(Re)New blog!

Hello world! It’s us, the Cambridge children’s literature blog! We’re back! We’ve been gone for a while, and we missed you. But we have returned, and we are triumphant. We have a new web address: https://cambridgechildrenslit.wordpress.com! If you’re subscribed to the old platform, switch on over to this one. We have a new look, and a new feel, and lots of new posts coming up. To kick us off, I’d like to tell you a little bit about our new header, and who it features. Later on we’ll have more serious posts, but this is a fun quick one to ease us back into things.

pooh and piglet

You may already know our two intrepid adventurers. Winnie-the-Pooh (and Piglet too!) are the creations of one A.A. Milne, who graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1903. (No, he wasn’t in the children’s literature program. We didn’t exist then). You would maybe have expected him to study literature or the classics, but no such luck. Nope, it was math that caught Milne’s eye. (You may be able to tell I’m American since I refuse to use the word ‘maths’ because it feels wrong to me.) He did write for the Granta, a literary magazine here, and later for Punch, where he became assistant editor. But we all know what he was really famous for…

A__A__Milne_with_his_son_Christopher_Robin_Milne_and_Pooh_Bear_-_Howard_Coster_-_NPG_P715

There’s Milne with his son, Christopher Robin, the inspiration for the much-loved Winnie-the-Pooh and The House on Pooh Corner. Fun facts: Winnie used to be Edward (the actual name of Christopher Robin’s teddy bear), and ‘the-Pooh’ comes from a swan…named Pooh.

The_original_Winnie_the_Pooh_toys

Above are Christopher Robin’s original toys that found their way into the books: Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet (and I suppose that’s Edward at the back). Owl and Rabbit were just made up! As much as any talking animal not based on a stuffed animal can be made up…I guess what I’m trying to say is that they were all made up, and all wonderfully endearing and magical. I know I wanted to run away into the Hundred Acre Wood and play Pooh Sticks when I was a kid. And then as I grew up a bit I felt more and more friendly towards Eeyore, who seemed to be the only one who understood me.

wren lib

Now you can find the manuscripts for both of Milne’s books at the Wren Library, which is part of the university’s Trinity College, which is apt, since that’s where Milne went. (If you don’t know about the university/college system here at Cambridge, don’t worry; you’re not alone.) You can go see the original words of Pooh! In the wonderful Cambridge! Where some of us critically study all that is Pooh. Because like with most children’s literature, there’s more to Pooh than meets the eye…

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