Autograph letter signed discussing Christopher Robin's school.

London: 22 May 1930 Stock Code: 132105
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School dinners of asparagus and comic verses

Milne writes to thank Mrs Taylor for the gift of some asparagus and the comic verse she had sent him: "... I had to eat it first to make sure that it was the genuine thing... I'm wondering now whether I oughtn't to have sent my boy to your school. Would he have had asparagus and a hot bath on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday? Well, it's too late now; but I'm sure you will be glad to hear that he is very happy at Boxgrove, and on friendly terms with everybody... Yours sincerely, A. A. Milne".

Milne had written a comic piece on the absence of asparagus from the literary canon for The Week-end Review, 17 May 1930. Mrs Taylor, wife of the Rev. Harold M S Taylor, headmaster of Cheam School, had met Milne and his wife at a recent dinner where Christopher Robin Milne's future education was under discussion. Mrs Taylor spotted the opportunity and bravely wrote Milne a 32-line comic poem (a typed copy present here) to accompany her gift of asparagus, the poem incorporating a hearty plug for the joys of Cheam School. From 15 January 1929, Christopher Robin had been at Gibbs, a boys' day school in Sloane Square, Chelsea, but as Milne states in his letter, Mrs Taylor was too late: Christopher Robin had, only that month, begun boarding at Boxgrove School near Guildford. Had Christopher Robin gone to Cheam, he would have been a pupil at the same time as Philip of Greece, the future Duke of Edinburgh. As it was, at Boxgrove he was far from being "very happy" and "on friendly terms with everybody"; instead he was taunted, teased, and pushed down the stairs.

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Single sheet (190 x 139 mm) on letterhead (13 Mallord Street, etc.), written on one side only; with the original franked envelope addressed to Mrs Taylor, Cheam School, Surrey. Together with a typed copy of the poem sent by Mrs Taylor to Milne.


A stamp collector has removed the stamp from the envelope, tearing the letter in two places in the process, with paper loss at lower outer corner just shaving the underline under Milne's signature; with an ink inscription on the envelope regarding its contents.


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