Thursday, 12 November 2015

Finding out: Was Winnie the Pooh real?

I have been a huge fan of AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories since I was a small child, so imagine my delight when I discovered that Winnie was based on a real bear, and not, as I had always thought, a toy one.

The real Winnie was a Canadian bear, bought by Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian serving in the Army, early in the First World War, and named Winnie after his hometown, the Canadian city of Winnipeg. She was also a female bear not, as written by AA Milne, a male one!

So who was the real Winnie and how do we know about her story? Enter Lindsay Mattick, Harry's great-granddaughter, and she has written a book which tells the story, based on the war diaries kept by Harry. Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear sets the record straight about the origins of one of literature's best-loved characters, and is delightfully illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear was published last week and is available on Amazon in hardback and Kindle formats.

  

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