Winnie the Pooh was inspired by a girl bear, new books reveals

The character, written by A.A. Milne, would go on to become of the most beloved in children's literature

Rose Troup Buchanan
Saturday 07 November 2015 11:30 GMT
Winnie the Pooh, as imagined by Walt Disney's studios
Winnie the Pooh, as imagined by Walt Disney's studios (Rex Features)

Stop whatever you are doing right now.

The inspiration behind Winnie the Pooh was not only Canadian, but also a girl.

The revelations come from a new book, published on 20 October, examining the origins of the beloved book character and honey-loving bear.

In Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, authors Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall write in 1914 a small black bear cub was rescued by Canadian veterinarian Harry Colebourn, en route to treat horses in the First World War.

After the war Colebourn, who had named the bear after his home town of Winniepeg, took her to London Zoo – where she met a real-life boy called Christopher Robin, who was so captivated with Winnie he would name his teddy after her.

Robin’s father was none other than A.A. Milne, who would go on to write the books that would captivate generations of adults and children.

The inspiration of the books lived out the rest of her life in London Zoo, dying there in 1934. But her namesake would go on to become one of the most recognisable – and beloved – children’s book characters in history.

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