The Creators of Winnie the Pooh (Hardback)
A A Milne and E H Shephard
In 1962, children’s writer Roger Lancelyn Green coined the phrase ‘The Golden Age of Children’s Books’. A. A. Milne’s two Winnie-the-Pooh books, published in 1926 and 1928, which were so beautifully illustrated by artist and book illustrator E. H. Shepard, fall into this category.
Milne was clearly motivated to compose his Winnie-the-Pooh stories in order to entertain his young son. However, Christopher Robin came to resent the fact that his father had used his real first names as the names of Pooh’s owner in the books.
Was there a deeper reason why Milne created Winnie-the-Pooh? Possibly yes. The author had served as a soldier in the First World War, and by creating Pooh and his ‘Hundred Acre Wood’, he had created a world into which he could withdraw whenever he chose, and thereby mitigate the post-traumatic stress disorder which all military combatants suffer, to a greater or lesser degree. The same applied to Shepard, who also served in that conflict.
Having been given the Pooh books as a child, I re-read them as an adult and laughed just as uproariously as I had done all those years ago. Up until then, it had never occurred to me to enquire about their author A. A. Milne and about their illustrator E. H. Shepard. I now decided that it was time to put matters right!