Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh on 8 March 1859. He was brought up by his grandmother and spent much of his time exploring the woods and wildlife near his home, but was also a gifted scholar and captain of the school rugby team. He was sent to work in a bank, which he disliked, but it was while he was working there that he began writing, and soon became a successful author. The Wind in the Willows is based on letters and bedtime stories that Graham thought up for his son, Alistair, who was nicknamed 'Mouse'. A neighbour convinced Kenneth that he should turn the stories into a book, but when he did, it was rejected by all publishers except one. It wasn't until the then President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, said how much he loved the book that readers began to take notice. After that, The Wind in the Willows became a bestseller, and was even turned into a play with the help of A.A. Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories. Kenneth Grahame retired from the bank in the year The Wind in the Willows was published, and he died in 1932.