On Milne

Milne, Two PeopleAN INTERESTING tale from the Wembley and Kingsbury Times about plans to honour AA Milne with a plaque at a former home in Kilburn Priory. Great idea.

Everybody naturally thinks Winnie Pooh with Milne. But allow us to get all book clubby for a moment and let me recommend his most genteel novel, Two People. Not so well known, it was given a welcome re-release by Capuchin last year.

All about a retired old rich man called Reginald, living in a big country pile with his beautiful wife and cats, it tells the story of his frustration at the lawn tennis and society parties he feels forced to play along with. His escapism is writing a book, which gets published and becomes a hit. Yet while the London clubs and bookshops are abuzz with Reg’s book, Bindweed, he spends his whole time wondering whether his wife has actually read what he’s written. I’ve ¬†seen that in papers too with reporters who have written front page splashes that grip the readership for ¬†week or two and have whole communities talking about their work. They are often just as keen to make sure those closest are suitably impressed too. Milne’s book is a knowing, lilting study.

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