Monday, 8 March 2010

On this day...

British writer, Kenneth Grahame was born in 1859. Although most famous for producing children's literature, Grahame himself had an unhappy childhood, and indeed led a fairly depressing life. After only a few years, his mother had died, and his father began to drink heavily, forcing the young  Grahame to move in with his grandmother. Despite promising an excellent academic future, Grahame was denied an Oxbridge education due to money difficulties, and instead set out on a career with the Bank of England.

The position was a successful one, and Grahame steadily rose through the ranks to secretary. However, in a strange, and possibly politically motivated act, Grahame was shot three times, leading to his eventual retirement. To cap it all, Grahame's son, born blind in one eye, committed suicide on a railway track at the age of 19, a demise recorded as an 'accidental death' out of respect to the author. Of course, Grahame's most famous work is 'The Wind in the Willows', which has been heavily adapted for stage and screen. His lesser known story, 'The Reluctant Dragon', was also made into a Disney film.

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