Christopher Robin gone but not forgotten 100 years after his birth

August 21, 2020

Christopher Robin Milne, immortalised in A.A. Milne’s books Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, was born 100 years ago. He is gone, but is not forgotten because of the enduring story of the namesake he came to hate.

When Christopher Robin was about one, he received a stuffed bear as a present. The child soon accumulated a collection of similar animals, which inspired Milne to begin writing whimsical stories about the toys. Winnie-the-Pooh was published in 1926 and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. Ernest Shepard illustrated the books, using Christopher Robin and his animals as models.

A.A. Milne, who died in 1956, wrote other books and plays, but is remembered for these children’s classics. Considerable literary thought has been expended on explaining why devotion to the stories endures, a theme of a 2017-2018 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Christopher Milne, who died in 1996, shared none of the devotion.

He is reported to have hated the stories that immortalised him, saying at one point that it almost seemed to him that his father "has got to where he was by climbing upon my infant shoulders, that he had filched from me my good name and had left me with the empty fame of being his son." According to the Guardian, which outlined Milne’s declaration in an article marking the 90th anniversary of the release of Winnie-the-Pooh, the estrangement of father and son, and difficulties in the Milne marriage, make for a rather sad ending.

#23245 Published: September 5, 2019