HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Beatrix Potter, born 28 July 1866
“Thank goodness I was never sent to school. It would have rubbed off some of the originality.”
Beatrix Potter was a writer, an illustrator, a conservationist and a natural scientist. When she first began to write stories, no publisher was interested and so in 1901 she published privately The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It soon proved extremely popular and then Frederick Warne and Co. picked it up, and from that time she usually managed to bring out a new book every year. The proceeds from her writing enabled her to buy land in the Lake District and to escape London, which she disliked. She finally settled in a 17thC farmhouse, now open to the public as Hill Top Farm, and became a judge of sheep, a farmer, and wife of local solicitor William Heelis. When she died her house and lands were left to the National Trust, so thanks to her a lot of glorious Lake District countryside has been preserved.
Her books are now classics. I am especially fond of The Tale of Miss Moppet – the expression on the cat’s face when she realises the mouse has escaped is wonderfully done. I always laugh at The Tale of a Fierce Bad Rabbit and love the relationship between duck and fox in The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck.
The movie Miss Potter is a delightful depiction of her relationship with Norman Warne, to whom she was engaged before he died tragically young.
Beatrix Potter died on 22 December 1943, aged 77.
What’s your favourite Beatrix Potter story? Tell me in the comment area below.
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