Today in History: Christopher Robin’s Birthday

| August 21, 2017

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“Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hand, called out “Pooh!” “Yes?” said Pooh. “When I’m–when–Pooh!” “Yes, Christopher Robin?” “I’m not going to do Nothing any more.” “Never again?” “Well, not so much. They don’t let you.” Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again. “Yes, Christopher Robin?” said Pooh helpfully. “Pooh, when I’m–you know–when I’m not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?” “Just me?” “Yes, Pooh.” “Will you be here too?” “Yes Pooh, I will be really. I promise I will be Pooh.” “That’s good,” said Pooh. “Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.” Pooh thought for a little. “How old shall I be then?” “Ninety-nine.” Pooh nodded. “I promise,” he said. Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt Pooh’s paw. “Pooh,” said Christopher Robin earnestly, “if I–if I’m not quite–” he stopped and tried again– “Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won’t you?” “Understand what?” “Oh, nothing.” He laughed and jumped to his feet. “Come on!” “Where?” said Pooh. “Anywhere.” said Christopher Robin.

So, they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”
― A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

Did you know that Christopher Robin, beloved character in A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928), was inspired by a real boy? Born August 21, 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was born to Daphne and Alan Alexander Milne in Chelsea, London, and he was given a stuffed bear around the age of one, and subsequent stuffed animals. Their imaginary lives grew into cherished stories illustrated by Ernest Shepherd.

A mathematician, graduate of Cambridge University, officer of the Royal Corps of Engineers (WW2), bookshop owner, and author of three autobiographies, Christopher died at the age of 75 in 1996. The original stuffed animals — Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, and Kanga — were given to New York Public Library where they have been long on display. Sadly Roo was lost a long time back….

The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

Tips: slide design-Christopher Robins Birthday-03

Check out this resource on ArchiveGrid:

A. A. (Alan Alexander) Milne: An Inventory of His Collection in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Books by A.A. Milne at the Gottesman Libraries, via Educat

Works authored by A.A. Milne and held at Columbia University Libraries

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