A Chronology of A. A. Milne
Alan Alexander Milne was born on January 18 in London, England. He
was the third and youngest son of John Vine Milne; master of Henley
House, a private school for boys, and Sarah Maria Milne.
Attends Westminster School.
Attends Trinity College, Cambridge, on a mathematics scholarship.
He and his brother, Ken, publish light verse in the undergraduate
magazine, Granta. Ken gradually withdraws from the
collaboration, but A.A. goes on to be the magazine's editor in 1902.
In 1903, he received his degree in mathematics.
Moves to London to work as a free-lance writer. Makes his first
sale on a parody of Sherlock Holmes, entitled "The Rape of the
Sherlock". It is first rejected by Punch, then picked up by
Vanity Fair for fifteen shillings.
Publishes in Punch. His first poem in that magazine appears.
Begins to appear regularly in Punch. Publishes his first
book, Lovers in London, a collection of sketches about a young
Englishman and his American sweetheart. In later years, he will buy back
the rights to the book to prevent it from being reprinted.
Becomes the assistant editor of Punch and now contributes a
weekly essay. He will keep this position until 1914.
Publishes The Day's Play, a collection of his Punch
essays. Sends a copy to the dramatist J.M. Barrie, beginning a long
friendship. Displeased with Lovers in London, he later considers
this book to be his first.
Marries Dorothy de Selincourt, also known to her friends as Daphne
and god-daughter of Punch's editor, Owen Seaman.
Joins the army and works as a signalling officer. Later becomes an
instructor on the Isle of Wight.
Serves in France on the front, but is sent home to England in
November to recuperate from a fever.
His first play, Wurzel-Flummery, is performed in London on a
triple bill with two of Barrie's works. Once on a Time, a fairy
story for adults, but later classified as juvenile, is published.
Discharged from the army, he resigns from Punch and
concentrates on writing plays.
His most famous play, Mr. Pim Passes By, is produced in
London. His only child, Christopher Robin, is born on August 21.
He is first called Billy by his family and later Moon, based on the
child's first pronunciation of Milne.
Publishes The Red House Mystery and an adaptation of Mr.
Pim Passes By that introduce him as a novelist. For his first
birthday, Christopher Robin receives a stuffed bear from Harrod's in
London that will later be immortalized as Winnie the Pooh.
Writes a children's poem, "Vespers," which features Christopher Robin
and is published in Vanity Fair. Rose Fyleman, editor of the
new children's magazine, the Merry-Go-Round, asks Milne to write
another poem for her magazine and "The Dormouse and the Doctor" is
When We Were Very Young is published and launches Milne's
career as a children's writer. E.H. Shepard illustrates this book and
Milne's three other books for children.
The Milnes move into a cottage at Cotchford Farm in Sussex, which
will later serve as the setting for the Winnie-the-Pooh books.
Milne publishes A Gallery of Children, a little-known collection
of children's stories that do not include Christopher Robin or his toys.
On December 24, the London Evening News publishes a story
entitled "Winnie-the-Pooh", what would eventually become the first
chapter of the book. Illustrations for this story were created by J.H.
"Eeyore has a birthday" is published in the August edition of the
Royal Magazine. Winnie-the-Pooh, the best-selling of
Milne's books, in published in London on October 14 and in New York on
Now We Are Six, a second collection of children's verse, is
published in October.
The House at Pooh Corner is published in October and
introduces the character of Tigger.
Publishes two plays, The Ivory Door and Toad of Toad
Hall, the latter an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in
the Willows. His favorite brother, Ken Milne, dies in May.
Publishes his autobiography, It's Too Late Now, which is
retitled Autobiography in the United States. It is dedicated to
his brother, Ken.
Christopher Milne marries his cousin, Lesley Selincourt in July.
Publishes his last play, Before the Flood. Christopher
Robin's stuffed animals tour the United States. E.P. Dutton, Milne's
American publisher, insures the toys for $50,000. The toys reside at
Dutton until 1987, when they are moved to the New York Public Library.
Publishes his final book, Year In, Year Out, a collection of
essays. Has a stroke in October and undergoes an operation in December
that leaves him partially paralyzed.
Dies on January 31 at the age of 74. By this time, his four
children's books have been translated into a dozen languages and have
sold more than 7 million copies.
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