Today in History... Author A A Milne is born

A A Milne was born in Kilburn, London, and was schooled at a small school where he was briefly taught by the famous science fiction writer H G Wells.

After finishing his education at Westminster school and Cambridge University, he wrote for Punch magazine, where he met cartoonist E H Shepard. Whilst Milne wrote a variety of poems and stories, including a murder mystery, he became best known for the Winnie-the-Pooh books, which Shepard illustrated.

Pooh, and his friend Christopher Robin (Milne's only son) remain world famous, thanks to the books and the Disney films based on them. First editions of the books and associated memorabilia can therefore be very valuable.

Christopher Robin Milne signature autograph
Christopher Robin Milne's signature

In October last year, a set of photos and a signature by Christopher Robin Milne drew misty-eyed bidders to push the lot to $10,980 - more than triple its $3,000 estimate.

In December, two lots of original E H Shepard illustrations for the Pooh books sold at Sotheby's. The beautiful colour map of Pooh's world, and two drawings of Pooh and Piglet having Heffalump-based nightmares fetched a total of £100k.

Winnie the Pooh Map
Winnie the Pooh map
(Click to enlarge)

This shows consistency, and perhaps improvement over time, as a year earlier an edition of Winnie-the-Pooh with an unusual E H Shepard drawing, signed by both Milne and Shepard, sold for $78,000 at a Bonhams auction.

With today celebrated as Winnie the Pooh day in honour of Milne's birthday, it seems likely that the fascination with Pooh will continue for some time to come. Collectors interested in first editions of children's books may be interested to know that a signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is currently available.


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