898. Although little known today, The Golden Age and Dream Days were acclaimed at the time of their initial publication.
In 1897, Grahame met Elspeth Thompson. They married in 1899. The Grahames had a son named Alastair, who was born with disabilities including blindness in one eye. When Alastair was a young boy, his father invented bedtime stories about a toad to soothe him to sleep. Within a few years, Grahame had written down his stories in letters to his son, adding the characters of Mole, Rat and Badger. He then compiled his stories into The Wind in the Willows. After several rejections, the book was published in October 1908. While the critical reception was chilly, the book was a commercial success. A prominent fan of the book, United States President Theodore Roosevelt, requested to meet Grahame during a 1910 visit to Oxford. Grahame's literary success came at an opportune moment.
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Like in Gone With the Wind, The Sun Also Rises after Twilight, even in a Pet Cemetary Where the Wild Things Are. But let's not be too morbid and discuss creepy things like The Satanic Verses or try to get an Interview With a Vampire from The Stranger Who Professes 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.' Going round in round like this, you may never know Where the Sidewalk Ends, and that would be unfortunate since Uncle Tom's Cabin is just around the corner...
Okay, we could go on, but we won't torture you. You get the point. Our attempt at creative writing is nothing compared to the imaginative minds of our Famous Fiction Authors Group.
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Famous People Born in 1859 20 people in this group