A A Milne – Happy Unbirthday

Alan Alexander Milne was born on the 18th January 1882 and I thought about writing a birthday post on that day but then I thought that an ‘unbirthday’ post would be more appropriate.

Although he was born in England A A Milne was from a Scottish Presbyterian background, like so many other authors of childrens’ fiction. The severely strict upbringing seems to have encouraged a wild imagination in those people feeling the need to rebel against such a strait-laced background. Hurrah!!

I didn’t actually read Winnie the Pooh until I had children of my own, and I loved it, in fact I went on a bit of a Pooh binge, reading The Tao of Pooh and Pooh and the Ancient Mysteries as well as collecting classic Pooh ‘stuff’.

Everyone I know seems to be a Pooh character. I think I’m a combination of Kanga and Tigger, depending on my mood, if you can imagine that. Two for the price of one as I keep telling my husband! Which character do you resemble most?

I love the original E H Shepard illustrations and I’m not mad keen on Disney as a rule but I have a soft spot for the 1966 Disney film which you can see some of below.

6 thoughts on “A A Milne – Happy Unbirthday

  1. I love your comment about strict upbringing producing wild imaginations. I think there’s a lot of truth in that! My dad read the Pooh books to me for most of my childhood, so it was a nostalgic pleasure to read them to my kids. One of the scenes I love in “As Time Goes By” is when Lionel starts reading the books he thinks he’s read but hasn’t really, and one of them is Pooh.

    • Jane GS,

      What a lovely dad you had/have. I don’t remember that bit from “As Time Goes By” – I can’t have seen them all so I’ll look out for it the next time they are re-shown, it sounds authentic. It’s amazing how often people (me) think they’ve read something and and then discover that they haven’t.

  2. Was the term ‘unbirthday’ in the Milne books? I always thought it was but someone corrected me by googling recently saying it came from Alice in Wonderland, which it may well have. But did Milne use it too, or rather Pooh? I could trawl through my own books but just wondered if you knew, as you used the term in connection with Pooh. Thanks.

    • Jan,
      I could have sworn that ‘unbirthday’ was from Pooh as well as Alice, but it seems that it was only in Through the Looking-glass. It sounds so Pooh-ish too.

  3. I remember Tigger celebrating an un-birthday with Pooh having read the tales to my children.

    Trying to find vignette on ‘net but unsuccessfully, can you help please?

    • Shirley,
      Like you I’m sure that ‘unbirthday’ appeared in Winnie the Pooh but I can only find references to Alice in Wonderland. Unbirthday doesn’t feature in my copy of Winnie the Pooh, unfortunately I don’t have a copy of The House at Pooh Corner.

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