August 31, 1939. One page ALS written extensively on both verso and recto, signed by A.A. Milne as "Blue" , his nickname given to him by his son Christopher Robin, and elsewhere in his letter as "A.A. Milne". Dated "Aug 31st '39" , 5.5" x 7.5" on stationary with letterhead of Cotchford Farm, Hartfield, Sussex. Expected center fold. Tiny faded stain dot. Near fine condition.A highly revealing letter with lots to sleuth about. Milne first compares some of his more boisterous articles to that of Stephen P. H Butler Leacock, "Mr. Knox, he deliberately chose (or he told me the more "boisterous" - ie Leacockish - articles (burlesques and what not) as having been less reproduced than the others." At the time, Stephen P. H Butler Leacock was the best known English speaking humorist in the world. Such period examples of Leacock's humor are:Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl.Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.He flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.So one can surmise from Milne's comment, that the chosen writing examples by Mr. Knox were using Milne's well known jocular humor. Further in the letter Milne also humorously laments that he sent an article to Punch magazine that was rejected by the editor who was unaware that the article was written by Milne. In his jocular accounting of this event Milne wrote :"But this will amuse you. In Punch this week is an article called The Organizer. I wrote it, at the persuasion of the family, it being exactly what happens here. Daff sent it up as by C.P. Brice from the address of a niece of mine, and it was rejected by return of post! I wrote to Knox , more in sorrow than in anger, to say that while I couldn't claim that anything I wrote was "good enough for Punch" it should be good enough for a few encouraging words from somebody, and that it was difficult for me to tell your writers that it was the work, and not the name which counted, if my own work was only accepted when signed"Milne's final travesty he describes in his letter was about land he was attempting to acquire in 1939 which was, unbeknownst to him, owned by Brian Thynne of Muntham Court, a family deeply trenched in UK history with the manor of Muntham dated back to the conquest. In Milne's letter he laments:"Here's another funny thing. I have been buying some land here which was said to be mortgaged to the Midland bank. Yesterday (after months of argument) my (illegible) sent the agreement drawn up as between A.A. Milne and --Brian Thynne of Muntham Court! WHY?"Brian Thynne, youngest son of Ulric Thynne, was the owner of the Victorian mansion, Muntham Court. Muntham had been home to several of the Thynne family, who were kinsmen to the Marquis of Bath. Brian became a well known aviator and from 1936 to 1939, Brian commanded 601 Squadron and in the latter year became a Fighter Command controller. He was made a CBE. After being demobbed from the RAF at the end of World War Two, his father gave him the sticky task of negotiating with the War Ministry for compensation for all the damage that had been inflicted by the military on Muntham Court during the war. It would appear that at this time Brian had placed Munthan on the market to sell (although it may have been parceled and split up) as Brian went off to live in Spain. However there is no record that Milne ever went through with the purchase.An incredibly intriguing letter spanning various unrelated events in Milne's life, none the less worthy of additional research! (Inventory #: 61324)
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