Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Many things Milne

Issue 3 of Shiny New Books had not one, not two, but three posts about A.A. Milne & family - and I'd really encourage you to go and read them all.

Curiously enough, none of them are actually reviews of books by A.A. Milne himself (as in the books weren't by him... neither were the reviews, but that is perhaps less surprising.)

I reviewed a long-term favourite, which I re-read as Bello have just reprinted it - Ann Thwaite's brilliant, award-winning biography A.A. Milne: His Life. Review here.

Another long-term favourite is Christopher (Robin) Milne's The Path Through the Trees, the middle of his autobiographical trilogy - so it's not so much about being Christopher Robin as it is about fighting in WW2 and opening a bookshop, but I love it. Claire (The Captive Reader) reviewed Bello's reprint here.

And then I put together Five Fascinating Facts about A.A. Milne.

Let me know which Milne books you've read, or would like to read!

12 comments:

  1. I read The Red House in April and thought it was just brilliant. One of the best vintage crime stories I've read all year and I loved the fact that it didn't take itself at all seriously.

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    1. It's such a fun take on the genre - when, I suppose, it was barely a genre! I'm planning on re-reading at some point this year...

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    2. I completely forgot to mention that a few years ago I picked up a hardback by Milne called Those Were the Days. It seems to include some quite long short stories, a play and some poetry. All for the princely sum of £2.99! Bargain! It looks wonderful so I must get around to reading it. I also want to read The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne.

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  2. Apart from Pooh, I've also read "The Red House" and agree with Cath about how wonderful it was. I'd really like to read "Four Days' Wonder" too but it seems to be hard to get hold of.... :(

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    1. Oh, Karen, that one is nearly impossible to get... although the comment below may bring you hope! It's also not one of his best, if memory serves, but I do hope you track down something else by AAM.

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  3. I read a play and attempted a novel when much much younger, I remember being absolutely bored by the structure, characters and content of the play and saddened by that, I also recall not being able to finish the novel for the same reasons. I came to them as a lover of Pooh while also being concerned about the effect on the actual Christopher Robin and curious about AA's other work.. I'll read the biography, it's on my TBR mountain and perhaps revisit the novels as a more 'mature' reader - I was after all in thrall to angry young men (& women) at the time of reading.

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    1. He certainly wasn't an Angry Young Man! I can see why you'd be disappointed, if you were hoping for them - his plays couldn't be further away from that model. But maybe you'd like them more now!

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    2. Ah, yes, he is about the polar opposite of the Angry Young Men! Maybe you'd like him more if you tried him now, as you say...

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  4. Just so that you are aware of the brightening effects of your blog - for my birthday this year, when asked by a friend what I wanted for a treat, I suggested (rather usual suggestion from me) an outing to a used bookshop and put in my mind looking for Milne-associated-other-than-Pooh books because of reading you on the subject. I entered and spent hours (of course) looking at one thing that led to another … and somewhere in the middle of it all I found myself gazing down at four beautiful (in lovely aged colours) clothbound Milnes: a sky blue A Table Near the Band, a yellow-and-flowered-duskjacketed Chloe Marr, a bittersweet orange Four Days’ Wonder and a garnet red Two People. Then down the autobiography aisle, a golden The Enchanted Places. I will be reading them in late summer and autumn. I realize that these are not all the tippest toppest of your Milne choices but variety is good and leaving any of them there would have just been silly. I love the list that grows as I read other people’s thoughts on reading and writing. I will also be keeping an eye out for another Four Days' Wonder for Kaggsy ....

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    1. I won't say the obvious, although I do rather like the evocative newly-formed word 'duskjacketed' ~

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    2. Gosh, you did extraordinarily well! That's an amazing find! It sounds as though someone donated their Milne shelf. Two People is really very good indeed, as is The Enchanted Places, and you can't go wrong with the others - particularly a duskjacketed (love it!) Chloe Marr. What does the dustjacket look like, out of interest?

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  5. It’s a light yellow background, with an outstretched hand, palm up, at the top, past which white and pink petalled, red and yellow centered flowers are floating down. The flowers float through the title (which is in red, hand-calligraphy-like print) and on down past a line-drawn quadrilateral that is attached to the top of the ‘l’ in Milne. The quadrilateral could, with a little semiotic interpretation, be an envelope. Front flap has two sections of text: ‘This is how the Author describes his book:’ and ‘But the Publisher can’t resist adding:’ ( I can type out the text for you if you’d like - I know it’s intriguing) and the back flap interestingly lists ‘BOOKS BY A. A. MILNE’ with what are now usually referred to as ‘the Pooh books’ casually dropped in the second category listed (after ‘General appeal’) as ‘The Christopher Robin Books’ and with the notation that they are illustrated by Shepard. The back of the jacket is a photo of Milne looking a little like Bing Crosby but more serious and a series of ‘To A. A. Milne’ written pieces, describing Milne the person and the writer. The edition is 1946 by E. F. Dutton and Company, New York. It also has a bookshop sticker for ‘SANTA FE BOOK AND STATIONERY CO. - PHONE 58 - SANTA FE NEW MEXICO’ … well, what do you know? … there it is … on the until now unknown to me (but what an interesting source) http://www.sevenroads.org/Labels/S.html .

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