A. A. Milne was born in England in 1882, the third and youngest son of London schoolteachers. As a boy he wrote verses, parodies, and short humorous pieces for his school’s paper. He went on to study at Cambridge.
In 1903 he left school to write. Before long he was supporting himself on his earnings, and became an editor at Punch magazine. In 1913 he married Dorothy de Selincourt. He began his military service in 1915 in Europe. During this time he wrote three plays, all of which were produced on the London stage.
Christopher Robin Milne was born in 1920. It was Christopher’s toy bear, pig, donkey, tiger, and kangaroo that became the inspiration for the famous Pooh books.
A. A. Milne wrote more plays, a novel, his autobiography, and political nonfiction, although he is best remembered for Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, and Now We Are Six. Milne died in 1956.
Ernest H. Shepard was born in 1879 in London. His mother, who died when Ernest was ten, encouraged her son to paint and draw, and there was never any doubt that Ernest would be an artist. He was later awarded medals for his work and was named a Landseer Scholar. In 1901 his first picture exhibited in the Royal Academy.
In 1903 he married Florence Chaplin. The Shepards had two children—Graham, who was killed in World War II, and Mary, who later illustrated the Mary Poppins books. Shepard served in Europe during the war. Afterward he joined the editorial board at Punch, where he met A. A. Milne.
Shepard’s drawings appear in many books for adults and children. Among them is Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Shepard died in 1976.