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The True Story Behind Winnie the Pooh and Goodbye Christopher Robin

The True Story Behind Winnie the Pooh and Goodbye Christopher Robin
From TIME - October 13, 2017

A.A. Milne's charming tales of honey-loving Winnie-the-Pooh, timid Piglet, grumpy Eeyore and their human friend Christopher Robin have delighted readers for generations. But many are likely unaware of the darkness underneath the book's surface.

The real story behind the Winnie-the-Pooh series is the subject at the heart of a new movie called Goodbye Christopher Robin, starring Domhnall Gleeson (Brooklyn) as Milne and Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street) as his wife Daphne. The film suggests that, among other things, Milne's relationship with his son, the real-life Christopher, was difficult. But how true is the movie, which hits theaters Oct. 13, to reality?

A.A. Milne suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder

In Robin we see how Milne's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the result of his fighting for the British Army in World War One, led him to move his family away from London to the peaceful English countryside.

Although there is no direct evidence that Milne suffered from what we commonly know now as PTSD, his experiences during the war weighed heavily on him. In his autobiography Its Too Late Now, Milne wrote that it made him "almost physically sick" to think of "that nightmare of mental and moral degradation, the war."

He referred to a trip to the Insect House at the Zoo with Christopher Robin, where the sight of the "monstrous inmates" triggered intense discomfort. "I could imagine a spider or a millipede so horrible that in its presence I should die of disgust," he wrote. "It seems impossible to me now that any sensitive man could live through another war. If not required to die on other ways, he would waste away of soul-sickness."

Robin suggests that Daphne Milne was more concerned with her socialite duties than caring for her sonwhom she left almost solely in the company of his nanny, Olive, known affectionately by Christopher Robin as 'Nou'.

However, that was not necessarily the full story. "When a child is small it is his mother who is mainly responsible for the way he is brought up. So it was with me. I belonged in those days to my mother rather than my father," Christopher Robin writes in The Enchanted Place.

Milne was passionately anti-War

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