Christopher Milne describes his memoir The Enchanted Places as "a photograph album, a collection of snapshots."
"There is no place in it for an anatomical drawing," he notes.
The images he does provide in a poignant 150 page look over his shoulder at the early years of his life are gentle watercolours, edges blurred by tact or respect for his parents (chiefly his nostalgic father), soft pencil sketches which clearly illustrate "the enchanted places where the past will always be present" as the book's dedication has it, and just as clearly if subtly outline the burden that was the author's particular kind of immortality.
He muses on the fairies visiting him in his cradle. "He shall have his father's brains and his mother's hands," says one, "And his name shall be famous throughout the world," says another. Much good did the brains and hands do him until he eventually found his niche as a bookseller in Dartmouth, though even there he was always 'Christopher Robin'. As to the fame, curse and blessing both, and hard to accept or reconcile people's assumptions about 'the man who had been the boy who had been a character in the books' with the self - boy and man - who sought only a quiet, private life.
There's a sepia wash of resignation to the word pictures in this book, an acceptance of the sorrows and disillusionment of a father who hit the height of fame at the age of 46 and whose work thereafter would forever be eclipsed by what had gone before, and of the son who lived in his shadow, and, in the public's imagination, as a boy who never grew up.
But there are brighter colours too in its warmth, humour, wisdom, charming anecdote, and loving recollection, so that all told it's evocative, sympathetic, and offers a unique perspective on a literary phenomenon.