A A Milne was born on this day in 1882

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MILNE (miln)

British author best known for his Winnie-the-Pooh books
clue: Tigger’s creator; Pooh's creator; Eeyore's creator; “Now We Are Six” author; Heffalump's creator; Piglet's progenitor; Robin's creator; A. A. for children
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 19064 / 86800
News: Tragic 'Winnie-the-Pooh' story comes to big screen
The House At Pooh Corner

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? ~ A. A. Milne

Alan Alexander Milne (January 18, 1882 – January 31, 1956), also known as A. A. Milne, was a British author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work.

Milne (pronounced mĭln) was born in Scotland but raised in London at Henley House School, a small independent school run by his father, John V. Milne. One of his teachers was H. G. Wells. He attended Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge where he studied on a mathematics scholarship. While there, he edited and wrote for Granta, a student magazine. He collaborated with his brother Kenneth and their articles appeared over the initials AKM. Milne's work came to the attention of the leading British humour magazine Punch, where Milne was to become a contributor and later an assistant editor.

Milne is most famous for his Pooh books about a boy named Christopher Robin, after his son, and various characters inspired by his son's stuffed animals, most notably the bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. Reputedly, a Canadian black bear named Winnie (after Winnipeg), used as a military mascot by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, a Canadian Infantry Regiment in World War I and left to London Zoo after the war, is the source of the name. After its heroics in September 1915, the bear was named 'Winnie the Pooh', years before Milne adopted it. E. H. Shepard illustrated the original Pooh books, using his own son's teddy, Growler ("a magnificent bear"), as the model. Christopher Robin Milne's own toys are now under glass in New York.

The overwhelming success of his children's books was to become a source of considerable annoyance to Milne, whose self-avowed aim was to write whatever he pleased, and who had, until then, found a ready audience for each change of direction: he had freed pre-war Punch from its ponderous facetiousness; he had made a considerable reputation as a playwright (like his idol J. M. Barrie) on both sides of the Atlantic; he had produced a durable, character-led and witty piece of detective writing in The Red House Mystery -- indeed, his publisher was displeased when he announced his intention to write poems for children -- and he had never lacked an audience.

But once Milne had, in his own words, "said Goodbye to all that in 70,000 words" (the approximate length of the four children's books), he had no intention of producing a copy of a copy, given that one of the sources of inspiration, his son, was growing older.

His reception remained warmer in America than Britain, and he continued to publish novels and short stories, but by the late 1930s the audience for Milne's grown-up writing had largely vanished: he observed bitterly in his autobiography that a critic had said that the hero of his latest play ("God help it") was simply "Christopher Robin grown up ... what an obsession with me children are become!"

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "A. A. Milne".