Christopher Robin Milne, 'Winnie the Pooh' friend...


April 22, 1996

Christopher Robin Milne, 'Winnie the Pooh' friend, 75

Christopher Robin Milne, 75, immortalized as the young friend of Winnie the Pooh in the children's stories by his father, A. A. Milne, has died, the Times of London reported today.

The newspaper said Christopher Robin Milne died Saturday but did not say where or give the cause.

He was born in London in 1920 and was known as an adult to resent the melding of his childhood and the fictional one in his father's tales.

In 1924, Alan Alexander Milne, already well-known for his light hand at literature, published a book of verse inspired by his 4-year-old son, "When We Were Very Young."

His son's affection for a bear named Winnie at the London zoo became the model of hugely successful children's books -- "Winnie-the-Pooh" (1926), "Now We are Six" (1927) and "The House at Pooh Corner" (1928). The stories later were brought to film by Disney.

In photographs, it was clear how closely A. A. Milne modeled the fictional Christopher Robin on his son: the same wide, inquisitive brown eyes, the same carefully cropped mop top, the same gingham smock.

A. A. Milne died in 1956, and Christopher Robin Milne remained silent about the effect of the series' popularity on his life until 1974, when he published "The Enchanted Places." It was followed by "The Path Through the Trees" in 1979 and "The Hollow on the Hill" in 1982.

He described his father as a man who used his son's youth to stave off his own middle age and who kept his only child at a distance: "His heart remained buttoned up all through his life."

In 1949, Christopher Robin Milne married his cousin Lesley de Selincourt and became a bookseller, settling in Stoke Fleming on England's southwestern coast. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.

Pub Date: 4/22/96

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