The Golden Age was published in 1895. Some of the stories in it had already appeared in various magazines. It was greeted by poets like Swinburne with much praise and almost instantly regarded as a classic. What's interesting about The Golden Age is that in this book, Grahame uses the metaphor of Ancient Greek legends and stories as parallels to his own life. The adults are termed “The Olympians” appearing remote, inaccessible and lofty to a child. Their activities are incomprehensible to the young mind while they had no interest in the doings of their wards. Grahame's humorous yet ironical tone lends a touch of fun to the adult world as seen through the eyes of a child. Other chapters describe the fun of being outdoors, visitors and relatives who come to the house, childhood games of Roundheads and Royalists, King Arthur's Knights, bandits and damsels in distress, knights errant, soldiers and princesses and everything else that a group of high spirited children could devise out of their boundless imaginations. Youthful escapades, stolen fruit, daredevil stunts and the carefree days of childhood are vividly captured in The Golden Age. For modern day readers, these recollections are interesting and in almost complete contrast to children's lives today, yet the book is an amusing and easy read for all ages.
The Golden Age is a collection of reminiscences of childhood, written by Kenneth Grahame and first published in book form in 1895, by The Bodley Head in London and by Stone & Kimball in Chicago. The Prologue and six of the stories had previously appeared in the National Observer, the journal then edited by William Ernest Henley. Widely praised upon its first appearance – Algernon Charles Swinburne, writing in the Daily Chronicle, called it "one of the few books which are well-nigh too praiseworthy for praise" – the book has come to be regarded as a classic in its genre.
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