January 18 is officially National ‘Winnie The Pooh’ Day, according to National Day Calendar because it is the author, A.A. Milne’s birthday.
So, in that spirit – we’d like to share some Winnie The Pooh facts that you may haven’t of known about the popular children’s story.
Winne The Pooh Was Real, Sort Of
While the honey-loving bear was a work of fiction, each character had a real life counterpart. Christopher Robin, who was Pooh’s human companion in the books, was named after Milne’s own son, Christopher Robin Milne. Christopher played with a stuffed bear, piglet, tiger, kangaroos, and donkeys. The characters of Owl and Rabbit were created especially for the books.
Milne Wrote A Lot More Than Pooh
Milne went to school for mathematics but began his writing while still studying. After his service in World War I, Milne was a well-respected playwright, penning original plays as well as adaptations. He was also the author of the popular detective novel The Red House Mystery, released in 1922.
Milne Was A Part Of A Secret Propaganda Unit
During his time as a soldier in WWI, Milne saw action in the Battle Of The Somme, but an illness left him unable to continue fighting on the front lines, so he joined a secret unit known as MI7B, writing propaganda supporting the British forces and blasting the Germans.
He Wasn’t A Fan Of P.G. Wodehouse
While Milne and P.G. Wodehouse were friends early in life, the two would become enemies following World War II. Wodehouse, who penned the story of the unflappable butler named Jeeves, was captured in 1941 by the German Forces and asked him to record broadcasts about his internment, which he agreed to do – although he would regret this decision later in his life.
Some speculated that Milne’s reason behind the quarrel was jealousy over the fact that during the time of his capture, Wodehouse continued to receive acclaim for his work while Milne was only seen as the author of the story of a honey-loving bear.
He Didn’t Live A Happy Life After Pooh
While he brought the story of joy and love to children, Milne didn’t have the same luck in his own personal life. He wrote many other novels and plays following Winnie The Pooh but those didn’t receive the same amount of attention and he became typecast as a children’s writer. Milne was also resented by his own son, Christopher Robin – who’s name became synonymous with the Winnie The Pooh story, for robbing the boy of his name and leaving him nothing but the emptiness of being Milne’s son.
Following a stroke in 1952, the author would be bound to a wheelchair until his death in 1956.