Talk:Kenneth Grahame

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Not quite orphaned[edit]

According to my 'Oxford Companion to Children's Literature' (1991), Grahame's mother died, and then his father wasn't able to take care of the children, so they went to England to live with their grandmother. Later the father wanted to take them back, but in the end had to give them up again (he had a drinking problem). So I think 'orphaned' isn't quite right. I didn't want to change it without checking first in case anyone knows otherwise. So: any other sources? Also: citation still needed on the suicide of the son. Although it's quite likely, it's non the less speculation, isn't it? (My book just says he was found decapitated and the coroner passed a verdict of accidental death).--Tanyushka 00:29, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

BTW: have also made some minor changes (Alistair --> Alastair) and added the epitaph plus reference.--Tanyushka 21:36, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

No mention is made of when his marriage or his son's life began or ended. Did he leave a widow or was he widowed? When and where was his son born? Did this have any effect on his writing? How was his son's death related (in time) to his writing, and other activities? ~ MD Otley (talk) 04:50, 20 October 2007 (UTC)


Why do we need to know he was buried 'near the grave of the American expatriate author James Blish'? How is this relevant? Did he know Blish? If not, surely this should be taken out. 12:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes the wording's a bit odd. Blish's grave didn't exist until 1975. It's true to say that Blish was buried close to Grahame but not the reverse. It's probably best to take it out. -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:18, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I am the beautiful memory of Kenneth Grahame . . .[edit]

The inscription on the gravestone (just look at the picture) says "To the memory of Kenneth Grahame," not (perhaps unfortunately) the more brooding and Yahwistic "I AM the memory of Kenneth Grahame." Mnentro 12:10, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Changed Date Of Death[edit]

Previous article here stated year of death in 1955 which is erroneous as his tombstone clearly shows in the picture that he died in 1932 as do other sources online. (talk) 02:47, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Inappropriate slang[edit]

I never presume to rewrite anyone's text, only correct indisputable flaws of grammar, spelling, and syntax. So I won't touch the claim under "Works" that "The Wind in the Willows" is a "fun read," but I hope a few will agree with me that this bit of Generation X slang has no place in a serious reference work. Unfortunately, young writers are simply unaware that things like this are not acceptable to educated readers. When I explain it to them, they always look puzzled, even astounded. That is why they are also called the "Clueless Generation." Billcito (talk) 06:51, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Blue Plaques[edit]

I've placed a couple of images on the Commons as follows. Not particularly exciting images, but may be of interest:

Kenneth Grahame's Blue Plaque at his family home in Cookham Dean Berkshire
Kenneth Grahame's Blue Plaque at his family home in Cookham Dean Berkshire now a Preparatory School

WyrdLight (talk) 20:33, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Scottish writer[edit]

Grahame spent 68 of his 73 years in England, but remains a Scottish writer. The nationalism pathos in this description is illuminating. Pamour (talk) 10:58, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

That change was made from British to Scottish here: Prior to being British it had been English.

I see that Roald Dahl is noted as British, although born in Wales, so I've reverted it back from Scottish to British. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
We should not call him "Scottish" in the lead unless we know that he considered himself Scottish rather than British or even English. "British" is correct in the lead, if we don't know, as I guess we don't.
We shouldn't say "London periodicals" if his early work was first or importantly published in The Scots Observer. See the new section below, #Early stories, London periodicals.
Disney may appreciate the suggestion that it is universal, nothing American about it. That 40% of the lead concerns Disney adaptations is pathetic, regardless of Grahame's or Disney's nationality.
At least this much detail is appropriate in the lead, if no ethnicity or cities/counties will be mentioned there: "Born in Scotland, Grahame was raised by his maternal grandmother in England from age five." (Raised Anglican, "the Cookham church" implies to me.)
The Roald Dahl biography may not be generally inspiring but this suggestion is inspired by the lead section of that biography, where the second paragraph begins "Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, ...". Also as for Dahl, it is appropriate to put some generalizations or superlatives concerning Grahame's work in the lead paragraph, rather than Disney. {{Roald Dahl}} shows that we have articles on 13 screen adaptations of Dahl stories, but adaptations are not covered at all in his biog —to the point here, not in the lead paragraph.
--P64 (talk) 18:39, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

Fresh view[edit]

[1] Kittybrewster 23:09, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Pension details[edit]

I visited the Bank of England Museum today and saw the Kenneth Grahame exhibit and added a sentence describing his pension details. Unfortunately the link to the BoE museum webpage on Grahame wrongly states he was due £710. There is actually a worked calculation on display at the museum, which appears very old, showing his entitlement to be £790 not £710, so the website is wrong. The calculation is 1/75 of final salary per year worked plus five. He worked for 30 years and was earning £1700 so (30+5)/75 * 1700 = 7/15 * 1700 = 790 rounded. It's actually written out in pencil including the long division although it's not completely clear whether it was the actual calculation used at the time of Grahame's departure. However as data must be verifiable I've changed it to £710 and I will take it up with the website.TheMathemagician (talk) 12:44, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

I never received a reply from the Museum's website but I rechecked the exhibit today and his correct pension was £791 not £710 (I made a slight error above saying £790). The working is 1/75 th of salary for each year of completed service plus five, giving 35/75 = 7/15 of his £1700 annual salary. The calculator first divides 1700 by 15 to get 113 (ignoring the remainder) then multiplies by 7 to get £791. The page ends here with P.T.O. but it's in a glass case.TheMathemagician (talk) 14:07, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Early stories, London periodicals[edit]

Section 2 begins, "While still a young man in his 20s, Grahame began to publish light stories in London periodicals such as the St. James Gazette."

The UPI obituary of Grahame (as published New York Herald Tribune 1932-07-07 p13) says that he "filled the mails with contributions" until W.E. Henley accepted one submission to The Scots Observer. Henley solicited more "and in 1893 Pagan Papers, a collection of pieces from Mr. Henley's magazine, was published." (We say the magazine moved to London and became The National Observer in 1889.)

We should say who first published Grahame's works --publication, location, editor/publisher. First or not, if some of those collected were published in The Scots Observer pre-London, we should not say simply "London periodicals". --P64 (talk) 18:14, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

I don't think your proposals are controversial, so long as you have the references for it. I'd say, go ahead. Bmcln1 (talk) 18:38, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi. Do you work on UK or on magazines here? Now I see that the William Ernest Henley biography makes 1889 the year Henley became Scots Observer editor, and 1891 the year he/they moved it to London and renamed it.
I would not rely on the NYHT obituary for much but a point of entry, general validity of the Henley/Scots Observer connection, certainly not that Pagan Papers was a collection of items Henley had published, as it implies". (It is UPI agency, filed from London.) I will be mainly away for the next three weeks. Now I will look in old newspapers for some more info; for a couple more hours I have university library access to historical newspapers. --P64 (talk) 18:48, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
Talk:National Observer (UK) (former Scots Observer) reports contradictions with the biography of editor Henley. If I learn only tidbits not directly relevant to Grahame's career, I will post there rather than here. --P64 (talk) 18:56, 6 August 2016 (UTC)

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Religious views: paganism?[edit]

I've heard it suggested that he was opposed to Christianity and held some sort of 'pagan' views. The reference to his book 'Pagan Papers' hints at this, as does the 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn' chapter in 'Wind in the Willows'. It would be helpful to see it discussed. Ender's Shadow Snr (talk) 16:54, 20 August 2017 (UTC)