The Wind in the Willows

With an Introduction by A.A. Milne.

RACKHAM, Arthur / GRAHAME, Kenneth

there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats

RACKHAM, Arthur The Wind in the Willows With an Introduction by A.A. Milne.

Methuen, 1951.

First UK Rackham edition, deluxe issue. Number 269 of 500 large paper copies. Original full white calf lettered in gilt. Top edge gilt and others untrimmed, the text printed on handmade paper. Housed in the original publisher's slipcase. Twelve beautiful mounted colour plates with captions printed below, as well as many line drawings. A fine copy, uncommonly clean and fresh in a fine slipcase with a little wear to the corners. A superb copy of a notoriously fragile book.

This deluxe edition celebrates the 100th edition of the Wind in the Willows. It is the most sumptuous edition of the story with Rackham's illustrations and the calf binding rarely survives in such a bright, clean state.
Towards the end of his career, Arthur Rackham agreed to undertake a series of illustrations to Grahame's tale. He had been approached in 1908 to illustrate the first edition, but due to contractual obligations was unable to take up the offer. It was always in his mind that this was a major story to which he had not turned his hand and he spent the final years of his life preparing a series of illustrations to the tale. Neither Rackham nor Grahame lived to see the realisation of their collaboration.

Grahame initially wanted Arthur Rackham to illustrate The Wind In The Willows, but Rackham declined. Around thirty years later, Elspeth invited Rackham for a walk along the Thames to view the many places and sights which inspired the stories lovingly created by her now deceased husband (d. 1932). He finally accepted and, amid the outbreak of WWII and personal illness, prepared a series of sixteen illustrations and several line drawings for the tale. This was his last project. Upon completion, the dying artist is said to have sunk into his pillow and said: "Thank goodness, that is the last one" (Hares-Stryker).

Stock ID: 42591

£3,000.00

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