Winnie-the-Pooh (First Edition) by A.A. Milne
Winnie-the-Pooh is a children’s book by English author A.A. Milne (1882-1956). The first edition of this work was published in 1926 by Methuen & Co (London). The American first edition was published also in 1926 by E.P. Dutton & Company. Background
The character of Winnie-the-Pooh was first introduced in Milne’s children’s verse book, When We Were Very Young (1924), in one poem. He was based on a teddy bear owned by Christopher Robin, Milne’s son. The ‘Hundred-Acre Wood’ forest in which the bear lives is based on Ashdown Forest in Sussex. Pooh then went on to be the star of his own book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928 – Methuen & Co). Several poems were written about Pooh in Milne’s 1927 book of verse Now We Are Six. These volumes all featured the timeless illustrations of E. H. Shepard, and together created one of the most iconic and loveable children’s characters in history. The character has even been used to explain various spiritual and philosophical theories. The sport of Poohsticks, introduced as a game in The House at Pooh Corner, is now a game played worldwide, and there is even a yearly World Championship Poohsticks race in Oxfordshire.
Plot, characters, themes
The book contains a set of stories and situations involving Winnie-the-Pooh and other creatures that inhabit the hundred acre wood, his friends Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, and Rabbit. The character of Tigger was not introduced until the sequel book.
Alan Alexander Milne (A.A. Milne) was a noted playwright until the Winnie-the-Pooh books propelled him to fame as a children’s author. He wrote these for his son Christopher Robin Milne, who becomes the character of Christopher Robin in many of his books, and used his stuffed toy animals to create the classic characters in the Pooh books.
See main article: A.A. Milne rare books and memorabilia
Notable auction sales and collecting tips
The first edition of Winnie-the-Pooh is very popular and very collectible, particularly if signed by Milne and illustrator Shepard. It is often sold together with at least the sequel, The House at Pooh Corner, and often also with the two verse books When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. Complete first edition sets are very valuable.
For example, Heritage Auctions Texas sold first editions of all four of the books for $12,500 in June 2010. Sothebys London sold a complete first edition set for £18,000 in December 2004. Christie’s New York sold first editions of all four, signed by Milne and Shepard, for $11,500 in December 1993.
A first edition of Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) was sold alone by Sotheby’s London for £39,650 in December 2008, £100,150 in December 2002, and by Christie’s New York for $32,500 in December 2009. Sotheby’s London also sold the first American edition (E.P. Dutton & Co, 1926 - later) for £34,850 in December 2008.
It is not recommended to restore first editions of Winnie-the-Pooh, as they are much more valuable in their original decorative dust-jackets and cloth covers.
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