Toad is the flightiest and pettiest character in The Wind in the Willows, due to a combination of immaturity and unrestrained wealth. He represents the British upper class, as he is an aristocrat living in his large inherited estate, Toad Hall,...
Mapledurham House in Oxfordshire was an inspiration for Toad Hall., although, Hardwick House also makes this claim.
The village of Lerryn, Cornwall claims to being the setting for the book.
Simon Winchester suggested that the character of Ratty was based on Frederick Furnivall, a keen oarsman and acquaintance of Kenneth Grahame.
The Scotsman and Oban Times suggested The Wind in the Willows was inspired by the Crinan Canal because Grahame spent some of his childhood in Ardrishaig.
There is a theory that the idea for the story arose when its author saw a water vole beside the River Pang in Berkshire, southern England. A 29 hectare extension to the nature reserve at Moor Copse, near Tidmarsh Berkshire, was acquired in January 2007 by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust.
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