Monday 14 October 2013


Today is Winnie-the-Pooh's 87th birthday – if you date his literary origins from his first appearance under that name – and 'under the name of Sanders' in A A Milne's book, Winnie-the-Pooh, published on this day in 1926. 

Mind you, he had already made his bow, two years earlier, in When We Were Very Young, under the rather less impressive moniker, 'Teddy Bear'.

I shall be celebrating 'The Best Bear in All the World' (as Christopher Robin calls him) this evening with a talk to the members of the famous Garrick Club of which Milne was a member and, though royalties on his books, a major benefactor.

Entitled Mr Milne, Mr Shepard and that Bear of Very Little Brain, it will look at Pooh's history and the contributions of AAM, his son, Christopher (who was responsible for Pooh before the bear started having adventures in the '100 Aker Wood') and illustrator Ernest H Shepard who drew the pictures that are now as integral a part of the books as the words they decorate.

Here, to mark the event, is a suite of three Shepard illustrations for Pooh's second book, The House at Pooh Corner (1928), which were originally owned by my friend the artist and illustrator, Pauline Baynes, and came to me after her death. 

Shepard drew a series of five illustrations depicting Pooh's friend Piglet plating a 'haycorn' and of these three, only the central drawing was used in the book along with two others of Pooh planting the haycorn and jumping up and down on the earth once the hole had been filled in.

This the first time these previously unseen pictures have been published...


Roger O B... said...

It's also Cliff Richard's 70-something birthday (according to the Grauniad), but Sheila ( a former member of the CR fanclub) didn't even send him a card!

Mike Hobart said...

I live in Hobart Tasmania and was stunned once to discover that Ernest H Shepard was a regular visitor to Tasmania when I was a youngster.
I might have passed him in the street and never known!

Unknown said...

Hi Brian,
I'm trying to track down an (now almost extinct recording) of Norman Shelley's readings of Winnie the Pooh. Do you know of anyone or anywhere that might have them, for purchase or download? I would appreciate it so much if you happened to know!