As an exhibition is about to open at the V&A, Lorien Kite (books editor at the Financial Times) explores the significance of AA Milne’s most famous creation.
It’s a good piece. Following the link recommended…
‘Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic’ runs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, from December 9 to April 8 2018
Milne was 41 when he began work on When We Were Very Young; a successful playwright and a humorist who had made his name with the magazine Punch. As a model for the idealised childhood, his own was hard to better. Growing up above the north London school run by his father, a headmaster with progressive views on education, he and his two brothers had been encouraged to roam as they pleased from an early age and follow their intellectual passions where they led. This propelled Alan, the youngest and most precocious, first to Westminster School on a scholarship and then to Cambridge, where his editorship of the university journal Granta gave him a platform to pursue a career in journalism. Milne’s contradictions were becoming apparent in this period. Specialising as a satirist in vignettes of middle-class life, he moved freely in clubland and made a fashionable marriage in 1913 to Daphne de Sélincourt, goddaughter of the then Punch editor Owen Seaman. In his will he split the rights to Pooh between his family, the Royal Literary Fund, Westminster and the Garrick Club.