A Chronology of A. A. Milne

1882
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.
1893-1900
Attends Westminster School.
1900-1903
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.
1903
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.
1904
Publishes in Punch. His first poem in that magazine appears.
1905
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.
1906
Becomes the assistant editor of Punch and now contributes a weekly essay. He will keep this position until 1914.
1910
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.
1913
Marries Dorothy de Selincourt, also known to her friends as Daphne and god-daughter of Punch's editor, Owen Seaman.
1914-1918
Joins the army and works as a signalling officer. Later becomes an instructor on the Isle of Wight.
1916
Serves in France on the front, but is sent home to England in November to recuperate from a fever.
1917
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.
1918
Discharged from the army, he resigns from Punch and concentrates on writing plays.
1920
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.
1921
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.
1923
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 published.
1924
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.
1925
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. Dowd.
1926
"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 October 21.
1927
Now We Are Six, a second collection of children's verse, is published in October.
1928
The House at Pooh Corner is published in October and introduces the character of Tigger.
1929
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.
1939
Publishes his autobiography, It's Too Late Now, which is retitled Autobiography in the United States. It is dedicated to his brother, Ken.
1948
Christopher Milne marries his cousin, Lesley Selincourt in July.
1951
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.
1952
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.
1956
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.

Back to The Page at Pooh Corner.