More Than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear
Author Michael Bond’s beloved storybook icon was inspired by refugee children escaping war.
Michael Bond always felt lucky to grow up in a home full of books. He was also fortunate to have been part of a family loving enough to take in two boys who fled from danger at the outbreak of World War II.
Bond’s response to the plight of refugees and his compassion for immigrants shaped his outlook. They also shaped the manuscript he dashed off in only ten days!
The story he hadn’t much intended to write, A Bear Called Paddington, was about a little bear who tried very hard to do things right. Just like the immigrants and refugees Bond saw all around him, Paddington had to build a new home in a strange place. The character touched readers worldwide and, after a dark couple of years when Bond slid into depression, saved the author who had created him.