Early Life

Born Alan Alexander Milne in Kilburn in a cold January in 1882, back then no one could’ve had the slightest idea what a famous and renowned name Milne would go on to become. An avid writer, Milne soon developed a relationship with the then-popular humour magazine, Punch upon graduating from Cambridge University. It was Punch which went on to publish his early work, poetry, and the first Winnie The Pooh stories.

Winnie the Pooh and Worldwide Fame

Winnie the Pooh emerged from stories and poetry Milne wrote for his son, Christopher Robin, who was born in 1920. Milne’s first collection of children’s poetry, When We Were Very Young was printed in Punch magazine in 1924.

Winnie the Pooh was inspired by a Canadian black bear given to London Zoo in 1914. Milne and his son used to visit the zoo, and Winnipeg the bear made a strong impression on them both.

Many of Winnie’s friends were also inspired by real life: Piglet, Tigger, Eyeore, and Roo were stuffed toys belonging to Christopher Robin. Of course, the character of Christopher Robin was directly based on Milne’s own son, something which would later cause difficulties in their relationship.

The first Winnie the Pooh story appeared in the London Evening News in 1925 in a story titled The Wrong Sort of Bees. Based on this initial story and some of the poems, Milne wrote the book, Winnie the Pooh which was published in 1926.

The stories, coupled with the beautiful illustration by Milne’s frequently collaborator, E. H. Shepard, captured the hearts and imaginations of children the world over. The books still remain popular today for how tenderly they capture the essence of childhood, the joy of play, and a sense of wonder.

After Winnie the Pooh

Milne struggled with the legacy of Winnie the Pooh. A renowned and respected writer in many genres beforehand, Milne had complex feelings about with being defined by his children’s stories. While Milne continued writing, none of his later work seemed to speak to the public quite as powerfully as Winnie The Pooh.

In our catalogue:

Winnie the Pooh

Now We Are Six