The Wind In The Willows - Kenneth Grahame 1926 - Methuen & Co. Ltd., London - Nineteenth Edition (First published 1908) An early edition in the original binding of Kenneth Grahame’s timeless children’s tale, with frontispiece illustration by Graham Robertson.

‘And you really live by The River? What a jolly life!’

‘By it and with it and on it and in it,’ said the Rat... ‘It’s my world, and I don’t want any other. What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.’
  Toad sat straight down in the middle of the dusty road, his legs stretched out before him, and stared fixedly in the direction of the disappearing motor-car. He breathed short, his face wore a placid, satisfied expression, and at intervals he faintly murmured “Poop-poop!”’

The Wind in the Willows can be read in many different ways; as a wry commentary on the class system of Edwardian England, as a warning of the threat of social change and the destruction of rural values, as an oblique manifesto of Grahame’s own views on politics, religion, and social reform.

In the above scene from chapter two, Mr Toad, after nearly being killed by a passing motorist, falls in love with the idea of speed, “
Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped - always somebody else’s horizon! O Bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my!” The motor car here is a force of chaotic, destructive energy that sunders the arcadian world of the river bank, and Mr. Toad, transfixed as he sits in the middle of the road watching the machine recede into the distance, stands for the point at which the human spirit is seduced by the folly of its own desires. The motor car changed their lives, and ours for ever.’ – Gerard Woodward, The Little Black Book.

Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) was born in Edinburgh, but grew up with relatives in Berkshire where he developed his love for the countryside surrounding the upper parts of the River Thames. He was educated at St. Edward's in Oxford, but instead of going on to Oxford University he joined the Bank of England, where he rose to become Secretary. Grahame developed the character of Toad in The Wind in the Willows to amuse his young son, Alistair. It was published in 1908.

The Observer - All-Time 100 Best Novels [2003]. Modern Library - Top 100 Novels [1998]. BBC Big Read (200 Best Novels) [2003]. Book Collector No. 271, The Great Illustrators.
pp. [8] 302 [2] 8-advertisements. Publisher’s dark green cloth, title and decorative motif blind-stamped to front cover and in gilt to spine, top edge gilt.
  Condition: Very good, lightly worn at spine ends, contemporary ink inscription to front free endpaper, light scattered foxing to preliminary pages.   Ref: 107094   Price: HK$ 1,100