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Alan Alexander Milne was born in London on January 18th, 1882. His father was the headmaster of a small preparatory school. One of the teachers at the school was the famous H. G. Wells.
Milne, the youngest of the family`s three sons, went to Westminster School at the age of 11 and then went on to Cambridge to become a mathematician. But he never did. Instead he became editor of the university`s journal «Granta» in which he published some of his light humorous poems.
Then he went to London hoping to earn his living as a writer. By and by London magazines began to publish his witty works, and in 1905 he published his first book, a shilling paper-book collection of humorous essays. Aged only 24 he was given a post of assistant editor of the famous magazine «Punch», at the salary of 5 pounds a week –a lot of money at that time.
In 1913 he married Dorothy De Selincourt and the following year when the war broke out he joined the Army. At the front line he got ill and had to return home, to London.
The Milnes` only child was born on August 21st 1920. Mrs. Milne had hoped for a girl, to be called Rosemary… instead she presented her husband with a lovely, fair-haired and adorable son, Christopher Robin.
The Milnes bought him a teddy bear for his birthday. The teddy bear was soon named Winnie, after a real-life bear that lived at London Zoo.
A.A. Milne wrote a lot of poems for Christopher Robin and about him. Some of the poems became very popular songs. One rainy summer Milne rented a house in the country. He took with him a pencil and an exercise book, and in eleven days wrote so many children`s poems that they filled a book. It was published in 1924 under the name «When We Were Very Young» and sold half a million copies!
In 1925 the Milnes bought a farm in Sussex, which they used for weekends away from London. From this old house it was a short walk over a bridge into the Ashdown Forest where Christopher Robin and his teddy, now known by the name of «Winnie-the-Pooh» or «Pooh-bear», used to play.
Each daily adventure in the Forest gave A. A. Milne more material for his now famous book «Winnie-the-Pooh» published in 1926. The illustrations to it were done be Ernest Shepard, who visited the Milne family in their farmhouse and draw quite a few sketches of Christopher Robin with his bear, the bridge nearby where the two played «Poohsticks», and all the well-loved Pooh characters and places.
A.A. Milne`s secret for success was that he could get inside the mind of a child. He used his story-telling talents to describe how one little boy so loved his teddy bear that – for him at least – the toy animal came alive. After the look «Winnie-the-Pooh» A. A. Milne wrote another book of children`s verses – «Now We Are Six» and « The House at Pooh Corner» which sold to a waiting public in millions of copies. The four Pooh books and Milne`s enjoyable play «Toad of Toad Hall» are still as popular today as they were many years ago when they were written.
Alan Milne died in 1956. After Milne's death his widow sold her rights to the Pooh characters to the Walt Disney Company, which has made many Pooh cartoon movies.
What happened to Winnie-the-Pooh? Well, the bear was put into a glass case with all the other toy animals like Eeyore the donkey, and little Piglet, at the Milne’s house in London when Christopher went off to school in 1930. Then when the war came the toys were “evacuated” to America.
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