Biography of A.A.Milne

A.A.Milne

A.A.Milne was a succesful playwright and author but is chiefly remembered for his children’s books about Winnie the Pooh.

When and Where was A.A. Milne Born?

18th January 1882, London, England.

Family Background:

Alan Alexander Milne’s parents were Scottish. He was the youngest of three sons and his father taught in his own primary school Henley House in London. One of the other teachers there was H.G. Wells who became a firm friend.

Education:

Westminster School, London. Trinity College, Cambridge.

Timeline of A.A. Milne:

Milne edited the magazine “Granta” whilst at Trinity College, Cambridge. He wrote freelance articles and stories after leaving Cambridge for “Punch” and the “St. James Gazette”.

1906: On 13th February he started work as Assistant Editor of the humorous magazine “Punch” where he stayed until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

1913: Milne married Daphne de Selincourt.

1915: Although noted for his pacifism he enrolled in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 12th February and served in France. He was sent to Southern Command Signalling School in Wyke Regis near Weymouth, Dorset. Later he was sent to the Isle of White as a signalling Officer.

1916: He contracted a fever in France on the 8th November and returned to England. After he regained his health he was assigned his own company at the newly formed signal school at Fort Southwick, where he stayed until 1919.

1920: His only son Christopher Robin (immortalised in the Pooh stories) was born on 21st August. His wife and son inspired him to write verses, short stories and books particularly Pooh, although he wanted to be famous for writing detective Stories and plays.
It is ironic therefore that the four Pooh books went on to sell more than 7 million copies between 1924 and 1956 and have been translated into many other languages.

1940: The Milne family left London for Cotchford Farm.

1941: Wishing to help with the war effort he joined the Second Training Battalion of the Royal Engineers.

1942: A.A. Milne is commissioned as an Officer and sailed to the Middle East. During the War demand was so high for the Pooh books that his publishers Methuen were having great trouble obtaining enough paper to keep them in print, although at the time he was beginning to regret that Pooh’s popularity overshadowed his other works.

1948: Thirteen of his plays were produced during the year. Christopher was now beginning to distance himself from his parents resenting that his family name rested on the Pooh fame. He met and married his Cousin Lesley de Selincourt to his parent’s displeasure.

1952: A.A. Milne had an operation on his brain, which left him an invalid. He returned to his home at Cotchford Farm in Sussex where he spent the rest of his life reading and walking in the country.

1956: Dies.

(1961): Daphne Milne (who outlived her husband by fifteen years) sold the film rights of the books to Walt Disney. (Christopher Milne eventually came to terms with his father and mother.)

(1996): His original “Pooh” bear was sold by Bonham’s Auction House in London to an anonymous buyer for £4,600.

Where and When did he Die?

31st January 1956, Hartfield, Sussex, England.

Age at Death:

73.

Written Works:

1905: “Lovers in London” (H.G. Wells suggested he publish this series of articles in book form).
1915: “Wurzel Flummery”. (A Play).
1921: “Toad of Toad Hall”. (Play first produced in 1929).
1922: “The Red House mystery” (Detective Novel).
1924: “When We Were Very Young” (Collection of verses originally published in “Punch”).
1925: “In Which We are Introduced to Winnie the Pooh and Some Bees and the Stories Begin.” (Article in the London Evening News, December 24th. (Broadcast by BBC Radio on Christmas Day, read by Donald Calthrop.)
1926: “Winnie the Pooh”. (Handwritten manuscript bequeathed to the library of Trinity College, Cambridge).
1927: “Now We Are Six” (Second book of verses).
1928: “The House at Pooh Corner”. (Handwritten manuscript bequeathed to the library of Trinity College, Cambridge). “Toad of Toad Hall”.
1934: “Peace with Honour” (Anti-war book).
1939: “It’s Too Late Now” (Autobiography). “Chloe Marr” (Novel).
1952: “Year In, Year Out.”

Other Plays: “Mr. Pim Passes By”, “Belinda”, “The Lucky One”,  “The Boy Comes Home”, “The Red Feathers”, “The Camberley Triangle”, “The Stepmother”, “The Great Broxopp Success”, “The Man in the Bowler Hat”, “To Have the Honour- or Meet the Prince” “Ariadne”, “Portrait of a Gentleman in Slippers.”, “Other People’s Lives”, “The Dover Road”, “Truth About Bladys”, “Miss Elizabeth Bennett, “Miss Marlow at Play”, “The Ivory Door”, “The Fourth Wall- or the Perfect Alibi”, “Michael and Mary”, “The Romantic Age”, “The Ugly Duckling and Before the Flood”.

Other Novels: “Mr. Pim Passes By”.

(1980): “Domus Anguli Puensis”. (Latin translation by Brian Staples, a Birmingham Librarian).
(1985): Vinnie Pookh (Russian Translation), Winnie ille Pu (Latin translation by Brian Staples).

Marriage:

1913 to Daphne de Selincourt. (God daughter to Owen Seaman, Editor of “Punch”).

Site of Grave:

Cremated. The location of his ashes is unknown. A Memorial Service was held at All Hallows by the Tower, London on February 10th 1956.

Places of Interest:

LONDON:

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, (original drawings held in Print Room).

SUSSEX:

Pooh Corner, Hartfield.
Pooh Sticks Bridge, Hartfield.