Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Beatrix Potter: English writer

Beatrix Potter was an English author and illustrator known for her children's books, most famously The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902). Stories that combined her love for both animals and the English countryside. In her later life, she bought a substantial amount of land in the Lake District and on her death donated it to the National Trust, helping to preserve a significant part of the Lake District national park.

Beatrix was born in Kensington, London to middle-class, Unitarian parents. Her father was a kind of lawyer, but he didn’t practice. He spent most of the time out of the house in clubs with his friends. Her mother was also very social, and spent whole days visiting and being visited. Her parents were also artistic and this artistic talent was passed on to Beatrix.

Beatrix was very smart, and studied archaeological artifacts, fossils and insects, but she was especially interested in mycology.

She never had children of her own, but Beatrix Potter always had a special understanding of children. In fact, many of her early books started as letters and presents to younger cousins and friends.

To earn some money, Beatrix started drawing cards with animals. She liked writing and illustrating letters too. One day, she wrote a letter to her friend’s son, and told the story of Peter Rabbit. She decided to make the story into a book. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902 –and it was a great success.

Potter wrote 23 books. Some of her best know titles include:
•The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902)
•The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903)
•The Tailor of Gloucester (1903)
•The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (1904)
•The Tale of Two Bad Mice (1904)
•The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (1905)
•The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan (1905)
•The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher (1906)
•The Story of A Fierce Bad Rabbit (1906)

Beatrix used the money from the sale of her books to buy a farm and land. When she was 47, she moved to the countryside permanently and married William Heelis. He loved the country as much as she did, and had helped her extend her property. Potter went on like this, selling books and buying land, for many years.

Beatrix Potter died from pneumonia and heart disease on December 22, 1943, leaving almost all of her property and much of her art to the National Trust. The estate covered 4,000 acres and included cottages, herds of Herdwick sheep, and cattle spread across sixteen different farms.
Beatrix Potter: English writer

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