“‘Let’s go along and see Eeyore’ said Piglet. So the three of them went, and after they had walked and walked and walked, they came to a part of the forest where Eeyore was.”
What A. A. Milne did not write, was that the part of the forest that Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Tigger had walked to is in fact near Southwold! E. H. Shepard had met Eeyore here in the summer of 1901 when visiting his fiancee Florence Chaplin.
Shepard recalls how he and Florence, cycling to Southwold via Blythburgh from the Chaplins’ Red House in Hinton, “soon found we had lost our way. It was rough common land and the only living thing in sight was a tethered donkey who, after regarding us for a few minutes, resumed his feeding and took no further interest”.
As Geoffrey C Munn recalls: “That donkey, seen amongst the gorse bushes in the background of this charming drawing, was evidently the inspiration for Shepard’s portrayal of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, published 25 years later in 1926.
It was amongst this group of pines that Pooh, Piglet and Tigger went to visit Eeyore in The House at Pooh Corner in 1928.
Come and stay in Southwold in one of our delightful self catering holiday cottages and explore the area home to Eeyore!
For a fascinating read on Southwold as the inspiration to many of Britain’s finest artists, read Geoffrey C Munn’s Southwold: An Earthly Paradise.