The True Winnie-the-Pooh

August 24, 1914. A train pulls up to the lumber town of White River, Ontario, carrying a regiment of Canadian troops on board. On the tracks where they disembark is a small black bear cub. An army veterinarian decides to buy the bear and name her Winnipeg—Winnie for short—after the town where he's been living. When the soldiers are deployed to the European front, Winnie is left at the London Zoo, where a child named Christopher Robin Milne will meet her. He'll later rename his own teddy bear after her: Winnie-the-Pooh. How did a real-life boy and a real-life bear inspire some of the world's most famous literary characters? And what impact did these stories ultimately have on the people who helped bring them to life?

Special thanks to Ann Thwaite, whose most recent book about Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh is titled Goodbye Christopher Robin: A.A. Milne and the Making of Winnie-the-Pooh.

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