To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Wind in the Willows: An Annotated Edition Hardcover – May 31, 2009
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
The Wind in the Willows is one of the few books that inspires unconditional reverence, and it has long deserved a guide as sensitive, deft, insightful, and generous as Seth Lerer. Here, Toad, Rat, Mole, and other characters come alive for both adult and inner child. A splendid achievement. (Maria Tatar, Harvard University)
You might think it a bit extreme to painstakingly annotate a children's book, but, oh, what a children's book. And oh, what an annotation...[This] is an exquisite examination of the nuances, allusions, Britishisms and context of Kenneth Grahame's wonderful 1908 novel...This big, lovely book is illustrated by some of the most famous Grahame illustrators--Nancy Barnhart, Arthur Rackham, Wyndham Payne and, of course, Ernest H. Shepherd, who brought to life the brash, cigar-smoking, swaggering Mr. Toad. This book is a labor of great scholarship, but it is also, clearly, a labor of love. (Laurie Hertzel Minneapolis Star-Tribune 2009-05-15)
A handsome edition of Grahame's great classic...One of the delights of this edition is the collection of beautiful illustrations from each edition, from Nancy Barnhart's wonderful 1922 version to Arthur Rackham's in 1940, as well as Paul Bransom's deliciously weird 1913 images for Scribner's. (Lawrence Osborne Forbes 2009-05-07)
Lerer's book perform[s] magic. [It] demonstrates how much of a writer's life can wind up distilled in a stack of paper--in this case, how Kenneth Grahame's daydreams, fears, heartbreak, upbringing, era and locale all sneaked into a fanciful children's book about talking animals. In what other book can you find slapstick auto theft, a dirge for lost arcadia and a numinous encounter with that pagan refugee and mascot of the Edwardian neo-romantics, the great god Pan?...Lerer's preface is a thoughtful and elegant survey of the biographical and literary context for this beloved book. (Michael Sims Washington Post Book World 2009-06-14)
[An] exquisite new annotated edition of Kenneth Grahame's masterpiece...It takes us into a pre-modern world of lyrical beauty, with animals that behave like humans, landscapes that are painted for us rather than described, and language more literary than spoken...Rereading this volume, which Harvard University Press has given all the high production values it deserves, led me to understand more fully the soporific effects of The Wind in the Willows on children. Under the spell of an artist who animates his fictional world with something akin to solar energy ("Suddenly the sun was with them again, and grey was gold and colour was born and sprang out of the earth once more"), readers enter dreaded conflict zones but always return to that consummate comfort zone known as Home...By turns ecstatic and elegiac, and always without pathos, sentiment or pyrotechnics, The Wind in the Willows is also always there, ready to provide us, when we feel lost, with all the comforts of Home. (Maria Tatar Globe and Mail 2009-06-20)
[A] handsome edition...[Lerer] provides a wealth of information that will be welcomed by anyone who wants return to the riverbank and discover just how enduring and endearing Grahame's masterpiece remains a century after it was published. (Peter Parker Times Literary Supplement 2009-06-26)
For all its apparent celebration of neatness and domestic orderliness The Wind in the Willows is really a book about letting go. It begins with Mole, tired of spring cleaning, putting aside his whitewash brush and taking to the road, and its true hero is Toad, who is anarchy incarnate. (Charles McGrath New York Times Book Review 2009-07-10)
An enduring masterpiece of children's literature. (Bill Ruehlmann Virginian-Pilot 2009-07-26)
Full of luminous little notes on the story. (Robert Pincus Sign On San Diego 2009-05-28)
The pages have a slight gloss, the typeface is elegant; the margins are pleasingly wide, and the annotations are terse, informative, and properly infrequent...The images are also well chosen...Reading Lerer's edition is a great pleasure. The notes are there when you need them and are easy to ignore when you don't. This book is, among other things, a delightful testimony to the bookmaker's art...His edition will be the one I return to when the book, as it often does, calls out to me and in its quiet and gracious tones requests my attention. (Alan Jacobs First Things 2009-10-01)
