Monday, September 22, 2014

A Writer in Love with Words and Life

Here's another flea market find from this summer, a 1943 War Economy Standard edition of A.A. Milne's Autobiography. I had no idea that he wrote so much other stuff: humorous essays and verse for Punch Magazine (he aspired to be editor), and plays (he was friends Barrie). I remember that my grandparents took Punch and also the London Illustrated News. I guess being New Englanders, they thought they should be a little English, but my grandfather did travel there to sell lumber, so maybe he read and liked those publications. I was disappointed that Milne spoke so little about the writing he is most famous for: Winnie the Pooh. He did talk about writing When We Were Very Young as a sort of obsessive test of himself, in a summerhouse, when feeling oppressed by too much company, after saying he couldn't write such stuff. The childhood memories of his relationship with his brothers and parents are delightful. I'm curious to learn more about his wife (and "collaborator," Daphne). Christopher Robin was more often called by the name he gave himself at an early age, "Billy Moon." Milne came across as charming, brilliant, funny, self-deprecating, and a tad egotistical at the same time.