Monday, October 24, 2011

Beatrix Potter, author of the wonderful Peter Rabbit books.

Did you know that it was (Helen) Beatrix Potter, 1866-1943, who was the English writer, creator and illustrator of so any books for young people including Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle?

Beatrix and her brother (Walter) Bertram (1872-1918) were the children of Rupert William and Helen (Leech) Potter, ( he was s/o Edmund Potter) well-to-do but strict Unitarians.  Bertram was sent away to school and Beatrix was taught by a governess.  When she was 27 and still living at home, she began sending drawings and stories about Peter Rabbit to a friend's sick child. This humble beginning eventually brought forth 23 of the books which made her famous.

In 1905 she became engaged but after his sudden death became a bit of a recluse. In 1913 she married William Heelis and spent the last 30 years of her life living off the royalties from her books and breeding Herdwick sheep. The only known portrait of her hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

Few, if any, might be related to Beatrix Potter but all can claim through her wonderful books an association beyond blood ties.

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