A A Milne - Christopher Robin Milne

Christopher Robin & Asparagus: an Autograph Letter by A A Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh

Date: [ 1930 ]

Autograph letter by A A Milne on '13 Mallord Street' headed paper (Christopher Robin's birthplace) discussing the boy's education and, in a comic aside, the Christopher Robin's diet, with a woman friend whom he'd recently met over dinner at Cheam School in Surrey: 'I'm wondering whether I oughtn't to have sent my boy to your school. Would he have had asparagus and a hot bath on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday? Well, it's too late now; but I'm sure you will be glad to hear that he is very happy at Boxgrove, and on friendly terms with everyone.' The letter which is dated May 22nd 1930 is written in black ink and signed in full. An early owner has removed the stamp from Milne's accompanying envelope and in so doing torn away a 3cm square from the lower right corner and left closed tears to the top right corner, catching Milne's flourish below his signature. This letter was inspired by a long typed poem sent by Mrs Taylor after her shared dinner with Milne and the letter was originally accompanied by the gift of fresh asparagus (see accompanying article in the Weekend Review): 'freshly cull'd from well cared beds. Your wife may say, "My dear, I really wish/ We knew who sent us this delightful dish? Turn your thoughts back to one cold winter's eve/ When Educational dinner you would leave. Remember how you peered into the gloom/ And heard a voice say "Sir, I'll take you home.' In his reply Milne thanks Mrs Taylor for her gift, acknowledging 'It was delightful like your poem.' Despite his reported good humour as a child in this letter Christopher Robin would come to resent what he saw as his father's exploitation of his childhood in the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin and even A A Milne himself, writing in 1952 had to concede that he wrote them 'little thinking / All my years of pen-and-inking / Would be almost lost among / Those four trifles for the young'. The almost mythic story surrounding the creation of the characters of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin has recently been reworked in the 2017 feature film, Goodbye Christopher Robin. Letters by A A Milne mentioning Christopher Robin are very uncommon.


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