Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956

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Alan Alexander Milne (b. January 18, 1882, London, England-d. January 31, 1956, Hartfield, England) was born to John Vine Milne, the headmaster of Henley House School, and Sarah Maria Heginbotham Milne. Known best for his children’s stories, Milne was also a prolific essayist, playwright, and mystery writer.

As a child, Milne attended his father’s school, where H. G. Wells was one of his instructors. Beginning at age eleven, Milne attended Westminster School and later entered Trinity College, Cambridge University, where he graduated with honors in 1903 with a B. A. in mathematics.

Milne began his writing career as an assistant editor and contributor to the humor magazine Punch. His early essays often dealt with humorous twists to everyday situations, such as a bumbling man attempting to use an exercise machine. In 1913, Milne married Dorothy de Sélincourt, known as Daphne, and in 1914, joined the British Army at the onset of World War I.

While in the army, Milne wrote plays for his fellow soldiers and following his discharge in 1918, he endeavored to become a professional playwright. Success did not take long and he gained both critical acclaim and financial security with his 1919 play Mr. Pim Passes By . The following year, Milne’s only child, Christopher Robin Milne, was born.

In 1922, Milne wrote his first mystery novel, The Red House Mystery, in which he used his stated strategy for success: use everyday language, make the detective an amateur, include a “Dr. Watson” so that the reader can know what the protagonist is thinking, and minimize romantic interest. Of previous mystery novels, Milne said, “I had read most of those which had been written, admired their ingenuity, but didn’t like their English.... I wondered if I could write a detective story about real people in real English. I thought it would be ‘fun to try,’ my only reason for writing anything.”

Milne’s next genre became his most memorable: children’s literature. When We Were Very Young, a collection of poems for children, was published in 1924, and included for the first time one of Milne’s most famous characters, Christopher Robin, named after his son. This was followed by a collection of poetry, Now We Are Six (1927), and two books about his son’s stuffed toys, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928).

The Pooh books and his collections of children’s poetry soon became Milne’s most popular works, but Milne came to resent his success as a children’s author, wondering in 1928 how he found success in writing “four children’s books, containing altogether 70,000 words--the number of words in the average-length novel.”

Milne’s later works include an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows titled Toad of Toad Hall (1930), and essays on war and pacifism. In his book Peace with Honour (1934), Milne wrote that Europe’s problems could be solved by politicians realizing the absurdity of war. But, with the outbreak of World War II, Milne renounced his previous position, publishing War with Honour (1940) and War Aims Unlimited (1941).

Year In, Year Out (1952), a collection of essays ranging in tone and topic from philosophical to whimsical, was Milne’s final published work. In 1952 he suffered a stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed. He died on January 31, 1956, at his home in Sussex.