This annotated version of the children's classic holds a college course's worth of information between its covers. Giving the gift of Toad's adventures with Rat and Mole will always be, and always has been, an appreciated gift. This edition, however, takes the reader deeper into the world of The Wind in the Willows with relevant annotations and cultural contexts. This book deserves a spot on the bookshelf to be enjoyed by the old and young alike. Revisited, or newly discovered, Kenneth Grahame continues to inspire imaginations. (Katharine Wray popmatters.com 2009-12-15)
Seth Lerer steps in to educate and entertain in this delightful new edition of a timeless classic. In the generously spaced margins running along the outer side of each page Lerer provides the etymological origins of words, the references and influences that Grahame drew upon to create his stories, and a description of the flora and fauna of Great Britain...Whether readers are nostalgic for the stories of their childhood or looking to experience The Wind in the Willows in an entirely new fashion, this is a book that simply can't be passed up. (Kate Maruska San Antonio Book Review 2010-01-21)
About the Author
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
In short, these annotations just seem a bit perfunctory. Most of them are simple transcriptions from the OED, explaining the meaning and origin of obscure words. That, of course, is helpful, but lacks the imagination and ingenuity of, say, Martin Gardner's "The Annotated Alice", which really delves into the depth and meaning of Lewis Carroll's classic. At his worst, Lerer composes certain presumptions as facts, when they are occasionally rather poor guesses. In one section, he pronounces that Badger's house is an old church, whereas the prose leads most to believe Badger lives in a Roman ruin. All annotators make presumptions of course, but it is imperative to word them as such so readers aren't misled.
The book is not without its strengths. Lerer's introduction is insightful, and the book is beautifully printed, with buttery paper and nicely printed illustrations. On the whole, it's not a bad book, I just wish more time was spent honing and refining it, making sure it was worthy of Grahame's original.
Seth Lerer steps in to educate and entertain in this delightful new edition of a timeless classic. In the generously spaced margins running along the outer side of each page Lerer provides the etymological origins of words, the references and influences that Grahame drew upon to create his stories, and a description of the flora and fauna of Great Britain. In Chapter 1, he goes into detail about the Victorian trend of picnicking; later in Chapter 7 he notes the influence that Romantic poets, Keats in particular, had on Grahame's choice of words. And in the middle of the book there's a 16 page spread of glossy, full color images of the covers and illustrations of past editions.
Whether readers are nostalgic for the stories of their childhood or looking to experience The Wind in the Willows in an entirely new fashion, this is a book that simply can't be passed up.
Whether you (or your child) is new to the magical world of Rat, Mole and Mr. Toad, or they are old friends for you as they are for me, you will appreciate the loving care with which this volume was created. Kenneth Graham's story can of course stand alone, as can Earnest Shepherd's wonderful drawings, but put together with Professor Lerer's insightful comments this is just the best version of this classic available.
Highly recommended for all!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well worth the money and so much fun for adults who enjoyed these stories as children :)Published 6 months ago by Katie B.
A true classic and this annotated version is a must for those who are dedicated Wind fans. Beautiful book also. Needs to be part of any Wind collection.Published 8 months ago by padre viejo
I got this as a gift for a baby shower; it is one of my favorite stories and this is a beautiful edition. I love the illustrations.Published 18 months ago by sue
The side notes and commentary included along each page make only add to the depth and wisdom found in this supposed children's story. Read morePublished 21 months ago by JP III
Bought this book for my youngest granddaughters. The book is really lovely with great illustrations. I know they will get many hours of enjoyment from it.Published on July 31, 2013 by Easy Reader
Was not at all what I wanted. This edition seems to be meant for a student not for a small child for her parents to read to her.Published on November 17, 2012 by ej
This was a beautiful edition of The Wind in the Willows. I throughly enjoyed it for many of its features. The seller delivered true to their word and in an expeditious fashion. Read morePublished on January 27, 2010 by Yooper46