Saturday, January 31, 2009

Beatrix Potter quote and illustration . . .

"Thank goodness I was never sent to school;
it would have rubbed off some of the originality. "

Beatrix Potter, born in London, was educated privately at home. Both parents were from Unitarian families that became prosperous through the cotton trade. She grew up isolated from most other children, with drawing, nature, pets, her little brother, and governesses as her contacts with the outside world. In the 1890s, Beatrix Potter carried out experiments in natural history, illustrating animals, plants, lichen, and fungi. When the difficulties of succeeding as a woman scientist became clear, she began a career as an illustrator of children's writing.

Her best-known book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, began as a letter to the young son of her former governess. It was first privately published in 1901. After she married at age 47 and bought a farm in England's Lake District, her writing tapered off. She focused on her personal life with her husband, preserving (protecting)the natural landscape from developers, and raising sheep. In 1930 she became the first woman president of the Herdwick Sheep Breeder's Association.

Beatrix Potter wrote a diary in code from ages 14 to 31, deciphered and published in 1966.
I never tire of learning more and more about this fascinating woman. Imagine writing a diary in code! I wonder who broke it? She must have been very protective of her private thoughts. I must look for this book at the library. I hope it is illustrated with her delightful drawings.

Content in a Cottage


Denise O'Connor said...

How uncanny,

I had recorded Miss Potter and just watched it when I pulled up your blog. What a visually beautiful movie. I long for the beauty English Countryside and wish I had a 100th of her talent.

brooke said...

Beautiful and awe-inspiring!

Millie said...

Ooh this is a spooky Rosemary - Miss Potter features in tomorrow's post over at The Hedge. But in a very different context to yours! If I mention the word MOTH, you'll get my drift! A lovely post - I so enjoyed it & the delightful image.
Millie ^_^