THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

An Annotated Edition
by , edited by

KIRKUS REVIEW

Does The Wind in the Willows need an annotated edition? Suggesting that Grahame’s prose, “encrusted with the patina of age and affect,” has become an obstacle to full appreciation of the work, Lerer offers the text with running disquisitions in the margins on now-archaic words and phrases, Edwardian social mores and a rich array of literary references from Aesop to Gilbert and Sullivan. Occasionally he goes over the top—making, for instance, frequent references alongside Toad’s supposed mental breakdown to passages from Kraft-Ebing’s writings on clinical insanity—and, as in his controversial Children’s Literature, a Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter (2008), displays a narcissistic streak: “This new edition brings The Wind in the Willows...into the ambit of contemporary scholarship and criticism on children’s literature...” Still, the commentary will make enlightening reading for parents or other adults who think that there’s nothing in the story for them—and a closing essay on (among other topics) the links between Ernest Shepard’s art for this and for Winnie the Pooh makes an intriguing lagniappe. (selective resource list) (Literary analysis. Adult/professional)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-674-03447-1
Page count: 359pp
Publisher: Harvard Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2009