A. A. Milne

A.A. Milne in 1922 photo from Library of Congress via Wikimedia
A.A. Milne in 1922 photo from Library of Congress via Wikimedia
The photo at the head is Ashdown Forrest (near the Milne’s home) setting for the Pooh stories, photo by Pete Chapman

Alan Alexander Milne (1882 – 1956) is now known primarily as the author of Winnie-the-Pooh and perhaps for his children’s poems. Yet before Pooh’s runaway success Milne was significant writer, both for Punch and more seriously of plays and novels.

This all changed with the publication of Winnie the Pooh (1926) and The house at Pooh Corner (1928) . Although he still published other work, and although this was somewhat successful in the USA his main writing career was behind him. His most notable work from this later period is the adaptation of Wind in the Willows for stage production (as Toad of Toad Hall).

Both Winnie the Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928) appeal to children with their amusing plots and the entertaining scrapes that the characters survive (none as serious as it seems at the time). The characterisation which causes the stuffed animals not only to “live” but to be seen as archetypes for different sorts of human appeal to children but help build the books’ appeal to adult audiences as well. (At least among those adults who are not afraid to admit to enjoying “children’s books”.)

 

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