A. A. Milne



Perhaps most famous for his children’s stories about Christopher Robin and his stuffed bear, Winnie the Pooh, Alan Alexander Milne was a patriotic Englishman with a never-ending imagination. After attending Cambridge where he studied mathematics, Milne wrote for and later edited Punch Magazine in London. He later served in World War I as a signalman, and upon returning home, dedicated himself to writing. He wrote more than 25 plays, 10 books of nonfiction, seven novels, five children’s books, and four books of poetry. His children’s books were particularly popular, but became such a symbol of his work, that he sometimes had difficulty in his later years getting adult audiences to take seriously his more mature work.

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Essays by A. A. Milne

Bruce: A short study of a great life

For while hustlers have sung hymns in praise of the bee, and have recommended the sluggard to the ant, no one has yet done justice to the tireless life of the cricket.

The charm of golf

It is part of the charm of being bad at golf that in a moment, in a single night, we may become good.

The cupboard

It was the landlord who first called my attention to the cupboard; I should never have noticed it myself.

On going into a house

For the first time for nineteen years, I am actually living in a house. I have (imagine my excitement) a staircase of my own.


In their cheap glass bowl upon the three-legged table, above which the cloth-covered canary maintains a stolid silence, they remind me of antimacassars and horsehair sofas and all that is depressing.

My library

If you arrange your books according to their contents you are sure to get an untidy shelf.

The old order changes

Anything regular soon gets taken for granted.

The pleasure of writing

For it was enough for me this morning just to write; with spring coming in through the open windows and my good Canadian quill in my hand.

Smoking as a fine art

At eighteen I went to Cambridge, and bought two pipes in a case. In those days Greek was compulsory, but not more so than two pipes in a case.

Thoughts on thermometers

If it was going to freeze, it might as well do it properly--so as to show other nations that England was still to be reckoned with.

The university boat race

When I honestly try to collect a little information about the place I was sent to . . . so as to write an article upon a subject about which I should otherwise have known nothing, I am made the stock, that is the laughing-butt

A word for autumn

Somehow it had begun to seem possible lately that a miracle might happen, that summer might drift on and on through the months--a final upheaval to crown a wonderful year. The celery settled that.
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Quotidiana by Patrick Madden

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