Two new editions of The Wind in the Willows appeared this week, one of them a scholarly, annotated edition by Creative Writing alumna Annie Gauger, who earned her MA here in 1999, and went on to the Editorial Institute to complete her PhD in the early 2000s. Both new editions of the classic childrens’ story were reviewed in the Boston Globe yesterday, and Gauger’s seems to have come out on top.
Writes Katherine Powers for the Globe, “Gauger more than Lerer investigates the possible origins of the novel’s characters and settings. She provides illustrations of a number of grand piles upon which Toad Hall might have been modeled. She describes the Fifth Duke of Portland’s weird underground establishment, which could, in part, have inspired Badger’s ancient dwelling – though both she and Lerer acknowledge the importance of Grahame’s fascination with buried ruins. And both editors note that Grahame himself has been fingered for Badger, but Gauger goes on to quote C.S. Lewis’s encomium: ‘Consider Mr. Badger – that extraordinary amalgam of high rank, coarse manners, gruffness, shyness, and goodness. The child who has once met Mr. Badger has ever afterwards in its bones a knowledge of humanity and of English social history which it could not get in any other way.’”
Congratulations to Annie. This new edition has been many years in the making. To read the full text of the article, click here.