The Bottom Line: Fun facts about Winnie the Pooh!
The Full Story:
- Canadian soldier Harry Colebourn made a pet of a black bear cubbought from a hunter for $20 during World War I. The critter was named Winnipeg – or "Winnie" for short – the bear became his troop's mascot and later a resident of the London Zoological Gardens. There, she was an adored attraction, especially to a little boy named Christopher Robin Milne, son of author A. Milne. In fact, the boy loved Winnie so much that he named his own teddy after her.
- The 1960 Latin translation of “Winnie the Pooh” is the only Latin book to ever crack “The New York Times” Best Seller list. Known in that sphere as “Winnie Ille Pu,” the book was translated by Dr. Alexander Lenard and stayed on the coveted list for 20 weeks, and ultimately demanded 21 printings, selling 125,000 copies. This accomplishment spoke in part to the book itself, which the Times called ''the greatest book a dead language has ever known.'' And by the way? The classic story about this honey-loving bear has actually been translated into more than 50 languages, including Afrikaans, Czech, Finnish, and Yiddish.
- While many might consider the story of Pooh as a love letter to his son, it’s anything but – to the real Christopher Robin, at least. By his own account, he resented his father—as well as the beloved bear. For those who don’t know, Christopher (like his dad) became a writer. And when he wrote memoirs of his own life, including “The Enchanted Places, Beyond the World of Pooh” and “The Hollow On The Hill” he didn’t hold back In fact, he asserted, "It seemed to me almost that my father had got where he was by climbing on my infant shoulders, that he had filched from me my good name and left me nothing but empty fame." Ouch.
- Pooh isn’t just for kids. Scholars and philosophers have been pulling from Pooh for inspiration for years. American author Benjamin Hoff wrote both The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet to explain principles of the Chinese philosophical school of Taoism. Scholar John Tyerman Williams responded with the long but self-explanatorily titled Pooh and the Philosophies: In Which It Is Shown That All of Western Philosophy Is Merely a Preamble to Winnie-The-Pooh and Pooh and the Psychologists. And English professor and author Frederick Crews penned The Pooh Perplex and Postmodern Pooh, which satirized academic trends in case studies.