The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Lunchtime Lecture: Eternal Boy: The Life of Kenneth Grahame

2 May 2019, 13:15

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £4 (£3 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

Kenneth Grahame
by Anthony Wysard
late 1920s-early 1930s
NPG D275

Immerse yourself in history, art and culture at our popular Lunchtime Lectures. Doors open at 12.45. Lectures begin at 13.15 and last approximately one hour.

'A child and a king' in the words of one of his closest friends, for much of his life Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame lived multiple existences: fantasist, senior Bank of England bureaucrat, profoundly unhappy husband. His only full-length fiction became one of the bestselling novels of the twentieth century. For Grahame, its significance lay in its combination of escapism and entrenched conservatism, a celebration of bachelor leisure and traditional rural hierarchies. Seasoned biographer Matthew Dennison examines a life of startling bleakness, at the centre of which lies one of the lushest, most enduring idylls in British literature.

Matthew Dennison's books include The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter, Livia, Empress of Rome, Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West, Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter and The First Iron Lady: A Life of Caroline of Ansbach. A journalist, he contributes to The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Country Life, and The Spectator.