Born in North London in 1882, A.A. Milne’s love affair with the written word began while he was studying at his father’s school, Henley House, where he was taught by H.G. Wells. After graduating from The University of Cambridge, Milne started his writing career as assistant editor of Punch. Soon after, the First World War broke out and Milne went to France, serving as an officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment until his discharge in 1919. Upon his return, and in an attempt to return to simpler times, Milne set upon writing childrens’ fiction.
Five years after Milne’s wife Dorothy gave birth to their only son, the family bought a country home in Hartfield, East Sussex, and just a year later, in 1926, the treasured collection Winnie the Pooh was published. Though A.A. Milne wrote over 30 plays, several novels and numerous poetry collections, he is most famous for the whimsical characters he created in childhood favourite Winnie the Pooh.
The stories of Winnie the Pooh and his forest-dwelling friends originated as bedtime stories told to Milne’s son, Christopher Robin Milne. The bumbling Pooh bear was named after Christopher Robin’s own teddy bear, but the yellow bear we recognise as Pooh was in fact based on Growler, a teddy belonging to illustrator E.H. Shepard’s son. Christopher Robin’s other beloved stuffed animals also lent their names to the rest of the characters, and the toys now reside in the New York Public Library, aside from Roo who has mysteriously disappeared….
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