Friday, August 26, 2011

Christopher Robin's Devon bookshop to close

by: Rob Hastings

Christopher Robin Milne, aged six, with his own Winnie the Pooh bear

The bookshop set up by the real Christopher Robin to escape a family feud and hide from the unwanted fame of his father's Winnie the Pooh stories is to close.

It was 60 years ago that Christopher Robin Milne left London for Dartmouth on the south coast of Devon to open the Harbour Bookshop, seeking refuge from a faltering writing career, bitterness at his father and his mother's disapproval at his choice of wife.

But while the store succeeded in allowing Milne to begin a new life, its current owners, Rowland and Caroline Abram, are now being forced to close it to make their own escape – both from rising rent and falling sales.

The sad end for the bookshop mirrors the emotions that led to its founding. Though his childhood as the son of author AA Milne had initially been happy, Christopher Robin Milne came to be teased and bullied for his innocent portrayal in his father's stories, and grew angry at newspaper articles about him.

Those frustrations eventually boiled over in his late twenties – later leading him to write he sometimes felt his dad "had got to where he was by climbing upon my infant shoulders, that he had filched from me my good name and had left me with nothing but the empty fame of being his son".

from: Independent

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