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The Wind in the Willows - 1940

by Kenneth Grahame

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
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[RACKHAM, Arthur]. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. With an Introduction by A. A. Milne & Illustrations by Arthur Rackham. NY: Limited Editions Club, 1940. 4to, 246pp. Beige quarter-cloth stamped in gilt with marbled boards. 16 hand-mounted color plates. Spine ends a bit rubbed, upper corners bumped, lower corners lightly so, spine discolored (probably due to sunning) at top and bottom, upper right corner of pages lightly pushed (reflecting bumping to covers), evidence of cello-tape on front and rear free endpapers, else an internally clean, bright copy. First Arthur Rackham-illustrated edition, limited issue, being one of 2020 copies signed and numbered by book designer, Bruce Rogers. Though Rackham had planned to sign the edition, he passed away before he was able to do so and the book was issued posthumously. This limited edition has all 16 of Rackham's color plates, unlike the trade edition which had only 12. Rackham's dazzling color plates highlight this wonderful edition of Grahame's classic tale and serve as a fitting finale to his illustrious career.

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  • Title The Wind in the Willows
  • Illustrator Arthur Rackham
  • Author Kenneth Grahame
  • Edition First Arthur Rackham-illustrated edition, limited issue
  • Publisher Limited Editions Club, NY
  • Date 1940
  • Bookseller's Inventory # 1068014

About this book

The Wind in the Willows is a classic children's book by Kenneth Grahame, published in 1908. The story follows the adventures of four animal friends - Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad - as they explore the English countryside, battle against weasels and stoats, and learn about the value of friendship, loyalty, and the joys of a simple life. Through their adventures, the characters discover the importance of home and the pleasures of a peaceful existence. With its charming characters, vivid descriptions of nature, and timeless themes, The Wind in the Willows remains a beloved classic today.

First edition identification

Methuen and Company published the First UK Edition, First Printing hardcover in 1908, London. The edition is bound in green-blue cloth boards with intricate gold gilt illustrations and lettering. The first edition dust wrapper can be identified by the publisher’s printed price of 6’- on the front panel on peach-tan paper with black inked illustration. 

Methuen and Company published the First Illustrated Edition hardcover in 1931, London. The illustrated edition was made in a set of 200 copies signed by both Grahame and Shepard, printed on handmade paper. Grahame's children's classic was originally published in 1908 with only a frontispiece for an illustration. Although the work was subsequently published with illustrations by several artists, it was E. H. Shepard who brought the narrative to life with his evocative line drawings