You don’t know Pooh: 12 Facts about A.A. Milne on the 90th anniversary of Winnie the Pooh

 

14 October 1926.

Publication of A.A.Milne’s Winnie the Pooh


A.A. and Christopher Robin Milne

A.A. and Christopher Robin Milne

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.“  – Winnie the Pooh

 

Facts about A.A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh:

On this 90th anniversary of the publication of Winnie the Pooh, here are 12 facts about one children’s author who lead a life far more complex than you may know.

Happy Birthday, Pooh Bear.

 


1). In 2008, a collection of original illustrations featuring Winnie-the-Pooh and his animal friends sold for more than £1.2 million at auction in Sotheby’s, London. Forbes magazine ranked Winnie the Pooh the most valuable fictional character in 2002; Winnie the Pooh merchandising products alone had annual sales of more than $5.9 billion. In 2005, Winnie the Pooh generated $6 billion, a figure surpassed by only  Mickey Mouse. – Wikipedia

2). The Milne family home was at Cotchford Farm, Sussex.

It’s also where original Rolling Stones member Brian Jones – who bought the property in 1968 – was found dead in his swimming pool in 1969.

 

The Milne Family - Cotchford Farm

The Milne Family – Cotchford Farm

 

3). Winnie the Pooh was the name of Christopher Robin Milne’s teddy bear.

Pooh was purchased at Harrods department store in London, and given by A. A. Milne to his son Christopher Robin on his first birthday – August 21, 1921. He was called Edward (proper form of Teddy) Bear at the time.

The rest of the toys were received as gifts by Christopher Robin between 1920 and 1928.

Christopher Robin Milne and the original Winnie the Pooh

Christopher Robin Milne and the original Winnie the Pooh

Christopher Milne also played with a stuffed piglet, a tiger, a pair of kangaroos and a downtrodden donkey, and grew up near a forest that became the fictional 100 Acre Wood.

hundredacrewood

 

4).  A.A. Milne wrote much more than Winnie the Pooh.

punchmagazine

 

After earning his mathematics degree from Cambridge University in 1903, Milne pursued a career as a writer, and was soon producing humorous pieces for the magazine Punch. Milne became assistant editor at Punch in 1906.

Winnie the Pooh himself debuted in a poem called “Teddy Bear” in a 1924 issue of the magazine.

Following his service in World War I, Milne became a successful playwright. Along with some original plays, he wrote dramatic adaptations, such as Toad at Toad Hall, adapted from The Wind in the Willows.  Milne also authored a popular detective novel, The Red House Mystery (1922).

 

redhousemystery“In the drowsy heat of the summer afternoon the Red House was taking its siesta. There was a lazy murmur of bees in the flower-borders, a gentle cooing of pigeons in the tops of the elms.” – The Red House Mystery

 

 

5).  Milne served in both WW I and WW II, and worked for a secret propaganda unit.

During World War I, Milne saw action as a soldier, including the Battle of the Somme. When illness rendered him unfit for the front, his writing talent led to his being tapped to join a secret propaganda unit, MI7b, in 1916.

 

aamilnemilitary

 

6).  Milne grew up at Henley House School, 6/7 Mortimer Road (now Crescent), Kilburn, a small public school run by his father. One of his teachers was H.G. Wells, who taught there in 1889–90.

 

Henley House

Henley House

 

7). The success of his children’s books was an annoyance to him. He wished to break out of the Pooh books, but they became so popular he found himself stuck in that niche.

 

8). In 2006, Winnie the Pooh received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

Winnie Goes to Hollywood

Winnie Goes to Hollywood

 

9).  In 1951, Christopher Milne, the muse behind Christopher Robin, opened the Harbour Bookshop with his wife Lesley.

 

Harbour Bookshop, Dartmouth

Harbour Bookshop, Dartmouth

 

10). The original Pooh bear, Piglet, Kanga, Tigger and Eeyore now reside at the New York Public Library

 

poohnypl

 

11). In honor of the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and 90th anniversary of Winnie the Pooh, a new story titled “Winnie the Pooh and the Royal Birthday” has been narrated by actor Jim Broadbent.

 

winnieroyal

 

12). There’s an upcoming Biopic of A.A. Milne in the works.

Domnhall Gleeson and Margot Robbie Fox Searchlight/David Appleby

Domnhall Gleeson and Margot Robbie
Fox Searchlight/David Appleby

 

“So they went off together. But wherever they
go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in
that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a
little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

-The House at Pooh Corner

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