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A. A. Milne’s Magical World

Deep in the hundred acre woods, where Christopher Robin plays, you’ll find the enchanted neighborhood of Christopher s childhood days. (Walt Disney s The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh)

Throughout his seventy-four years on Earth, Alan Alexander Milne

provided millions with magic, mysticism, and above all, an escape from

reality into the imagination. His beautiful stories, specifically those of a

young boy and his bear (Winnie-the-Pooh), exquisitely described the

friendly place called The Hundred Acre Woods that so many people now

dream of. In fact, there are complete religious standards that have been

derived almost directly from Milne s Winnie-the-Pooh. And though his life

may not have always been perfect, Milne s wonderful tales never failed to

create a utopian setting.

A. A. Milne was born on January 18, 1882. His parents were John Vine

Milne and Sarah Marie Milne. (Second Plays) As a child, he attended the

school for young boys that his father ran. Milne was never terribly close to

his mother and would often eschew her. Milne referred to her as restfully

aloof. (Page at Pooh Corner) His parents had three children, all sons. Milne

was the youngest and often wished he had a sister. At the school he

attended, Henley House, he had teachers that included H. G. Wells, who

undoubtedly helped ignite his flame for writing. (The Oxford Companion to

English Literature) As you can see, he was exposed to writing influence

even from an early age.

In 1915, Milne went into the army and left his job as editor of Punch

magazine. When he returned, his friend, Owen Seaman told him that they

had replaced him with someone they all liked more. At first, this

disappointed Milne, but soon he realized that he was an avid writer. He

preferred writing plays and maintaining his own schedule. (Second Plays)

He liked the intricacy of writing plays and seeing them performed. He

wrote tons of plays and got much critical acclaim, but his first big hit was

Mr. Pim Passes By. (Oxford Companion to English Literature) Milne had now

established himself as a recognizable author.

In 1924, Milne published his first story that included his son,

Christopher Robin, When We Were Very Young. It sold over fifty thousand

copies within eight weeks of it s first publication. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

For it, he hired the illustrator from Punch, E. H. Shephard. The two made a

wonderful team, and soon, they released Winnie-the-Pooh, which exceeded

the popularity of the poems. (U.S. News and World Report) By watching his

son and his relationship with his toys, Milne was able to grasp and describe

a world so beautiful and pure, it s like no other.

Soon, the world knew Pooh. Entire books and moral systems were

written based on the philosophies and stylings of Winnie-the-Pooh. The

little bear has even been described as being …amazingly consistent with

the principles of living envisioned long ago by the Chinese founders of

Taoism. (The Tao of Pooh) The thoughtfulness expressed between all the

characters in Milne s stories and just the generally halcyon atmosphere can

be looked at as an ideal way for anyone to live. In fact, Winnie-the-Pooh

means more to some than just a stuffed animal locked away in a little boy s

imagination, but actually an proper way to base one s own existence.

Milne s books and plays continue not only individuals, but entire

societies. The future of not only Pooh, but of all of Milne s works is limitless.

With a little help from Walt Disney and his creation of Winnie-the-Pooh

feature length films, Pooh is today a household name. When Disney

produced the cartoons, the world also started to read Milne s books again,

so it would seem that as long as Pooh is alive, nothing can impede Milne s

books popularity from also sticking around. The future of Pooh is as

unpredictable as the future of a religion or ethnic group.

As is obvious through his success, Milne stayed on top through all

trials and tribulations. From his early life and plays, his relationships with his

parents and son, to the international success of Winnie-the-Pooh, Milne may

even be classified as a genius. Alan Alexander Milne truly created a

magical world for all to run and escape to.


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