"The Early Years"
When Sarah Marie and John Vince Milne bought their youngest son into the world, Alan Alexander Milne (A.A. Milne) they had no idea he would grow to be one of the worlds greatest children's story teller......
Alan Alexandra Milne (Alan) born January 18th, 1882 was bought up in London in his farther's School, Henley House, with his brothers David Barrett Milne and Kenneth John Milne. While studying there he found inspiration in one of his teachers, H.G. Wells, who himself would go on to be a famous writer and a close friend to Alan.
After Henley house Alan decided to go to Westminster school and from there to Cambridge following a Mathematics scholarship. While their his brother Ken and himself were published in The Granta, from there they formed a partnership writing light verse. Two years later Ken left the partnership and alan went solo and became the Editor of Granta one of his life long ambitions.
John Vince Milne decided that when his son's had finished their education they would each receive £1000 pounds, Alan took his money and fled to London where he started a career as a author, meanwhile the money ran out and so he was forced to take a job as a freelance writer for local newspaper.
In 1905 Alan produced his first book "Lovers in London" which proved to be a failure, to his dismay he bought back the copyright for £5 to prevent a re-print when he was a more famous writer. From there he took a job at "Punch" writing articles, when his money situation became more stable he decided to try and write another book, However Owen Seamen (owner of 'Punch') told him to wait and offered him the job of assistant editor.
Meanwhile he started to write his second book "The Days Play" During this time Owen Seamen introduced Alan to his god daughter, Dorothy De Selincourt they were married in 1913. In 1915, February 10th Milne volunteered himself for the war. Through weeks of training he became a Signal ling officer, during this time he wrote his first play "Wurzel - Flummery". Alan was released from the army February 14, 1919.
On the 21st August, 1920 Christopher Milne was born, Known as Billy Moon to his friends and family, but to you and me as christopher_robin in the classic winnie the pooh tales. (A.A. Milne chose Billy to talk to friends and family and Moon for christopher's way of saying his last name when he was young, the name stuck from there) At this point Alan had written a short verse and had given it to Dorothy as a present, he told her that any money she made on it she could keep, She sent it straight away to magazines, it became a very expensive present and Success Alan was asked to write more and that's where "The Doormouse and the Doctor" derived from, which he wrote for The Merry Go Round magazine.
The childish verses became so popular he decided to write a children's book entitled "When We Were Young" published in 1924, Alan decided to call on one of his friends from punch Ernest Shepherd who went on to be a famous children's illustrator. Alan decided he did not want to commission Shepherd and drew up a 80/20 partnership agreement.
From there "Winnie The Pooh" was written, Alan got his inspiration from Christopher's toys and from there he wrote "The House at Pooh Corner" Alan claimed this would be his last book. Alan realized that writing was his dream and in 1929 wrote "Toad of Toad Hall" based on the story told by Kenneth Grahames "The Wind in the Willows". The last book Alan published was "Year in, Year out" in 1952 which proved to be a great success.
Winnie the Pooh was published in London on 14th October 1926, and Winnie the Pooh and friends were born. "Now We Are Six" his second book of children's poetry was published in 1927. "The House At Pooh Corner" was published the following year.
In the 1930's and 40's Milne was active in religious and pacifist polemics. At the age of fifty-six he published his autobiography, IT'S TOO LATE NOW (1938), which focused mostly on his childhood years. For the Pooh books he devoted eight "rather unhappy" pages, as Christopher Milne said it. After his wife's death in 1971 part of the fortune earned by the Pooh books came to the Royal Literary Fund, providing for writers in financial distress.
Christopher joined the war in 1941 as he felt a need to contribute, just as his farther did back in 1915, he became a Royal Engineer in the second training battalion.
In february 1948 Christopher met his cousin Leisley De selincourt, they fell in love and were married in July. This upset Christopher's parents and so the two of them fled to Cothford.
As time went on and A.A. Milne's classical Winnie the Pooh stories became more and more popular, Christopher's resent for his farther and his books grew stronger.
In October 1952, A.A. Milne had a stroke, for the next three years he was to lead life an invalid, with the truth that his beloved son resented him for his stories and would seldom return to see his farther on his death bed. An operation on Milne's brain in 1952 left him an invalid during the last four years of his life. He died in Hartfield, Sussex, on January 31, 1956.
On February 10 of that year a memorial service was held in London, that was to be the last time Christopher Milne would see his mother although she lived a further 15 years a widow.
In 1961, Dorothy sold the film rights to Walt Disney, who created what we see today as the Winnie the Pooh animated stories.
After the death of Christopher's father, A.A.Milne, the resentment began to fade, for the books that his name came famous and for the farther who wrote them. Christopher followed his farther's footsteps and produced his first book "Enchanted Places" published 1974 which told the story of his childhood and the relationship with his parents later on he produced his second book "The Path Through The Trees" published 1979 which tells the story of his adult life.
April 20th 1996 Christopher Robin Milne died leaving behind his beloved wife, Leisley and daughter Clare. And still the beloved memory of him carries on through the stories of Winnie The Pooh as the character "Christopher Robin".
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Written and performed by Kenny Loggins