In hindsight, the name might have been a giveaway. Winnie-the-Pooh, friend of Christopher Robin, honey aficionado, and occasional philosopher, was a girl. The shocking truth about the beloved children’s character has come to light in a new book, Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear. Author Lindsay Mattick writes that the black bear cub which inspired the beloved character was female.
In 1914, on his way to war, Canadian veterinarian Harry Colebourn rescued the cub and named her after his home town of Winnipeg. Winnie lived at London Zoo, where a young boy called Christoper Robin saw her and named his teddy bear after her. Christopher Robin’s father, author A.A. Milne, decided his story would be better if the bear was a boy. Sophie Mattick is Harry Colebourn’s great granddaughter. As far as we know, Mattick is not planning on unearthing any revelations about Tigger or Piglet. The book has beautiful illustrations by Sophie Blackall.