Even today, more than 75 years after her death on December 22, 1943, the beautifully illustrated stories of the child author Beatrix Potter – with animals and landscapes inspired by her beloved home in the English Lake District – are still hugely popular , Below are 15 fascinating facts about The Tale of Peter Rabbit .
. 1 Beatrix was not Potter's real first name.
Potter was born on July 28, 1866 in London and was actually named Helen after her mother, but was known by her more unusual middle name: Beatrix.
. 2 The story of Peter Rabbit was inspired by a letter.
Potter's Most Famous Book The story of Peter Rabbit was inspired by an illustrated letter that Potter wrote to Noel, the son, from her former governess Annie in 1
. 3 Peter Rabbit and her friends were partly based on Beatrix Potter's own pets.
Peter was modeled after Potter's own pet rabbit Peter Piper – a valued hare whom Potter often sketched and walked on a leash. Potter's first pet, Benjamin Bouncer, was the inspiration for Benjamin Bunny, Peter's cousin, in her books. Potter also liked drawing Benjamin. In 1890, after a publisher bought some of their draftsmen from Benjamin, she decided to reward him with cannabis seeds. "When I wanted to draw him the next morning, he was drunk and totally unmanageable," she later wrote in her journal.
. 4 Potter's house was essentially a menagerie.
Potter kept quite a few pets in her schoolroom – rabbits, hedgehogs, frogs and mice. She would catch wild mice and let them run free. If she had to retake her, she shook a handkerchief until the wild mice showed up to fight the imaginary enemy and be promptly picked up and locked up. When her brother Bertram went to boarding school, he left behind a pair of long-eared bats. The animals proved to be difficult to care for, so Potter released one, but the other, a rarer specimen that she shipped with chloroform and then filled for her collection.
. 5 Peter Rabbit was not an immediate success.
Potter published the story of Peter Rabbit in 1901 himself and financed the circulation of 250 copies after she had been rejected by several commercials publishing house. In 1902, the book was reissued by Frederick Warne & Co after Potter had agreed to repaint her black and white illustrations in color. At the end of his first year of printing, it was so in demand that it had to be reprinted six times.
. 6 Beatrix Potter understood the power of merchandising.
In 1903, Potter made her own Peter Rabbit doll, which she registered with the Patent Office. A Peter Rabbit board game and wallpaper were also created during their lifetime.
. 7 Potter was a naturalist at a time when most women did not.
Potter was intrigued by nature, constantly capturing the world around her in her drawings. Potter was particularly interested in fungi and became a savvy scientific illustrator who authored a paper entitled "On Germination of Spores of Agaricineae ", in which she proposed her own theory for the propagation of fungal spores. The paper was presented in the name of Potter by the deputy director of Kew Gardens at a meeting of the Linnean Society on April 1, 1897, in which Potter could not attend because at that time women were not admitted to meetings of the exclusively male Linnean Society – also if their work was considered good enough to be presented.
. 8 Potter sometimes wrote in secret code.
Between 1881 and 1897 Potter kept a diary in which she wrote down her private thoughts in a secret code. This code was so difficult that it was only cracked and translated in 1958.
. 9 Potter was supposedly a disappointment to her mother.
Despite her great success, Potter was a disappointment to her mother, who had wanted a daughter to accompany her on social calls and make a beneficial marriage. In 1905, Potter accepted the marriage proposal of its publisher Norman Warne. However, her parents were very much against it because they did not consider him good enough for her daughter and refused to publicize the engagement. Unfortunately, Warne died of leukemia a few weeks after the engagement. Potter eventually married a lawyer and kindred spirit, William Heelis, at the age of 47.
10th Potter wrote much more than you did. (Presumably.)
Potter was a prolific writer who wrote two to three stories a year and eventually wrote a total of 28 books, including Squirrel Nutkin's History and The Story of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle and The Story of Jeremy Fisher . Potter's stories have been translated into 35 different languages and sold together over 100 million copies.
. 11 Potter asked not to publish one of their books in England.
In 1926, Potter published a longer work, The Fairy Caravan . It was initially published only in America because Potter considered it too autobiographical to publish it during his lifetime in England. (She also told her English publishers that it was not as good as her other work and that it would not be well.) Nine years after her death in 1943, the book was finally published in the UK.
12th Potter's later books had to be cobbled together from early drawings.
With diminishing eyesight, it became increasingly difficult for Potter to produce the beautiful drawings that characterized her work. As a result, many of her later books were assembled from earlier drawings in her extensive collection of sketchbooks. The Story of the Little Pig Robinson was Potter's last picture book, published in 1930.
. 13 A lost work by Potter's was released in 2016.
A Lost Potter Story, The Story of Kitty-in-Boots was rediscovered in 2013, and in the summer of 2016 published history in an out-of-date biography of Potter, searching the author's archive at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Hanks discovered a sketch of the kitten in question and a rough outline of the unedited manuscript. The story is published with supplementary illustrations by Quentin Blake.
fourteenth Potter was an accomplished sheep breeder.
Potter was an award-winning sheep breeder and in 1943 the first woman to be elected President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders' Association.
15th You can visit Hill Top, Potter's home.
When Potter died in 1943 at the age of 77, she left to the British National Trust 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land in the Lake District to ensure that the beloved landscape preserved her work. The Trust opened its house, Hill Top, which it purchased in 1905, to the public in 1946.
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