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Mr. Toad

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Mr. Toad
The Wind in the Willows character
Illustration by E.H. Shepard
First appearanceThe Wind in the Willows
Created byKenneth Grahame
Portrayed byPeter Harryson (stage adaptation)
Voiced byEric Blore (1949 film)
David Jason (1983 film, 1984 TV series)
Charles Nelson Reilly (1987 film)
Rik Mayall (1995 film, 1996 sequel)
In-universe information
OccupationThe Squire of Toad Hall

Mr. Toad, of Toad Hall, is one of the main characters in the 1908 novel The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.


The inspiration for Mr. Toad's wayward mischievousness and boastfulness was Kenneth Grahame's only child Alastair: a family friend, Constance Smedley, overheard Grahame telling Alastair the exploits of Toad as a bedtime story, and noted that "Alastair's own tendency to exult in his exploits was gently satirized in Mr. Toad".[1] Colonel Francis Cecil Ricardo (1852–1924), the first owner of a car in Cookham in Berkshire, where Grahame wrote the books is also thought to have been an influence. Other suggestions include Walter Cunliffe, 1st Baron Cunliffe.[2]


Toad is the squire of the English countryside estate Toad Hall, which he inherited from his family. Toad is a jovial and friendly figure but he is often ruled by his conceit and impulsiveness which often gets him into trouble. Toad is known for growing obsessed with various activities and then eventually growing bored of them. In the novel Toad becomes obsessed with motor cars after one runs him and his friends off the road in his caravan. Toad is a passionate driver and crashes at least eight motor cars before his friends step in and encourage him to change his ways.[3]

In other works[edit]

A. A. Milne's 1929 play Toad of Toad Hall was based on the book.[citation needed] William Horwood wrote several children's novels, Tales of the Willows, continuing the original story.[4]



  1. ^ Mattanah, Jonathan (2009). "A Contemporary Psychological Understanding of Mr. Toad". In Horne, Jackie C.; White, Donna R. (eds.). Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows: A Children's Classic at 100. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. pp. 93–94. ISBN 9780810872592.
  2. ^ Johnson, Andrew (22 October 2011). "Is this the real Mr Toad?". The Independent. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ Sander, David (1997). "Mr. Bliss and Mr. Toad: Hazardous Driving in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Mr. Bliss" & Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows"". Mythlore. 21 (4 (82)): 36–38. ISSN 0146-9339. JSTOR 26812758.
  4. ^ Drew, Bernard A. (8 March 2010). Literary Afterlife: The Posthumous Continuations of 325 Authors' Fictional Characters. McFarland. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-7864-5721-2.
  5. ^ Pitts, Michael R. (3 April 2015). RKO Radio Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1929-1956. McFarland. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7864-6047-2.
  6. ^ a b c Duck, Siobhan (19 December 2007). "Willow talk". The Daily Telegraph. ProQuest 359670071. Retrieved 8 March 2024 – via ProQuest.
  7. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (2008). The Oxford Companion to the American Musical. Oxford University Press. p. 802. ISBN 978-0-19-533533-0.
  8. ^ Castle, Jill (9 June 2014). "In Pictures: Rik Mayall, a career in comedy". The Herald. Retrieved 8 March 2024.
  9. ^ Panas, Dan (15 June 1998). "Aftonbladet nöje: Sista kvällen som padda". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  10. ^ https://playbill.com/production/wind-in-the-willows-nederlander-theatre-vault-0000002716
  11. ^ Billington, Michael (2017-06-29). "The Wind in the Willows review – Rufus Hound goes wild with Julian Fellowes' party animals". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2024-05-29.