Who hasn’t heard of Peter Rabbit? For those who love the many faces of the charming animals who people her stories, Beatrix Potter left a legacy of her stories and their illustrations for generations.
The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends
Familiar with the adventures of Peter Rabbit? Does chamomile tea conjure up memories of this story of a bad little rabbit who ate rather too many lettuces and fell in with Mr. McGregor and his cat? Then possibly you have as much love for these tales as I.
Would you like to know more about some of the protagonists of Beatrix Potter’s endearing writings?
Having a great love for these little books of the nursery set, it seemed that sharing the beloved, charming characters of the Beatrix Potter books would be an enjoyable endeavor. Come along to visit the denizens of the English countryside, and the visitors to the Victorian dollhouses, as well as those who might be found in gardens or behind the wainscoting! Their cute little clothes and daring adventures still entrance us, as we read their stories to yet another generation of enthralled children.
Miss Potter’s Pet Character
For Beatrix Potter, personally, ‘The Tale of Two Bad Mice’ was her favorite of all her many story books. Inspired by the story she had heard of a poor tailor, John Pritchard, Potter sketched the actual shop of local lore. The finished story, illustrated with watercolors, was given to Freda Moore, daughter of her former governess and companion Annie Moore.
Interestingly the legend of the local tailor happened during Potter’s lifetime, but for the story she set the time and costuming in the 18th-century. This story was published in 1903.
For us, once we began collecting the Beatrix Potter tales we wanted the entire set. Each illustration is so charming and the tales are full of surprising insights and humor.
A Set of Peter Rabbit and Friends Books
For loads of good reading
The World of Peter Rabbit (The Original Peter Rabbit, Books 1-23, Presentation Box)
Twenty three of your favorite little books of Beatrix Potter tales in a keepsake box.
Under The Gate and Into MacGregor’s Garden
Lovable, Memorable Characters Prove Popular
I like reading books to my children that I enjoy, too. There are so many great classics that we don’t need to be bored!
Collectible in many Forms
Many modern children’s books bore me. I don’t see any reason to waste time with those when there are so many fantastic choices. Of those, Beatrice Potter’s rate highly with their witty writing, detailed and artistic illustrations and flights of fancy into a world where animals are very like you and I.
Our family started out with the ‘Peter Rabbit’ storybook, just like many do. It wasn’t long before we added more of these intriguing narrations, until I purchased a hardback collection of them.
What Makes These Classic Favorite for Children?
The stories don’t patronize children, and the illustrations that Miss Potter created continue to charm today’s crop of children. There are insights, just enough misbehavior for the story plots to move along and bring in the humor.
These stories proved to be some of the best loved bedtime stories in our house.
It wasn’t long before other stories, and then whole collections of her character’s adventures peopled our bedtime story hour.
Renee Zellweger does a great job in a lovely film. I liked the inclusion of the quirky illustrated characters she interacts with. I imagine that the very Victorian Miss Potter did the same.
The Life Of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter had no children of her own, having married late in life, but she sent letters to the young children of a former governess with the engaging characters of her stories and drawings that became the beloved books read for night times, naps and during reading hour. Generations of children have loved the stories for their inclusion of real risks,dangers, and admonitions,as well as the amusing responses they might well identify with.
A VICTORIAN DAUGHTER
Beatrix Potter was born July 28, 1866 as Helen Beatrix Potter into a privileged British family. Her parents were well to do Middle class merchants, and her father was a barrister. She and her younger brother were educated privately with governesses, and they managed to collect quite a menagerie of small animals, from which her drawings and observations later lead to the realistic creations of her stories.
Like many wealthy British families of Victorian times, Beatrix Potter’s vacationed in Scotland, where she and her brother freely roamed the countryside. This was in contrast to the very restricted home life revolving around her parents and her mother’s demands.
Always drawing, Beatrix Potter developed her art and became expert in drawing fungi, she also sold a few of her imaginative drawings, and was convinced to submit her children’s drawings and stories to a publisher. A ladies companion and former governess who remained in her friendship was Annie Carter Moore, to whose children Beatrix had sent some of her letters with the characters and their escapades. It was Annie who convinced her to publish her children’s stories.
Peter Rabbit First Edition
What did the cover of the first edition look like?
Potter did not receive immediate success in her endeavors, either as a mycologist or as an author, but she had determination and grit, which continued to inspire her to submit her work until she received a certain measure of success. Her drawings of imaginary animal creatures and her amusing stories caught on and she began to find a return of success and income for her efforts.
LOVE COMES LATE
Beatrix Potter was not to so easily find happiness in her personal life. She and her publisher had fallen in love, but her socially upwardly mobile parents, especially her mother, sought a better match matrimonially; one which would leave their middle class beginnings behind. Though Beatrix held her ground, and was informally engaged, her beloved Norman Warne died of leukemia only one month after they had begun their unofficial engagement.
Potter became increasingly successful and independent, publishing many books and merchandising them cannily. She later in life would meet her husband, William Heelis who was her solicitor (lawyer), and passionately involve herself in sheep farming with the focused determination she used in all her endeavors in life.
THE COUNTRY LIFE
She continued to write, to create art for her own pleasure, and keep quite busy with her country life of farming and becoming a respected leader in her community.
She died December 22, 1943 at Castle Cottage.
- Beatrix Potter, The Extraordinary Life of a Victorian Genius :: by Linda Lear
Beatrix Potter, the twentieth century’s most beloved children’s writer and illustrator, creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
About Her Gardening Life
Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the Classic Children’s Tales
Detailed and Humorous
The Best Known Characters: Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
Among other beloved animal personalities
Probably the best known, and maybe best loved of all Potter’s storybook characters.Many toys, books, and children’s items celebrate Peter.
Peter’s relative and sidekick in getting into scrapes and eating too many onions.
