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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

First Edition Wind in the Willows for Auction at Bonhams

A first edition of the much loved children’s classic, Wind in the Willows, inscribed by Kenneth Grahame to the daughter of the man who inspired the character of Ratty, is among the star lots offered at Bonhams Printed Books, Maps and Manuscripts sale at New Bond Street on 23 March.

The inscription reads, “To Foy Felicia Quiller Couch from her affectionate friend Kenneth Grahame, Oct. 1908”. Foy was the daughter of the noted Cornish author, essayist and anthologist Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch at whose home, The Haven at Fowey, Kenneth Grahame often stayed and where he first found the inspiration for Wind in the Willows. Quiller-Couch is thought to have been the model for the character of Ratty, both having a liking for “messing about in boats”. The estimate is £3,000 -5,000.

The complete ‘OZ’ – a slice of alternative history

In contrast the sale also includes a complete set of the 48 issues of ‘OZ’ magazine published between 1967-1973, including the infamous ‘Schoolkids’ issue.

One of the most visually exciting and provocative publications of the period, ‘OZ’ took radical positions on subjects such as sex, drugs, politics, war/peace as well as providing a forum for ‘underground’ news.

Issue 28 was edited by a group of invited ‘school kids’ and included a very sexual Rupert Bear cartoon parody which resulted in obscenity charges against the publishers, Richard Neville, Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis. At the trial in 1971, they were represented by John Mortimer creator of ‘Rumpole Of The Bailey.’ The trial became a cause celebre testing boundaries on censorship which had remained largely unchallenged since the Lady Chatterley’s Lover court case in the early 1960s. The three were found guilty and sent to prison where the shaving of their heads caused yet more controversy, though the convictions were later overturned on appeal. The complete set is estimated at £1,000-2,000.

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