Who Was A. A. Milne?

Image result for a. a. milneA. A. Milne is a name synonymous with Winnie the Pooh, it’s my first thought when I hear his name certainly. But Milne was much more than just the author of children stories.

Alan Alexander Milne was born 18 January 1882 to parents John Vine Milne and Sarah Marie Heginbotham. He grew up at Henley House School, a school which his father ran, and interestingly was taught by H. G. Wells who was a teacher there for a short time.

After finishing school and university, Milne wrote and contributed for numerous magazines, gaining the attention of the humour magazine Punch where he submitted poems and stories before joining the staff as assistant editor a few years later.

Milne married Dorothy “Daphne” de Sélincourt in 1913 and his son, Christopher Robin, was born in 1920 and Milne started writing poems and stories about him and his toys when he was around 4 years old.

The success of Winnie the Pooh has overshadowed much of Milne’s life, not only his service in both World Wars, but also the fact that he was an established author before and after Winnie the Pooh. Milne wrote novels and non-fiction as well as poems, plays and screenplays and other short story collections. He was an early screenwriter for the emerging British film industry and when he wasn’t writing, even played for the amateur English cricket team the Allahakberries alongside authors J. M. Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle and a host of other famous figures. A full list of his published works can be found here.

Sadly, the wonderful and successful life of Milne is dampened by the fact a stroke and brain surgery in 1952 left him an invalid. Milne died a few years later in 1956 when he was 74 years old. Of course his name and his creations in Pooh Bear will live on forever, and even though he was not that impressed by being only really known for his children’s stories, I like to think he was glad in a way to have made such an impact when he said “I suppose that every one of us hopes secretly for immortality; to leave, I mean, a name behind him which will live forever in this world, whatever he may be doing, himself, in the next.” Looking at the everlasting success of Winnie the Pooh I think Milne’s immortality is set in stone.

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