The Wind in the Willows

GRAHAME, Kenneth


GRAHAME, Kenneth The Wind in the Willows

Methuen, 1908.

Second edition, printed in the same month as the first edition and in identical format. 8vo. Original blue-green cloth with gilt illustration on the spine and upper cover. Top edge gilt. Author's presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title, "Austin M. Purves / with greeting, + all the good wishes of the season, from Kenneth Grahame, Christmas 1908" Striking black and white frontispiece by Graham Robertson. A beautiful, fine copy, bright and crisp and internally perfect. A superb copy.

Austin Montgomery Purves was a Philadelphia based businessman, associated with the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company for more than thirty years. Purves had a keen interest in grand opera as well as art and literature and sought to move in artistic circles, counting Maxfield Parrish, Jessie Wilcox Smith and Arthur Quiller-Couch amongst his friend. They met the Grahames at Fowey in 1907,
"while the Grahame's were at Fowey in May and June 1907, they made the acquaintance of an American family also on holiday there - Mr and Mrs Austin Purves of Philadelphia, and their five sons... Kenneth actually stood godfather to Pierre, the youngest, at his Fowey christening... Grahame and Austin Purves continued to correspond regularly until the latter's death in 1915." - Peter Green (Kenneth Grahame A Study of His Life, Work and Times)
Purves sought to help Grahame by writing a favourable review of the American edition Wind in the Willows for an American magazine. In a letter to Purves of November 1908, Grahame wrote,
"I'm most awfully obliged to you for the solid work you are putting in on behalf of 'the W. in the W.' Your review was perfectly charming, & is bound to be most helpful. That the book has given you all personal pleasure is of course very good for me to think of."
Presentation copies of The Wind in the Willows are decidedly rare.

Stock ID: 38988


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