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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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