|Kenneth Grahame is best remembered as the author of the classic THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Grahame's childhood was extremely unhappy. His mother died when he was five, at which point his alcoholic father surrendered Grahame and his siblings to their maternal grandmother, who also expressed little interest in the children. Discouraged from becoming a writer by his family, Grahame was forced to take a "real" job as a bank clerk. He began writing for various magazines in 1890, and it was this writing that led to the publication of his first successful book, THE GOLDEN AGE, in 1894. He married Elspeth Thomson in 1899; the couple had one child--a son named Alastair. Alastair was born with impaired vision and Grahame would entertain him with wild stories about such characters as Mr. Toad, Mole, and Rat. These stories formed the basis for THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, which was published in 1907. The success of this book allowed Grahame to quit his bank job and become a full-time writer.