THE ENCHANTED PLACES by Christopher Milne


Email this review


A sensitively calibrated memoir by Christopher Robin Milne (the very same), now a bookstore manager in his fifties, in which he searches into his boyhood for the real child he remembers he was, and also considers the fictional Christopher Robin -- a manifestation, in a sense, of the child within Milne Sr.'s own life. So this is a double exposure -- both ghostly and substantial. Milne remembers his first love, his nanny (who would never, like Alice in the poem, have cut him off with ""Sure to, dear, but it's time for tea""). He recreates the nursery warmth, country joys and pleasures, and two houses furnished by his mother with gaiety and charm. There was indeed a Five Hundred Acre Wood, a Poohsticks bridge, a Galleons Lap, but could Eeyore's Gloomy Place have been Father's odds-and-ends bedroom, a dark and contrasting opposite to the rest of the house? Milne remember brief, unwelcome visitations from journalists, the hated identification (at school, at least) with the fictional Christopher Robin (""Finished saying your prayers yet?""). He traces with particular intensity his relationship with his father-from Nanny-dominated distance, through true companionship, to a falling away during early adulthood. And as for the real toys, now in a museum: "". . . they are only toys. . . I wouldn't like a glass case that said, 'Here is fame'; and I don't need a glass case to remind me: 'Here was love.'

Pub Date: April 28th, 1975
Publisher: Dutton