Today in Literary History – October 14, 1926 – Winnie-the-Pooh is published

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, with illustrations by E.H. Shepard, was first published on October 14, 1926.

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Pooh had already appeared in a magazine story by Milne called “The Wrong Sort of Bees” in 1925 but this was the first the first real fleshing out of Pooh’s world in the Hundred Acre Wood.

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Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo all made their first appearances in the book. Tigger didn’t arrive until the sequel, House at Pooh Corners in 1928.

Christopher Robin was based on Milne’s son, Christopher Robin Milne, and the animal characters were based on his stuffed toys. The stories in Winnie-the-Pooh originated as bedtime stories Milne told his son.

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Christopher Milne’s teddy bear was named after a black bear in the London Zoo that Milne and Christopher enjoyed visiting. The bear had been brought to England as a mascot by a Canadian soldier in World War I who named it “Winnie” after his (and my) hometown, Winnipeg.

I grew up in a very Poohcentric family. My mother read my siblings and me all the books over and over when we were young.

(I must admit that I also enjoyed the early Disney movies with Sterling Holloway voicing Pooh, but now a sharp line has been drawn between the Shepard purists and the Disney philistines.)

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Christopher Milne’s original stuffed animals are now in a museum in New York.

A Latin translation of Winnie-the Pooh, Winnie Ille Pu, is the only book in Latin to have made it on to The New York Times Bestseller List and has become a standard textbook for high school Latin.

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