From the guide to the A. A. (Alan Alexander) Milne Collection, 1886-1961, undated (bulk circa 1920-1952), (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives. Toad of Toad Hall / by A. A. Milne ; directed by Toby Robertson, 1984 - production photos. University of Guelph
referencedIn Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf WRENCH PAPERS. Vol. III. 1912-1928. ff. iii+148. 272 x 200mm.includes:ff. 1-3 Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe: Letters to Sir Evelyn Wrench from Alfred Charles William Harmsworth: 1912-1913: Signed.f. 4 General Sir Robert ..., 1912-1928 British Library
creatorOf Levin, Rami Y. Now we are six / music by Rami Y. Levin ; poems by A. A. Milne. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Gail and Stephen Rudin autograph collection, 1841-1993. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Vol. CCLXIV (ff. 108). July-Dec. 1931.includes:f. 1 Medolaghi, Director General of the Cassa Nazionale per le Assicurazioni Sociali, Rome: Letter from — Medolaghi: 1931: Ital: Copy.f. 2 Mrs Louie Vizard: Letter to Marie Stopes from Mrs Louie Viza... British Library
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives (University of Guelph). Toad of Toad Hall / by A.A. Milne, a play from Kenneth Grahame's The Wind In The Willows ; directed by Douglas Campbell, 1984/85. - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. Autograph letters signed (3) : Otterburn Dene, Northumberland, and Cambridge, to "Betty", 1928 Aug. 31-Nov. 30. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf A. A. (Alan Alexander) Milne Collection, 1886-1961, undated (bulk circa 1920-1952) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn James B. Pinker and Son collection of papers, 1893-1940 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. A collection of poems from Now we are six : manuscript / by A.A. Milne ; collected by Lemuel Delos Ayers Junior. Princeton University Library
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, 1935-1965 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People Theatre Archives (University of Guelph). Winnie the Pooh / by A. A. Milne ; adapted by Julian Slade ; directed by Eric Steiner, 1973 - house program. University of Guelph
referencedIn Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Yale University Library
referencedIn Frederic Dannay Papers, ca.1920-1982. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Fales Manuscript Collection, ca. 1700-2000 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn A.P. Watt (Firm). A.P. Watt records, 1888-1982 (major authors Le-M). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. ALS, 1943 May 3 : Catchford Farm, Sussex, England, to an unnamed woman. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. Letters, 1918-1919. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. Letter to [Margery] Baird. London, Eng. [19--] University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Escott, Tony. Le Noël du Roi Jean. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People Theatre Archives (University of Guelph). Winnie the pooh / by A. A. Milne ; adapted by Julian Slade ; directed by Marigold Charlesworth, 1974 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Cronin, Stephen. Carmina Pu! / by Stephen Cronin. Libraries Australia
referencedIn Herbert M. Prentice papers, 1925-1960 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Brumby, Colin. Songs from The house at Pooh Corner / music by Colin Brumby ; words by A.A. Milne. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. Autograph letters signed (4) : London, to George Sutcliffe of the binding firm Sangorski and Sutcliffe, 1929 Nov. 28-Dec. 31. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf GEOFFREY H. WELLS al. 'Geoffrey West': correspondence concerning his book, H. G. Wells (1930); 1920-1937. Included are autograph letters from H. G. Wells (14 letters, 22 postcards, etc.), Mrs Catherine Wells (16 letters, etc.), Frank Wells (6 letters..., 1920-1937 British Library
referencedIn Autograph File, M, 1648-1985. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. A.A. Milne's selected children's poems / published by Ruth S. Roberts. University of Hartford Libraries, University Libraries (W.H. Mortensen Library & Allen Library)
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. Letter to Edward Verall Lucas. : Sandown. 1915 Oct. 6. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Miscellaneous theatrical papers, 1673-1976. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Canadian Stage Theatre Archives (University of Guelph). Toad of Toad Hall / by A.A. Milne, 1929 - script. University of Guelph
creatorOf Escott, Tony. Le Noël du Roi Jean [Multimédia multisupport]. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Inventory of The Legion Papers: Rare MSS 00149 ., 1927-1935 Cushing Memorial Library,
creatorOf Boas, Franz, 1858-1942. Pamphlets collection, 1919-1983 (bulk 1938-1946). Holocaust Center of Northern California, Holocaust Library and Research Center
creatorOf Brumby, Colin, 1933-. Lift your voices : SATB with organ or piano / words by A.A. Milne (paraphrasing Pere Christian Prost) ; music by Colin Brumby. Libraries Australia
creatorOf Schonthal, Ruth. Six times solitude : from now we are six by A.A. Milne : for soprano and piano / Ruth Schonthal. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Young People's Theatre Archives. Winnie the Pooh / by A. A. Milne, 1973-1974 - production photos. University of Guelph
referencedIn Koch, Frederick R.,. Frederick R. Koch collection, ca. 1600-1960. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf A. A. Milne and Christopher Robin Milne Papers. Letters and papers of A. A. Milne (b. 1882, d. 1956) and Christopher Robin Milne (b. 1920, d. 1996); c. 1910-1948. Contains 10 letters from A. A. Milne to Thomas Anstey Guthrie (‘F. Anstey’) (b. 1856,..., approximately 1910-1948 British Library
