1 August 2017 Susannah

Christopher Robin Milne

The real stuffed toys owned by Christopher Robin Milne.
Christopher Robin Milne

Christopher Robin Milne with Pooh. Surely the most loved bear in fiction.

Being the child of a famous author is not easy. Being the child that a famous author has included in his books is virtually a nightmare. Christopher Robin Milne certainly found it horrific.

His early years were happy ones, but once his father included him and his toys in Now We are Six and Winnie-the-Pooh, the boy was mercilessly teased and lived under a spotlight of media attention. He came to loathe the poem Vespers (“Christopher Robin is saying his prayers …”) because he was so endlessly teased about it, while the lines “Christopher Robin goes hoppity hoppity hoppity hoppity hop …” drove him almost to distraction.

In the end, he escaped by distancing himself from his famous father, and making a marriage to a cousin with whom his mother was not on speaking terms, so there was a sad family rupture. He did finally capitalise on his fame by running a bookshop and writing a gorgeous memoir, The Enchanted Places, followed by Path Through the Trees, both of which I can highly recommend.

Now a movie has been made about Christopher Robin and the ways in which his father found inspiration through the boy’s interaction with Pooh Bear, Eeyore, Piglet and the other toys (pictured above, most of which are now in the New York Public Library – they went on a publicity tour, and never returned to England). The film is Goodbye Christopher Robin and it stars Domhnall Gleeson as Milne, Margot Robbie as Daphne Milne, and Will Tilston / Alex Lawther as the young / older versions of Christopher Robin. The movie is due for release in October this year. I cannot wait!

Most people seem to love the stories of Christopher Robin, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. What’s your favourite memory of these delightful tales? Tell me by leaving a comment.

   Now We are Six by A.A. Milne, E.H.Shepard (Illustrated by)
   Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, E.H.Shepard (Illustrated by)
  Vespers by A.A. Milne
  Susannah Fullerton: A.A. Milne

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Featured image credit- The real stuffed toys owned by Christopher Robin Milne and featured in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. They have been on display in the New York Public Library in New York City since 1987. By Spictacular (talk · contribs) – Own work by the original uploader., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1112066
Body image credit- Christopher Robin Milne, the basis of the character Christopher Robin in A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Photograph by Marcus Adams, 14 March 1928. Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37874029

Comments (14)

  1. Michael

    Dear Susannah,
    A little troubled by the grammar “I only recommend……”.
    Might have passed muster at Auckland University with W. Curnow and the Duffle Coat Brigade but would have cruised close to a caning in Spec 5A at Mt Albert Grammar under Butch Brown in the late 60’s…….
    Love your letter.
    Would love also to hear the story of Milne senior and his Garrick Club bequest,my memory having been tweaked by your current letter this morning.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Oops! But then I missed grammar at school, becaus it was starting to go out of fashion, except in the more taditinal grammar schools. I got none at Selwyn College, so only learned some when I began to learn French. Have forgotten the Milne story you refer to, so must check details.

  2. Pam Galloway

    Dear Susannah I adored A.A.Milnes poems .Have you read Now we are sixtyby Chistopher Matthew ? Very funny but you are too young to really appreciate it I suggest you buy it for an elderly friend to give them a good laugh! Regards Pam Galloway

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Excuse me if you get two replies to this. I am overseas and have internet problems.
      Sadly, I will soon be exactly the right age for Now We Are Sixty. I have read it and really enjoyed it. It was very clever!

  3. Pam Galloway

    Dear Susannah I loved A.A.Milnes poems when I was small.Have you read Now We Are Sixty by Christopher Matthew very very funny although you are too young to appreciate it!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Sadly I will not be too young for it for much longer, but yes, I have read it and really enjoyed it.

  4. Penny Morris

    While I myself certainly read the Winnie-the-Pooh books, they are particularly special as my mother – an avid reader and teacher of English literature – would often quote from AA Milne. She passed away only a short while ago having enjoyed 4 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. So best wishes Susannah, I hope you enjoy your grandchild as much as my mother did hers.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      My mother often quoted Eeyore to make us laugh, and of course we often felt 11 o’clockish, like Pooh. My first tour included a visit to the Poohsticks Bridge to enjoy a game of poohsticks. A.A. Milne is magic!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Kids can be so cruel and I do feel terrribly sorry for Christopher Robin. His life was not a very happy one.

  5. Katherine andrews

    I was really interested in the facts about Christopher Robin. I never imagined his childhood. I loved “Now are in Six.” My grandson has just turned seven.
    Katherine

    • Susannah Fullerton

      It is sad, isn’t it. In the stories and the illustrstions his childhood looks idyllic, and it was, until he became a schoolboy, but after that things changed. I cannot wait to see the movie about him.

  6. Janet kirkpatrick

    Hi sussanah. Thanks for all the pleasure of reading your literary stories .

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I am so glad you enjoy my newsletter. I do have lots of fun writing it!

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