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The picture letters of Beatrix Potter
September 10, 2012 10:43 AM   Subscribe

In [a series of notes to Noel Moore, the oft-sickly son of her former governess], Potter punctuates her words with small, sweet illustrations: 'I have come a very long way in a puff-puff …' (next to a train), a straightforward, 'Here are some rabbits throwing snow balls,' and, of course, Peter’s debut in a special dispatch from 1893. - Beatrix Potter’s Picture Letters, The Birthplace Of Peter Rabbit

If you happen to be in New York between November 2, 2012 and January 27, 2013, you can see the letters on exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum.

Also in the collection are notes that highlight her struggles with publication, such as this one in which Potter writes, "She would rather make 2 or 3 little books costing 1/ each, than one big book costing 6/ because she thinks little rabbits cannot afford to spend 6 shillings on one book and would never buy it."

This short biography of Potter has a little bit more about her fight to get Miss Potter's Tale of Peter Rabbit published according to her vision, which led to an ill-fated love affair.
posted by SugarAndSass (4 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Perhaps this news belongs here: Emma Thompson recently received a small package containing a nibbled-upon radish leaf and a letter from Peter Rabbit suggesting she follow in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter to write another Peter Rabbit story.
“It was such a witty invitation,” Thompson tells me, “and it was very clever because in a sense I was completely tricked.” She laughs in that familiar warm and spontaneous way.

“If Frederick Warne,” – the publisher of the Peter Rabbit stories – “had sent some official letter I would have said don’t be ridiculous, I can’t think of anything I want to do less than step into the footsteps of a genius like Potter.” But the publisher’s sweetly cunning ploy worked, and next week sees the publication of The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson, published for the 110th anniversary of the book’s original publication.
posted by Elsa at 10:59 AM on September 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Just a bit of afternoon fishing in a note to Noel in 1897.

No mention of Lear??
posted by DU at 11:43 AM on September 10, 2012


Thanks for the post-I have loved Miss Potter since childhood. If one is in the Lake District I highly recommend a visit to Hilltop, her home which she left,along with many other nearby farms, to the National Trust. Off season is best and there are many rambles nearby. Perhaps a bit commercial for some, but my daughters also adored The World of Beatrix Potter when they were young.

Along with writing delightful tales and basically starting the Lake District National Park through land donation, she was a conservationist and prominent amateur mycologist

Really wishing I could get to NYC for this ...
posted by Isadorady at 11:55 AM on September 10, 2012


Isn't it also the case that at her funeral family and friends were surprised by the large contingent of tweedy local farmers who turned up? These people knew and cared nothing about any books, and they were in general not easily impressed, but they had developed a deep respect for Potter as a leading breeder of Herdwick sheep
posted by Segundus at 2:05 AM on September 11, 2012


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