As any fan of Michael Bond's books (and I count myself as one, having grown up with them) will tell you, the marmalade-sandwich loving bear comes from darkest Peru. His great aunt Lucy arranged for him to hide on a ship's lifeboat when she went to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima and he was adopted by the Brown family when they saw him among the mail-bags at Paddington station.
Bond's latest book, Paddington Here and Now, marks the 50th anniversary of the first book in the series A Bear Called Paddington, inspired by a teddy bear that he bought at Selfridge's on Christmas Eve as a gift for his wife.
Says the 83 year old Bond in the Bookseller:
Basically, Paddington Bear is a refugee and, when I wrote the first book, one of the things I gave him was a label around his neck to say, ‘Please look after me’. Paddington comes from a different country and there are very few people around him who understand what that feels like. He needs to decide where, for him, is home. ... One of the very nice things about chronicling Paddington’s adventures is that although the world has changed considerably over the past 30 years, he remains exactly the same: eternally optimistic and ever open to what life has to offer. It makes writing the stories a pleasure.In case you missed the worst teddy bear joke in the whole wide world (or even the universe), read to the end of this post on Nury's blog.
(I found this great photo on Flickr.)