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Beatrix Potter: Nature lover and Creator of ‘Peter Rabbit’

Introduction to Beatrix Potter’s life

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was a writer, illustrator and conservationist who is best remembered for her best-selling children’s books, such as,The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The stories that she wrote combined her love for both animals and her home; the English countryside. 

Early Life

Potter was born in Kensington, London to middle-class, parents. Her father was a distinguished lawyer, and her mother was the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Since she spent much of her early life in her own company, Beatrix starting creating her own stories, which were based on animals. She was a naturally gifted artist and loved animals. She looked after many animals, such as; rabbits, frogs, and even bats and drew them throughout her childhood. 

Publication of Peter Rabbit Books

Peter Rabbit

In Potter’s early 20s, she tried to get her children’s book and drawings published, but was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, she was determined about it and eventually the book was published by Frederick Warne & Company. The first book was published in 1902 when she was 36. It was Norman, the youngest brother in the company, who insisted that each drawing of Peter Rabbit would be in colour. Potter insisted that the book remain small, so that it would be easy for children to hold. And eventually, by the end of the year, 28,000 copies were in print.

The relationship between Norman Warne and Beatrix blossomed, and eventually, they became engaged in 1906. But tragically, before the wedding could take place, Norman passed away, dying of pernicious anaemia. After his death, Potter moved to the Lakeland. In her later life, her eyesight started failing, leading her to stop writing books. But instead, she devoted her time to the breading of sheep and in the conservation of Lakeland farms. Potter married William Heelis in 1913, when she was 47. Even though the couple was childless, Potter played an active role in William’s extended family, endearing herself to his many nieces of his brothers and sisters.