Christopher Robin Milne was born on August 21, 1920. His father was A.A. Milne, the creator of the Winnie-the-Pooh books that were based on Christopher Robin and his teddy bear, “Winnie-the-Pooh.”
The younger Milne resented his childhood being used by his father as literary inspiration. Some offspring may have taken it with good grace and accepted it as a loving tribute, but Christopher found it insufferable and had strained relations with his parents – and his namesake – all his life.
At school he was bullied and teased about his fame as the “girlishly” dressed fantasist of the books. (His mother insisted on dressing him in feminine Victorian style clothes with longish hair in page-boy bangs.)
Milne described his father as cold and not good with children. As an adult he rarely saw his father and after his father’s death he never spoke to his mother again for the 15 years she had left to live. Christopher married his first cousin, adding to his already fraught family dynamics.
During the Second World War, Milne served with the Royal Engineers and graduated from Cambridge University after the war’s end. He spent most of the rest of his life running a bookstore that he and his wife owned. He would occasionally autograph Winnie-the-Pooh books for customers but did not publicize his identity.
Later in life Milne suffered from myasthenia gravis, a nerve disorder, and died in 1996 at the age of seventy-five.
Milne himself wrote a memoir about his “love hate relationship” with his namesake. Within the last year, Milne’s life story has been re-told in two movies. Even after his death, it seems, Christopher Robin can’t escape from The Hundred Acre Wood.