A.A. Milne

(1882–1956)

A.A. Milne and his son, Robin

Anecdote...

Once, when I was quite little, he came up to the nursery while I was having my lunch. And while he was talking I paused between mouthfuls, resting my hands on the table, knife and fork pointing upwards. “You oughtn’t really to sit like that,” he said, gently.

“Why not?” I asked, surprised.

“Well . . . ,” he hunted around for a reason he could give. Because it’s considered bad manners? Because you mustn’t? Because . . . “Well,” he said, looking in the direction that my fork was pointing, “suppose some boy suddenly fell through the ceiling. They might land on your fork and that would be very painful.”

“I see,” I said, though I didn’t really.

Biographical Note: 
Alan Alexander Milne was a British journalist and playwright, best known for his books for children. After graduating from Cambridge in 1903, Milne moved to London, determined to become a writer. In 1913 he married Dorothy (called Daphne) de Selincourt. When WWI broke out, he enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and served in France. In 1920, Milne’s son, , was born, an event that was to change the history of children’s literature. In 1923, during a rainy holiday in Wales, Milne began work on a collection of verses for children. The result was When We Were Very Young, published in 1924. Demand for Milne’s whimsical work was overwhelming, and in 1926, he duplicated his earlier success with the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh. The sequel, The House at Pooh Corner, followed in 1927. It was through these books, all illustrated by the wonderfully talented , that Milne acquired a vast audience outside of the theater. In the years since their initial publication, interest in these books has grown and grown. Milne continued to be a prolific essayist, novelist, and poet until his death in 1956.