E. H. Shepard and Winnie-the-Pooh

Work of Art

E. H. Shepard and Winnie-the-Pooh

Ernest Howard Shepard OBE, MC (1879 – 1976) was an English artist and book illustrator, best known and loved for his delightful illustrations for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poetry books and The Wind in the Willows.

Shepard modelled Pooh not on the toy owned by Milne's son Christopher Robin but on "Growler", a stuffed bear owned by his own son. (Growler no longer exists, having been given to his granddaughter Minnie Hunt and subsequently destroyed by a neighbour's dog.)

Realising his illustrator's contribution to the success of his books, Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A. Milne arranged for Shepard to receive a share of his royalties. However, Shepard came to resent "that silly old bear" as he felt that the Pooh illustrations overshadowed his other work. He disliked the Disney version of the stories.

Shepard had two children who both became illustrators. His son died in the Second World War, but his daughter Mary became the illustrator of the Mary Poppins books.

Further reading

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