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The Wind in the Willows: An Annotated Edition Hardcover – 8 May 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 359 pages
  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Annotated edition edition (8 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674034473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674034471
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 2.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,632,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


An enduring masterpiece of children's literature. -- Bill Ruehlmann "Virginian-Pilot" (07/26/2009)

Full of luminous little notes on the story. -- Robert Pincus "Sign On San Diego" (05/28/2009)

Lerer's annotated edition of "The Wind in the Willows" not only seeks to respond to every possible question a contemporary reader (of any age) might pose, but it goes beyond that aim to make the most penetrating and astute interpretive asides, and it does so economically, judiciously, and--what is most delightful--in a graceful prose of its own that matches the gleaming poetic style of Kenneth Grahame himself and thus honors him both in form and content.--Ellen Handler Spitz, Author Of "the Brightening Glance: Imagination And Childhood"

"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" (05/15/2009)

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" (05/07/2009)

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" (06/14/2009)

[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" (06/20/2009)

[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" (06/26/2009)

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" (07/10/2009)

About the Author

Seth Lerer is Dean of Arts and Humanities and Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California at San Diego.

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