referencedIn Dannay, Frederic, 1905-1982. Papers, ca.1920-1982. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
creatorOf OAC Review Index. College life : the inter-university debating league, OAC Review, v.38, no.8, April 1926, p.387-388. University of Guelph
creatorOf Brumby, Colin. Songs from the house at Pooh Corner : for medium voice and piano / music by Colin Brumby ; words by A.A. Milne. Libraries Australia
referencedIn Hamlin Garland papers, 1890-1940 USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Meloney, Marie Mattingly, 1883-1943. Papers, 1891-1943. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. The truth about Blayds / by A.A. Milne. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Autograph album with signed sketches, 1901-1907. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf VERNON BARTLETT. Vol. II (ff. 144). Lancaster -Wood.includes:ff. 1, 2 Sir Osbert Lancaster, artist and writer: Letters to V. Bartlett from Sir Osbert Lancaster: 1974, n.d. f. 3 James Laver: Letter to V. Bartlett from James Laver: 1949. ff. 4-8 Lee... British Library
referencedIn Donald and Katharine Foley Collection of Penguin Books, post 1965 Bancroft Library
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives. Toad of Toad Hall / by A.A. Milne ; technical drawings by Franco Colavecchia, 1983. University of Guelph
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives. Winnie the Pooh / by A.A. Milne ; adapted by Julian Slade ; directed by Marigold Charlesworth ; music direction, arrangement and additional music by Ben McPeek, 1974 - performance file. University of Guelph
creatorOf Shaw Festival Collection (University of Guelph). Winnie the Pooh / by A.A. Milne ; adapted by Julian Slade, Dec. 12-21, 1974 - program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Music and literary manuscripts in the Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. ALS, [1929] August 1 : London, written by Celia Brice (Milne's secretary), to Mr. Alfred W. Lublin, New York. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
creatorOf OAC Review Index. College life : The Dover Road, OAC Review, v.44, no.6, Feb. 1932, p.399-400. University of Guelph
creatorOf Papers of Hilda Haden-Guest née Russell-Cruise, 1894-1976 British Library
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. Letter to Mr. James M. Wallace. [s.l.]. 1941 Feb. 18. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf OAC Review Index. College life : wiener roast, OAC Review, v.42, no.3, Nov. 1929, p.144. University of Guelph
creatorOf Alan Alexander Milne Letters, 1918-1919. Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn John Van Druten papers, 1901-1957 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. Records, 1852-1969 Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956,. Autograph letter and poem signed from A.A. Milne, London, to Malcolm Watson [manuscript] 1928 September 29. Folger Shakespeare Library
creatorOf Milne, Alan Anderson. Coagulopathy and haemostasis in surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm / Alan Anderson Milne. University of Edinburgh - Main Library, Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Prentice, Herbert M, 1890-. Herbert M. Prentice papers, 1925-1960. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Toby Gordon Ryan Collection. The Children's Theatre in Three One-Act Plays, 1939 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Eric Steiner Collection. Winnie the Pooh / by A.A. Milne ; adaptation by Julian Slade ; directed by Eric Steiner, 1973 - House Program. University of Guelph
referencedIn John MacKay Shaw Collection, 1737-2007
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives. Toad of Toad Hall / by A.A. Milne ; directed by Douglas Campbell, 1983 - performance file. University of Guelph
referencedIn Rosamond B. Loring collection of printed endpapers, 1900-1950 (inclusive), 1920-1941 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Literary Manuscripts collection, 1666-1990 Free Library of Philadelphia: Rare Book Department
creatorOf A. A. Milne manuscript material : 1 item, 1929 The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.
creatorOf Young People's Theatre Archives. Winnie the Pooh / by A.A. Milne ; adapted by J. Slade ; directed by M. Charlesworth, 1974 - performance file. University of Guelph
creatorOf Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson),. Music and literary manuscripts in the Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983. Yale University Library
creatorOf MS Mus. 935. O’Neill Papers. Vol. vi. Letters to Derek Hudson; 1931-56. Written to Hudson at the offices of Oxford University Press, The Times and The Spectator. Arranged alphabetically.ff. 57. 280 x 220mmCharles Morgan, author: Derek Hudson, of..., 1931-1956 British Library
referencedIn Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940. Hamlin Garland Collection, 1890-1990. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
creatorOf Benjamin, Thomas. Five hums / [music,] Tom Benjamin ; [words,] after A.A. Milne. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Wodehouse, P. G. (Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975. Typed letters signed (31) : New York and Remsenburg, Long Island, to Richard Usborne, 1952 Jan. 11-1975 Jan. 13. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Josephine Barrington Collection. The Romantic Age / by A.A. Milne ; directed by Cameron Matthews, 1924 - house program. University of Guelph
referencedIn G K Chesterton Papers, 1877-1988 British Library: Western Manuscripts
creatorOf Eric Steiner Collection. Winnie The Pooh / by A.A. Milne, adapted by Julian Slade ; directed by Eric Steiner, 1974 - Reviews and Articles. University of Guelph
