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Michael O’Mara Books to publish unique Winnie-the-Pooh biography for the start of the landmark centenary

Posted on: 31/01/2024 with tags Acquisitions, Trade Releases

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Description automatically generatedMichael O’Mara Books is to publish The Men Who Created Winnie-the-Pooh: The Lives of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard by James Campbell, to mark the 2024 centenary of When We Were Very Young, the first of the four children’s classics written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. No biography of Shepard has previously been authorised by his family and estate.

In this wonderfully illustrated full-colour treasury (with previously unseen material including preparatory drawings, draft material, private photographs and unpublished documents), Campbell brings to life the fascinating story behind two of the most remarkable men in children’s literature. Both worked at Punch magazine from the first decade of the twentieth century before coming together in the early 1920s to bring to life Winnie-the-Pooh and the other characters of the Hundred Acre Wood.

The Men Who Created Winnie-the-Pooh sheds new light on their professional and personal relationships, complex families, and wartime experiences as well as their unique professional partnership and the extraordinary legacy for children of all ages across the world, which is as vibrant now as it was on publication 100 years ago.

Campbell has written two previous books, The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh: How E.H Shepard Illustrated an Icon and Shepard’s War, an illustrated personal narrative of the First World War, both published by Michael O’Mara Books.

James Campbell, author, said: ‘It has been wonderful to explore this unique literary partnership from cradle to grave, uncovering the highs and lows of two creative lives  whose enduring partnership in the making of Winnie-the-Pooh has now stood the test of 100 years.  A wealth of new and original material, with many revealing illustrations, makes the story so interesting and rewarding.’

Louise Dixon, Senior Editorial Director for Michael O’Mara, said: ‘James Campbell’s breadth of knowledge on Milne and Shepard is astonishing. He brings both men to vivid life on the page and, along with the glorious illustrations and other fascinating ephemera, this beautiful volume celebrates their lives and collaboration in a way that has not been attempted before.’

Louise Dixon acquired World All language rights from Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown.

The Men Who Created Winnie-the-Pooh: The Lives of A.A Milne and E.H Shepard, is published by Michael O’Mara Books on Thursday 26 September 2024, priced £25 in hardback.