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The Creators of Winnie the Pooh (Hardback)

A A Milne and E H Shephard

P&S History > Social History

By Andrew Norman
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399064231
Published: 30th June 2024

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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!

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 Andrew Norman

About Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman was born in Newbury, Berkshire, UK in 1943. He was educated in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Midsomer Norton Grammar School, Somerset, UK, and St Edmund Hall, Oxford.
Andrew worked as a general practitioner in Poole, Dorset, before a spinal injury cut short his medical career. He is now an established writer with biographies of Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Thomas Hardy, T. E. Lawrence, Adolf Hitler, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter, Marilyn Monroe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to his name.

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