London: Methuen and Co., 1908. Graham Robertson. First Edition. 8vo. 7 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (190 x 120 mm). pp.  + viii + 302 + i. Laid paper, deckle edges, t.e.g. With a captioned frontispieces, "And a River went out of Eden", on coated paper after a pen-and-ink drawing by Walford Graham Robertson (1866 – 1948); tissue guard. Original blue-green cloth with gilt illustration on the spine (Toad dressed in a driving outfit and goggles) and upper cover ( Pan playing flute to Rat and Mole by the river) and a single gilt rule on the upper cover. In the second issue publisher's pictorial peach-color dust jacket printed in black with price of 7/6 instead of 6/-.The spine of the dust jacket slightly darkened but in excellent condition with a couple small tears at head expertly repaired on verso; scattered foxing and discoloration to dust jacket and pages, wear to spine edges consistent with age.
[Grolier: One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature, no.61; Osborne I, p. 349; Hunt p. 45 & 66; Hahn,D. Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, p. 241-242].
This is the FIRST EDITION with a SCARCE DUST JACKET of one of the essential classics of children's literature. The book is based on bedtime stories that the Scottish-born banker and author Kenneth Grahame (1859 – 1932) told his young son Alistair, who was sickly and nicknamed "Mouse". The stories began when Alistair was 4 and continued in a series of letters that the father wrote to his son while traveling. When Grahame retired as the Secretary of the Bank of England in 1908 due to ill health. «...Aware of the potential for a fuller treatment Grahame took the letters, which deal with Mr. Toad's adventures escaping from prison and conclude with his return to the society of Ratty, Mole and Badger and the battle for Toad Hall, and converted them into the finished work... What emerged was no lighthearted story about a countryside community of animals but a long and ramifying fable.... » The book was bulky and had no illustrations, so the London publisher, Algernon Methuen, put it on his adult rather than juvenile list, stirring confusion and arguments among the readers and critics. (One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature, p. 210) Nonetheless The Wind in the Willows flourished and the advertures of the "bad, low animal," Mr. Toad, grew in poupularity. The novel had seen over 30 printings when A. A. Milne adapted part of it for the stage as 'Toad of Toad Hall' in 1929. The first film adaptation was produced in 1949 by Walt Disney as one of two segments in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Numerous adaptations in film and television have followed since.
Condition: Near fine / Near fine.
Item number: 462