The Wind in the Willows is a hymn to Old England. But for its author, it meant much more than that. A hundred years after its publication, John Preston explores the private torments that inspired Kenneth Grahame to write his classic
At around 11 o’clock on the morning of 24 November, 1903, a man called George Robinson, who in newspaper accounts of what followed would be referred to simply as ‘a Socialist Lunatic’, arrived at the Bank of England. There, Robinson asked to speak to the governor, Sir Augustus Prevost. Since Prevost had retired several years earlier, he was asked if he would like to see the bank secretary, Kenneth Grahame, instead.
by ALAN GALLOP
We know somewhere remotely in our collective memories that kids worked down the mines, and women and ponies worked down the mines. For those of us who are both parents and miners the realisation of just what that meant perhaps doesn’t really impact in the way it should. This book smacks you right in the teeth with a reality of children’s labour in the pits. It doesn’t do this in a sudden impact, it takes you by the hand, almost like Marleys Ghost of Xmas Past and takes you back to then, back to the dark days in the pit villages of Yorkshire, when little girls and boys took their place in the dark, dangerous and unsavoury conditions of the mine.
Jeani Read, The Province
It was three in the morning.
New mom Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit found herself wandering around the house, ravenously hungry, wondering if she could stand to eat another container of yogurt or another healthy cookie or bowl of cereal. Again.
“It’s awful!” she says. “People tell you a lot of stuff about having a baby, but nobody tells you what to do after you have the baby. Nobody told me I’d be that hungry, or that thirsty. You don’t realize how little time you’re going to have. I thought there had to be a better way.”