Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: The Enchanted Places

As prep work for an upcoming course, I recently read The Enchanted Places by Christopher (Robin) Milne, son of Winnie-the-Pooh author A.A. Milne, and I've got to say the book was pretty interesting.

Following Christopher Robin's life as both the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and later as having his own degree of fame for being, well, himself, the book is both an interesting study in English culture through the 1920s and 30s, as well as a mediation on childhood celebrity.

Early in the book the author attempts to describe his dual fame as both the son of a well-known author and as the boy in the stories, " if I seem ill at ease posing as Christopher Robin this is because posing as Christopher Robin does today make me feel ill at ease."

What I liked best about the book was the honest look this man took at his bizarre life, having grown up famous for what he inspired his father to write, and dealing with the fact that for many people, his childhood was (and still is to a degree) public property.

A very interesting read.

As a side note, one of the wonderful things about YouTube is the fact that I can quite quickly find a recording of Christopher Milne reading his father's poem "Us Two" at age seven - the recital starts two minutes into the video.

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