referencedIn Frederick R. Koch collection, 1640-1983 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People Theatre Archives. Winnie the Pooh / musical adaptation of A.A. Milne ; story by Christopher Robin ; directed by Eric Steiner, 1973 - reviews and articles. University of Guelph
referencedIn Fales Manuscript Collection, ca. 1700-2000 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Modern poetry manuscript collection, 1921-1941 University of St Andrews
creatorOf Knapp-Fischer, J. B. Letter to Alan Alexander Milne. London, Eng. 1940 Sept. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. ALsS : Chelsea, to Miss Fraser, Edinburgh, 1926. Rosenbach Museum & Library
creatorOf SOCIETY OF AUTHORS ARCHIVE. Vol. CLXXXIII (ff. 188). 1. ff. 1-63. A. A. Milne; 1920-1945, n.d. 2. ff. 64-139. Graham Moffat; 1912-1941. 3. ff. 140-188. George Moore; 1941-1919, n.d.includes:ff. 1-63 Alan Alexander Milne, author: Correspondence with..., 1912-1945 British Library
referencedIn A. P. Watt and Son records, 1861-1971, 1880-1949 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Letters from various correspondents, 1921-1951. Houghton Library.
creatorOf CentreStage theatre Archives (University of Guelph). Winnie the Pooh / by A. A. Milne ; adapted by Julian Slade ; directed by Marigold Charlesworth, 1973/74 - house program. University of Guelph
creatorOf Milne, A. A. (Alan Alexander), 1882-1956. Correspondence : with Theodore Dreiser, 1927. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives. Toad of Toad Hall / by A.A. Milne ; directed by Douglas Campbell, 1983 - production photos. University of Guelph
creatorOf G. K. CHESTERTON PAPERS. VOL. LIII (ff. 207). Correspondence with:1. f. 1. Holbrook Jackson; 1934. Signed.2. ff. 2-5v. Jolan Jacobi, General Secretary of the Kulturbund, Vienna; 1934-1935. Signed. With a visiting card and an introductory letter from ..., 1893-1936 British Library
creatorOf Shepard, Ernest H. (Ernest Howard), 1879-1976. Autograph letter signed : Guildford, 1949 Jan. 30. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Francis Brett Young Manuscript Collection, 1905 - 1962 University of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections Department
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
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associatedWith Ayers, Lemuel Delos, 1915-1955, person
associatedWith Baird, Margery Anthea, person
associatedWith Benjamin, Thomas. person
associatedWith Betty, person
associatedWith Brown, Curtis. person
associatedWith Brown, Curtis. person
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associatedWith Created by John MacKay Shaw person
associatedWith Cronin, Stephen. person
associatedWith Dannay, Frederic, 1905-1982. person
associatedWith E.P. Dutton (Firm) corporateBody
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associatedWith Foley, Donald L. person
associatedWith Foley, Katharine person
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associatedWith Francis Brett Young person
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correspondedWith Garland, Hamlin, 1860-1940. person
memberOf Great Britain. Army corporateBody
associatedWith Hartford Art School. corporateBody
associatedWith James B. Pinker and Son corporateBody
associatedWith Josephine Barrington Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Knapp-Fischer, J. B. person
associatedWith Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson), person
associatedWith Leach, Henry Goddard, 1880-1970 person
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associatedWith Loring, Rosamund B. (Rosamond Bowditch), 1889-1950 person
associatedWith Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People Theatre Archives. corporateBody
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associatedWith Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People Theatre Archives (University of Guelph) corporateBody
associatedWith Lucas, E. V. (Edward Verrall), 1868-1938, person
associatedWith Meloney, Marie Mattingly, 1883-1943. person
parentOf Milne, Christopher Robin, 1920-1996. person
associatedWith Milne, Daphne. person
associatedWith Minchin, Humphrey Cotton person
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associatedWith Shepard, Ernest H. (Ernest Howard), 1879-1976. person
associatedWith Sutcliffe, George, person
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alumnusOrAlumnaOf Trinity College (University of Cambridge) corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf University of Cambridge. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Druten, John, 1901-1957 person
correspondedWith Watson, Malcolm, 1853- person
associatedWith Wells, H.G. (Herbert George), 1866-1946 person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Westminster School corporateBody
associatedWith Wodehouse, P. G. (Pelham Grenville), 1881-1975. person
associatedWith Young People's Theatre Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Young People's Theatre Archives. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
England ENG GB
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 00 GB
London ENG GB
Hartfield UK
Subject
Drama
Poetry
Literary agents
English drama
Children's poetry
World War, 1939-1945--Moral and ethical aspects
Essays
Prompt-book
Authors, English
Children's stories
Authors, English--20th century--Correspondence
Illustrated books
English fiction--20th century
Authors, English--20th century
English drama--20th century
Children's literature, English
Literary agents--England
Fiction
Occupation
Poets
Dramatists, English
Dramatists
Authors, English
Authors
Essayist
Novelists
Function

Person

Birth 1882-01-18

Death 1956-01-31

Britons

English

Information

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