The Most Interesting Man in the World?
The question is, Who is the most interesting man in the world?
Well, the answer is easy. It’s Christopher Robin Milne. He is the most interesting man in the world because he has spent his entire life collecting interesting things and people.
Yes, as a child, we were all fascinated by Willy Wonka and his fantastic chocolate factory. And who can forget about the Oompa-Loompas or the dancing flowers?
But it’s not just children who love funny old Mr. Wonka. Adults have also been influenced by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In fact, one could even say that Christopher Robin is responsible for the current craze for all things chocolate and sweets.
What we’re trying to say is that Christopher Robin Milne has shaped our perceptions of what an interesting person is and what an interesting life is. And it all began with his first publication, The House at Pooh Corner. This was published in 1928 and it’s still one of the most popular children’s book ever.
So, if you’re reading this, you have to admit that we really can’t pronounce the name Milne correctly. It’s actually pronounced “Mile.” But anyway, back to the point.
The story of The Most Interesting Man in the World begins in Australia in 1914. It was actually the Great War that inspired E. H. Shepard to write this classic adventure story about a boy’s relationship with his grandparents.
Shepard grew up in Tasmania and, when he was 16, he left school to work for a newspaper. It was there that his life changed forever when he heard about the death of the famous explorer, Sir Edmund Hillary. That’s when he decided to join the army and fight for Australia in World War I. He even received a commendation for bravery.
After the war, he became interested in aviation and, in 1921, he founded a small airline. In 1926, he established himself and his family in New Zealand, where he began writing and publishing.
The story of How To Write A Bestselling Novel tells us that one of his first jobs in New Zealand was as a sportswriter. He was later promoted to the position of sports editor. It was during this time that he began to put his interests in history and anthropology into practice by traveling the country gathering stories and material for future books.
It was while in New Zealand that he traveled to Australia’s Northern Territory and, on a camping trip with his grandson, Christopher Robin Milne, he came up with the idea for his novel, The Man From Wonderland. He began to keep diaries and made notes about his travels. It was here in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by desert and jungle, that he began to concoct the idea for his unique hero.
“I wanted to create a being as unusual as I believed myself to be,” he explained. “Someone who was brave, clever, and had a passion for adventure. Someone who constantly surprised me with his actions. It is this quality that gives the book its charm.”
A Great Grandfather To Be
It’s been said that if you write a bestseller, you can live anywhere you please. So, in 1926, after establishing himself in New Zealand, Shepard decided to try his luck in another country. This time, though, it was going to be different. He was going to settle down and begin a new family. He chose England as the place to do this. It was a bold move, since Australia was still feeling uncertain about its new life outside of the British Empire.
So, in December 1926, he and his wife, Edna, arrived in England. They had bought a large house with a walled garden for their new life in South Kensington. Soon after their arrival, he began work on his next book, a historical novel about King George and Queen Mary.
Shepard’s first book, The House at Pooh Corner, was an immediate success, so much so that he decided to make England his permanent home. He began a new family and, in 1928, his fifth and final book, The Lost Jungle, was published. He then began working on his next novel, A Flying Pattinson. At the age of 45, he was finally able to give up his adventurous life and settle into a quieter, but no less exciting one.
Shepard’s interest in travel and exploration had taken him around the world, to countries such as Italy, Germany, and Canada. The stories he collected and the people he met along the way inspired much of his work. But it was his great-grandson that really put his life and times into words. And so it was Christopher Robin who became the central character of his great-granddad’s life stories.
The first installment of A Flying Pattinson was published in the United Kingdom in 1928. Six years later, the second installment was published in Australia. The third edition was released in England, with the fourth edition — the one we have now — following in 1932. The fifth and final installment of the saga, The Magic Fountain, was published in New Zealand in 1939. It was here in the Southern Hemisphere that the story of this unusual man and his adventures ended.
An Unusual Grandson
If you’ve ever read any of Shepard’s books, you’ll remember most prominently his extraordinary grandchildren. We can’t leave out mentioning the gorgeous girl, Pam. She’s the spitting image of her grandmother, Queen Victoria, whom she never knew. And what a queen she would have made!
Shepard adored his grandkids and spoiled them rotten. He bought them their first pony, named Herbie, when they were just four years old. And it wasn’t just ponies — he bought them a camper trailer, so they could travel the world as partners.
It’s said that children can be the bearers of great mysteries, since they’re not yet encumbered by the weight of society’s mores and expectations. In the case of Christopher Robin Milne, it was his children who uncovered the secrets of his life and work. So it was through their eyes that we were able to piece together the story of a fascinating man and his remarkable life.