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7

4 unit.
It Takes Many Kinds to Make the World

       

Reading for Information

23. A. Read the text once carefully and say how Christopher Milne is related to A. A. Milne.

A. A. Milne

(18821956)

Alan Alexander Milne [nulnj was born in London on January 18th, 1882. His father was the headmaster of a small preparatory school.1 One of the teachers at the school was the famous writer H. G. Wells.

Milne, the youngest of the family's three sons, went to Westminster School at the age of 11 and then went on to Cambridge to become a mathematician. But he never did.

Instead he became editor of the universitys journal Granta in which he published some of his light humorous poems. Then he went to London hoping to earn his living as a writer. By and by London magazines began to publish his witty works, and in 1905 he published his first book, a shilling paperback collection of humorous essays. Aged only 24 he was given a post of assistant editor of the famous magazine Punch,2 preparatory (prep) school a private school in Britain for children between ages of 8 and 13, where they are made ready to go to a school for older pupils at the salary of 5 pounds a week a lot of money at that time.

In 1913 he married Dorothy De Selincourt (Daphne f'daefni] to her friends) and the following year, when the war broke out, he joined the Army. At the front line he got ill and had to return home, to London.

The Milnes only child was born on August 21st, 1920. Mrs Milne had hoped for a girl, to be called Rosemary ... instead she presented her husband with a lovely, fair-haired and adorable son, Christopher Robin. The Milnes bought him a teddy bear for his first birthday. The teddy bear was soon named Winnie, after a real-life bear that lived at London Zoo.

A. A. Milne wrote a lot of poems for Christopher Robin and about him. Some of the poems became very popular songs.

One rainy summer Milne rented a house in the country. He took with him a pencil and an exercise book, and in eleven days wrote so many childrens poems that they filled a book. It was published in 1924 under the name When We Were Very Young and sold half a million copies!

In 1925 the Milnes bought a farm in Sussex, which they used for weekends away from London. From this old house it was a short walk over a bridge into the Ashdown f'aejdaun] Forest where Christopher Robin and his teddy, now known by the name of Winnie-the-Pooh or Pooh-bear, used to play. Each daily adventure in the Forest gave A. A. Milne more material for his now famous book Winnie-the-Pooh published in 1926. The illustrations to it were done by Ernest Shepard, who visited the Milne family in their farmhouse and drew quite a few sketches of Christopher Robin with his bear, the bridge nearby where the two played Poohsticks,3 preparatory (prep) school a private school in Britain for children between ages of 8 and 13, where they are made ready to go to a school for older pupils and all the well-loved Pooh characters and places.

A. A. Milnes secret for success was that he could get inside the mind of a child. He used his story-telling talents to describe how one little boy so loved his teddy bear that for him at least the toy animal came alive. After the book Winnie-the-Pooh" A. A. Milne wrote another books of childrens verses Now We Are Six and The House at Pooh Corner which sold to a waiting public in millions of copies. The four Pooh books and Milnes enjoyable play Toad of Toad Hall are still as popular today as they were many years ago when they were written.

Christopher Milne (he no longer uses the name Robin) spent six years in the army during the war. Then he ran a bookshop in Dartmouth until he retired to live in the countryside.

What happened to Winnie-the-Pooh? Well, the bear was put into a glass case with all the other toy animals like Eeyore the donkey and little Piglet, at the Milnes house in London when Christopher went off to school in 1930. Then, when the war came, the toys were evacuated to America. Now they belong to some American publishing houses.

1 preparatory (prep) school a private school in Britain for children between ages of 8 and 13, where they are made ready to go to a school for older pupils
2 Punch" a British weekly magazine (18411992) known for its humorous articles and its literary criticism
3 Poohsticks a game played by characters in which sticks are thrown into a stream above a bridge, after which the players watch to see which stick appears at 114 the other side of the bridge first (from the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh)

B. Complete the sentences with the appropriate variants.

  1. Alan Alexander Milne ________________.

    a) bought a teddy bear when he learned that he had a son
    b) began writing poems in the army
    c) created a lot of verses when his son was little
    d) began his career as a mathematician

  2. A. A. Milne became a popular writer because __________________.

    a) he could see the world through the eyes of a child
    b) his little son gave him a lot of material for writing
    c) Ernest Shepard illustrated his books very well
    d) he had a talent for writing poetry

24. Now that youve read the text once say:
A. Who is who in the text?

Alan Alexander Milne
H. G. Wells
Daphne
Christopher Robin
Ernest Shepard
Winnie-the-Pooh
Eeyore the donkey

is

a famous writer
Alan Milnes son
the man who did illustrations for
the book
a teddy bear
the author of Winnie-the-Pooh
a toy animal
Alan Milnes wife

. Say true, false or not stated.

  1. Alan Alexander Milnes father was a doctor.
  2. Milne became a mathematician.
  3. In London Milne worked for a famous magazine.
  4. Milnes wife didnt want him to join the Army.
  5. Christopher Robin is the name of a bear.
  6. Milne wrote a lot of poems for Christopher Robin.
  7. Milne wrote a book about Poohs adventures in the Forest.
  8. Milne drew illustrations for his book himself.
  9. All the Pooh books became very popular.
  10. Now Christopher Robins old toys are in Australia.

25. Read the text again for more detailed information and find in it the words and word combinations which mean:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7. ()
8.
9.
10.

11.
12.
13. /
14. /
15.
16. /
17. ()
18.
19. ()
20.

26. Answer the questions.

  1. Where was A. A. Milne born? In what century was he born?
  2. When did he publish his first book? Where did he publish it?
  3. How much did Milnes first book cost?
  4. What famous magazine did Milne work for?
  5. Why did A. A. Milne have to return home from the front line?
  6. Whose teddy bear was Winnie-the-Pooh?
  7. What was the first book A. A. Milne wrote for children?
  8. 8. What did Milne write about in his book Winnie-the-Pooh?
  9. 9. Why did Ernest Shepard draw sketches of Christopher Robin with a bear?
  10. 10. What was A. A. Milnes secret for success?
  11. 11. How much do you know about Christopher Milne?
  12. 12. What happened to Winnie-the-Pooh and other toy animals when Christopher Robin went off to school?

 

 

 

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