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More About This Title The Golden Age
By the author of The Wind in the Willows, a series of charming tales of childhood adventures and imagination
Edward, Selina, Harold, Charlotte, and the unnamed narrator are orphans; brought up by a cohort of aunts rather than parents, they have unfettered access to the world on their doorstep. Only the governess stands in the way of total exhilaration and feralness. Removed from reality into their own private world, the children do their best to steer clear of the "Olympians," as they call grown-ups. The writing is filled with nostalgia at the pure delight of days spent out and about in a countryside filled with make-believe and magic. Every encounter presents a chance for new play and new friendship. Whether they are "borrowing" the neighbor's rowboat to serve as their Argo in their quest to venture upstream, enraging their governess, playing at lions and dragons, or finding a princess, the children’s life is never dull. Grahame encapsulates the tone of a childhood enriched by legend and romance, and untarnished by the concerns of adulthood. The looming threat of boarding school tinges the tales with the bittersweet suggestion that such a world couldn’t—and didn’t—last, making it indeed a golden age.