London has a fair number of people and personalities who have made their mark on the city and even the world. London is home to some of the most prolific and outstanding authors and writers; there is something about the city that inspires people to be creative. One of the most interesting people to have been born in London is A.A Milne, the creator and writer of Winnie-the-Pooh.
He was born Alan Alexander Milne in the suburb of Kilburn in London and despite being best known for his collection of children’s books about the slightly rotund teddy bear, he was a diverse author writing on whatever subject happened to take his fancy at the time.
He was educated at a small public school that was run by his father, and one of his teachers was the author HG Wells, most famous for his work in the genre of science fiction. Milne was also educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, in Cambridge before embarking on his literary career.
Milne’s first job was working for the literary magazine ‘Punch’ where he rose to the position of assistant editor. Milne served in WWI and his time during the war was to give rise to his damning piece entitled ‘Peace with Honour’.
After his marriage and the birth of his only son Christopher Robin, Milne bought a country home in Sussex where he created his most lovable character and a series of children’s books that have delighted and enchanted children, and adults to this day. Milne wrote on many other subjects, besides Pooh Corner and the child Christopher Robin who was the six year old owner of Winnie-the-Pooh. He wrote for the stage and the fledgling British film Industry as well as a number of novels and essays.
Milne was never truly at ease with the fame and fortune that being the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh brought to him. He considered it a source of irritation that he had been placed into a genre when he really wanted to write about anything and everything. It is though, the legacy of Winnie-the Pooh that continues to have an influence on the world today. The royalties from the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise, now owned by Disney, are paid to the Royal Literary Fund which is used to place professional writers in to some of London, and England’s top universities.
His son Christopher Robin, after whom the character in the books were named, has his own boyhood toys permanently on display in new York, proving that great taste and literary genius have straddled both sides of the pond.
Moving to London is about so much more than just finding a place to live and the right stop on the tube. It’s about discovering the people and personalities who were influenced by and in turn influenced the city of London.