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The Story of Beatrix Potter

The Story of Beatrix Potter

The Story of Beatrix Potter

Reviews (2)

This highly illustrated biography looks at the iconic work and fascinating life of one of our national treasures – Beatrix Potter.

Bestselling historian Sarah Gristwood follows Potter from her constricted Victorian childhood to the success and tragedy of the years 1901–13, when she published nearly all her major books yet was denied love by the death of her fiance. Finally, she traces the last 30 years of Potter's life, when she abandoned books to become a working farmer and pioneer of the conservation movement in the early days of the National Trust.

Special features throughout the book will show how Beatrix Potter developed many of her most famous characters, including Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Jemima Puddleduck.

• July 2016 is the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth.

• She remains one of the best-selling children's authors today.

• Beatrix Potter was strongly involved with the early days of the NT, and left it over 4000 acres of land in the Lake District. Her home, Hill Top, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

Format: Hardback

Page Extent: 176

Dimensions: 246 x 189mm

Illustrated throughout

ISBN: 9781909881808


UK Delivery: 3 - 5 working days - £4.95

International Delivery: 7 - 10 working days from £15

For more information please click here.

5 Average Rating 5/5 (2 reviews)
5 stars Childhood memories and the story of their creation. Written by

Still reading the book but its lovely to read the story behind the creator of Mrs Tiggywinkle my favourite character.

5 stars Bright Threads in the Loom Written by

7-31-16 It seems that this book brings in some source material and ideas in a way that helps to weave together, organically, the threads making up the fabric of Beatrix Potter's life, and it inspires you to seek a greater understanding of Beatrix Potter’s influences in her decision-making, or ways in which the freedom to make a life decision was postponed or eliminated. Author Sarah Gristwald sheds light on some of the ways in which Beatrix Potter’s society and the demands of her station, with its expectations of her behavior, actually limited her choices: for example, the expectations that she prioritize the care of her aging parents before everything else. The author also includes a glimpse into the dual (perhaps evolving?) outlook where the animals of the little books and their countryside world must be reconciled in some fashion with sending baby lambs to market! Author Sarah Gristwald uses a letter from Beatrix Potter to Millie where Beatrix Potter expresses the chagrin of watching the baby lambs removed to market. But how much of her letter to Millie was meant to teach Millie about this reality? The letter also mentions the sheepskin hearth rugs that Beatrix Potter will look forward to receiving in exchange. And maybe we are catching a glimpse into her own real-time evolving emotional maturity, into an inner dialog that is active at the time she writes this letter? In contrast, we appreciate some of the frustrations and points of view that Beatrix Potter grew to share freely with her correspondents, especially the ones in the publishing world. One which Sarah Gristwald provides contrasts a desire for the animals to been appreciated more for their natural traits, as animals: a communication from Beatrix Potter to her publishers relays her exasperation that her animal characters need to be dressed in human clothing, since appreciation of their natural beauty isn’t universally found. Maybe Beatrix Potter is, at that time, seeing the need as a farmer to stop assigning human traits to animals. Beatrix Potter’s childhood familiarity with scientific subjects under the microscope (how she studied and illustrated dead bugs, birds, and mammals as a child) must have helped her to navigate these waters. So much of what Beatrix Potter did in the way of the little books seems to have its origin in what I perceive as a national cultural trait of placing great value on the unique importance of the world of childhood. The little books with their dressed and talking animals make sense in the light of the worlds of magical thinking of childhood, and the nature study and morality stories of Beatrix Potter’s time. Starting with special letters for special children, and writing the stories "to" children she knew personally allowed her to focus on enjoyment and adventure and teaching in a way at the time both useful, practical, and also expected of someone in her society. I wonder if Beatrix Potter’s own “escape?” into the countryside, (with the purchasing of her first farm at twice its market value) wasn’t an attempt to prolong or freeze this period of her own childhood and the freedom, happiness and perhaps greater attention from her parents that she found on the family country vacations , which first introduced her to the living natural world in such a rich way. Sarah Gristwald's book brings the source materials into view by the reader in a helpful way to understanding the life and times of Beatrix Potter, and Mrs. Heelis.

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