Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh in 1859. He was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford, but family circumstances prevented him from entering Oxford University. He joined the Bank of England as a gentleman clerk in 1879, rising to become the Bank's Secretary in 1898. He wrote a series of short stories, married Elspeth Thomson in 1899 and their only child, Alistair, was born a year later. He left the Bank in 1908, the year that The Wind in the Willows was published. Though not an immediate success, by the time of Grahame's death in 1932 it was recognised as a children's classic.