We were surprised to discover a trove of delightful grown-up stories by A. A. Milne (1882 -1956), now available in the public domain, though still awaiting his most famous children's stories featuring Christopher Robin and the beloved creatures who live in the hundred acre wood. Turns out, Milne was a prolific writer, crafting 18 plays and 3 novels by 1925, and several British screenplays as well. His bear character first appeared in the 38th poem in When We Were Very Young in 1924. His son, Christopher Robin Milne, was the inspiration for his beloved curious boy in the stories. The first Winnie-the-Pooh book was published in 1926. The bear was first called "Mr. Edward Bear" before being renamed and a red shirt added to complete his anthropomorphic distinction.
Milne offers a style of self-effacing wit in his stories for grown-ups. We feature some of his essays from If I May, a collection of clever observations about the everyday, published in 1920. Once On a Time is a collection of fantasy stories that appeal to all ages, an obvious precursor to his most famous work.
Milne served as a soldier in the Great War (1915-1919) and as a captain in World War II. The Sunny Side (1921) includes some wartime stories and poems. Many of Milne's short stories and plays reveal his fascination and love for the woods, not all as famous as the hundred acre wood, the special place where his beloved character, Pooh, calls home.