Griff Rhys Jones goes in search of the real story behind the famous tale: The Wind in the Willows.
In the spring of 1907 Kenneth Grahame sent his seven-year old son, Alastair (nicknamed 'Mouse'), the first of a series of letters telling the story of a group of animals and their various adventures along the river, in the woods and on the road. These letters, centring on the swaggering Mr Toad, formed the first whisperings of what would become one of the best-loved children's stories of all time: The Wind in the Willows.
On the 80th anniversary of the death of Kenneth Grahame, Griff Rhys-Jones sets off to investigate a curious story. He wants to know why this children's tale has so gripped the public imagination. In doing so, he examines a golden era of children's literature and finds it wrapped up in a tragic and moving biographical story.
Central to the success of the great classic is the character of 'Toadie'. It is a strangely cruel portrait, but Mr Toad, in the character of a bumptious, overbearing, childlike braggart, has become a fixed part of the British public imagination. Griff Rhys-Jones sets out to find out why.
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