Beatrix Potter

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were–Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.

– Beatrix Potter

born in Kensington, London, England, The United Kingdom July 28, 1866
died: December 22, 1943
gender: female
genre: Children’s Books

Helen Beatrix Potter was an English author, illustrator, mycologist, and conservationist who was best known for her children’s books, which featured animal characters such as Peter Rabbit.

Born into a privileged household, Potter was educated by governesses, and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and through holidays in Scotland and the Lake District developed a love of landscape, flora and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted. As a young woman her parents discouraged intellectual development, but her study and paintings of fungi led her to be widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties Potter published the highly successful children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and became secretly engaged to her publisher, Norman Warne, causing a breach with her parents, who disapproved of his social status. Warne died before the wedding could take place.

Potter eventually published 23 children’s books, and having become financially independent of her parents, was able to buy a farm in the Lake District, which she extended with other purchases over time. In her forties she married a local solicitor, William Heelis. She became a sheep breeder and farmer while continuing to write and illustrate children’s books. Potter died in 1943, and left almost all of her property to The National Trust in order to preserve the beauty of the Lake District as she had known it, protecting it from developers.

Potter’s books continue to sell well throughout the world, in multiple languages. Her stories have been retold in various formats, including a ballet, films and in animation.

12 thoughts on “Beatrix Potter

  1. July 28, 1866: Children’s book writer and illustrator Beatrix Potter was born in England, 147 years ago today.

  2. A truly lovely and generous person to write such wonderufl children’s books. The land that she left to trust is indeed a legacy that will live on. We are all blessed that she was able to escape from the supperession of her parents.

  3. I never get to read this book. Thanks for the share.

  4. Not only did she paint beautifully, apart from her wonderful animal books, but she wrote exquisitely too… her writing in the Peter Rabbit series is masterly, simple direct prose, and she never wrote down to children… I loved reading about her here, thank you

  5. I could not imagine growing up without reading about Peter. I still have these books – I will save them for my grandchildren;)

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