10 Publishing Related Facts About Winnie-the-Pooh

Winnie-the-Pooh turned 91 years old today, Saturday, October 14, 2017!

The book, Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, was first published on October 14, 1926. Our family celebrates the day each year. Even with our kids all grown up and married, my wife still bakes Pooh cookies and decorates them.

Here are some fun publishing related facts about Winnie-the-Pooh:

  1. ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ was published by Methuen Publishing, based in the UK, on October 14th, 1926. There were two sequels, Now We are Six in 1927, and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928.
  2. When We Were Very Young was an earlier book of children’s poetry published in 1924. The 38th poem in the book “Teddy Bear” is the first appearance of the Winnie-the Pooh character (called “Edward the Bear”).
  3. The books were acquired by editor E.V. Lucas who also signed Kenneth Graham (Wind in the Willows).
  4. The publisher (Methuen Publishing) was mostly known for their non-fiction, including Albert Einstein’s Relativity, the Special and the General Theory: A Popular Exposition published in 1920.
  5. The Pooh franchise is worth more than three billion dollars in annual revenue for Disney. Exceeding that of Mickey Mouse. In the Disney universe, it is the third largest franchise after “Disney Princess” and “Star Wars.”
  6. Winnie Ille Pu, a Latin translation of the original book, is the only Latin language book to ever be on the New York Times bestseller list. Released in December 1960 it remained on the Times list for 20 weeks and sold 125,000 copies in 21 printings during that time.
  7. Philosophy and Theology have attempted to plumb the depths of the Pooh universe. The Tao of Pooh  and The Te of Pilglet as well as Pooh and the Philosophers: In Which it is Shown that All of Western Philosophy is Merely a Preamble to Winnie-the-Pooh have all been published. In addition is an online article asking “Was Winnie-the-Pooh a Good Muslim?” And if you want Christian Gospel related material do a search for “Gospel According to Pooh.” (The variety is intriguing. Southern Baptists, Congregationalists, a Scottish voice on a YouTube video, a Lenten course, and much more…)
  8. There is an online “wiki” online community called the Winniepedia with over 1,400 articles of things Pooh related. (The photo of the first edition above is found on their web site.)
  9. The Harbour Bookshop was opened in Devon, England in 1951 by Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A.A. Milne. He ran the store until 1983 when he retired. It closed in 2011.
  10. A signed, limited edition, set of the four hardcovers, as of the writing of this post, can be had for only £45,000 at this site in the UK. This set is signed by both A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard, the illustrator.

This past week, in the United States, a PG-rated literary biopic movie Goodbye Christopher Robin was given a limited release in select cities. It has received very mixed reviews since the film ultimately explores the unhappiness of the son, Christopher Robin Milne, depicted in the beloved stories (at least 40 reviews of the movie can be found on this imdb.com site).

 

14 Responses to 10 Publishing Related Facts About Winnie-the-Pooh

  1. Joan October 14, 2017 at 5:44 am #

    The real Winnie and his friends reside in the NYC library

  2. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D October 14, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Thanks for the very interesting info, Steve. Next time I have a spare 45,000 pounds, I will check out those signed copies!

  3. Martha Whiteman Rogers October 14, 2017 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks for the wonderful information about Winnie the Pooh. Pooh and the other characters have played a huge role in the lives of our boys. They grew up with Winnie stuffed toys. We had everyone one of the characters except Christopher. Our youngest son wouldn’t go anywhere without his Pooh Bear, and when he was married and his first child was born, he came home and collected all the Pooh things and took them home with him. He still has that Pooh bear after 40+ years. Our oldest granddaughter’s initials were EER and she went by the nickname Eeyore all through middle and high school. My dad wore a sweat shirt with a giant Tiger on it and now I have it.

    Like Sheri, if I had the money, I’d have one of those signed copies.

  4. Dianne mosley October 14, 2017 at 9:25 am #

    I enjoyed your facts, Steve, but thanks for the heads up about the movie. I am not sure that I want to know – – – Or be told that – –that Christopher Robin was unhappy, Whether or not it is true.

  5. Mary Hampton October 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

    Ok, I think the fact that your family celebrates Winnie the Pooh publication day might be my favorite bit of Steve Laube trivia ever!

    • LK Simonds October 15, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

      I agree with Mary. What a lovely family tradition.

  6. Edna Davidsen October 16, 2017 at 3:52 am #

    Dear Steve,

    Winnie the Pooh; what a beautiful teddy bear.

    The only bear I would like to meet.

    I guess he had a lot of honey for his birthday party.

    I stumbled upon number four; it’s a pretty broad gap from Albert E. to WTP.

    Looking forward to the next blog post,

    Edna Davidsen, Greenland

  7. Carol Ashby October 16, 2017 at 7:09 am #

    Fascinating, Steve!

    We read Winnie Ille Pu in my second-year Latin class in 8th grade. It was much easier to read Julius Caesar or Livy. When a book drops the end of sentences, it’s a real problem translating into a language with somewhat different word order.

    Can you imagine trying to translate a partial English sentence that’s left hanging right after the verb into German, where the verb is at the end? I don’t remember who, but someone quipped that a German on his deathbed might never get the verb out before he went, and then how would the heirs know what he’d done with the family treasure?

  8. Jeanne Takenaka October 16, 2017 at 9:00 am #

    I loved all the Pooh facts. I had no idea about most of them. And the fact that your wife still bakes cookies on the publication anniversary is pretty special.

  9. Brennan S McPherson October 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

    #5 just blew my mind. 3 billion dollars? Annually? How in the world. . . ? That’s some serious merchandising happening there.

  10. Ross October 16, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    Steve,

    As a Bible guy, you may be interested in the following link. JEDP applied to Pooh. Brilliant, and wise….

    http://www.uniontheology.org/resources/bible/old-testament/new-directions-in-pooh-studies

    • Steve Laube October 16, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

      Now THAT is hilarious! This fellow had waaaay too much fun with it.

      Every student of the Old Testament and who are being taught the JEDP theory of historical criticism needs to read it.

  11. LK Simonds October 17, 2017 at 7:28 am #

    I wish Milne could see all the talk that’s still going on about his “Perennial Seller.” Fave Milne quote, “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

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