PETER’S MOTHER AND FLOPSY, MOPSY, AND COTTON-TAIL
Peter isn’t alone in the hearts of those who have read the stories, who can forget his caring and practical mother and well behaved sisters?
From a picture letter that Beatrix Potter sent Norah Moore, comes the lovable and impertinent squirrel who tangles with the quite serious Owl, Old Brown. Before getting the full story ready for printing, (which combined an earlier story letter about squirrels with this one), much time was given to drawing squirrels including her pet squirrel kept in a large birdcage.
A terribly tidy hedgehog
Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was based on real characters: both the persona of a real washerwoman, and Beatrix’ own pet hedgehog.
Of her washerwoman, Katie MacDonald, Potter wrote,
“Kitty MacDonald, our old washerwoman … Kitty is eighty-three but waken, and delightfully merry … She is a comical, round little woman, as brown as a berry and wears a multitude of petticoats and a white mutch. Her memory goes back for seventy years, and I really believe she is prepared to enumerate the articles of her first wash in the year ’71”
- A mutch is “The close linen or muslin cap of an old woman.”
C Charlotte Home Furnishings Inc Mrs Tiggy Winkle Beatrix Potter European Cushion Cover – 14 in. x 14 in. Cotton by Beatrix Potter
On of the funniest and leaving an impression for her caricature of a washerwoman who rather disconcertingly turns into a normal hedgehog and runs away. A wonderful mix of the real and the fantasy in this story. It has an Alice in Wonderland quality to it.
by Beatrix Potter (1866â€”1943) – Internet Archive scan of The Tale of Two Bad Mice, image taken from this PDF version
Making Away With Lucinda’s Pillow
Internet Archive scan of The Tale of Two Bad Mice, image taken from this PDF version, the relevant text for this illustration is “With Tom Thumbs’s assistance she carried away a number of items from Lucinda’s dollhouse.
A Bad Mouse
She was one of a pair of mice who moved into a doll’s house one day. They prove a bit destructive, and the tale is, thus, of “Two Bad Mice“. Dressed up in skirts and apron, this delightful mouse and her story originated in a real life encounter with mice who had been trapped within a cousin’s home.
Inspired by her publisher’s Christmas gift of a doll’s house for his niece, this popular story was born as she wrote about the two rescued mice over the winter of 1903.
The development of the illustrations were from drawings of actual objects, Warne’s constructed doll house (from photographs), his niece’s policeman doll, and two dolls that Warne made a gift of to Beatrix.
Tale of Mr. Tod, Tommy Brock
Tale of Mr. Tod, Tommy Brock
Jeremy Fisher, A Gentleman Frog
The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher was originally written as a letter to a child in 1893 while Potter was summering on the River Tay. “I should like to do Mr. Jeremy Fisher … I think I can make something of him”
Biographer Linda Lear writes that Miss Potter “wanted to do a frog story for some time, because it was amusing and offered the opportunity for the naturalist illustrations she delighted in ”
Her Letters Tell Tidbits
- Charming letter written by Beatrix Potter to young fan explains how she was inundated with requests
In a letter to a young fan named Phyllis, the writer tells of ‘heaps of letters’ from fans wanting their pets mentioned in her celebrated tales – including a crocodile.
Her Character Products Are Everywhere
From her bright mind and observing eye came the charming illustrations for her books, and Beatrix Potter created numerous characters that impress with their lack of pretentious Victorian manner and detailed with her astute eye and somewhat irreverent humor.
From the sweet rabbit sisters to the more sinister Mr. Tod, the characters all have the talented hand of Beatrix Potter unfailingly giving them life and personality. They make wonderful decor for children’s rooms and baby nurseries (but I doubt we ever really outgrow them).
Know All of Them? – How big of a fan are you?
Are you familiar with all the Beatrix Potter story characters?
Jemima- she is lovable, but a silly goose…don’t you think?
GUND Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit Classic Stuffed Animal Plush, 9″
The World of Beatrix Potter: Collectible Peter Rabbit by Kids Preferred. An adorable stuffed Peter who is very true to his character. Loveable in his little blue coat. (This particular toy is no longer available on Amazon; the link above is to the Gund version for playing. )
I will tell you a secret: I would love one of these to put on a shelf because I have never really outgrown stuffed animals or Miss Potter’s stories.
Charming Nursery Characters
The watercolor palette, endearing drawings, and beloved stories make Potter’s animals ideal for decorating a baby nursery. There are so many items emblazoned with Peter and all his friends.
It is easy to find gifts for birthdays or Christmas, combining books and stuffed animals, and so many other types of things. Figurines, even cupcake stands, or a salt and pepper set! No matter what our age, if we love her characters we can find gifts to treasure.
What Item To Decorate?
That is the only question!
Beatrix Potter illustrations are darling on all sorts of products, from T-shirts to plates and children’s banks and fabrics.
Many other products have Potter’s illustrations and characters created at Zazzle.
Desire baby clothes and nursery decor? Target has offered a complete line in the delicate colors, with beloved protagonists of the tales. I saw them there, and thought the set was a darling way to do up a baby’s room.
But don’t forget the books! As sweet as the watercolors are, it is the memory of the funny little stories that give this childhood set of nursery friends their long lived popularity
The Lake District – Hilltop Farm
Her Home At Hill Top
Hill Top was purchased by Beatrix Potter in 1905 with royalties from her first few books.
Scenes and details of her books were inspired by the family’s visits to the Lake District. She visited her new home as often as she could, but never for more than a few days at a time due to her busy life, nevertheless she produced sketches of the house, garden, countryside and animals for her books.
Visit Hill Top Farm, see the home which is now a museum in the National Trust.
Another View of Hill Top and Jemima!
Jemima is dressed up for her adventures in front of Hilltop House