Although she died in 1943, Beatrix Potter is still one of the world's best-selling and best-loved children's authors. She wrote and illustrated a total of 28 books, including the 23 Tales, the 'little books' that have been translated into more than 35 languages and sold over 100 million copies.
Biography of Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) is still one of the world's best-selling and best-loved children's authors. She wrote and illustrated 28 books that have been translated into more than 35 languages and sold over 100 million copies. Born in Kensington, London, she later moved to Hill Top Farm in Cumbria and on her death bequeathed it, along with 13 other farms and over 4000 acres of land, to the National Trust.
Beatrix Potter: Nature's Lessons
From the age of eight Beatrix Potter was studying animals and insects very carefully, sketching them in her book and recording minute details. She was a keen observer of nature and this carried across to her work. Not only were her animal illustrations accurate in their illustration, but her books also show that she was a realist when it came to nature: she knew animals kill other animals, that life was full of strong instincts and potential threat.
Beatrix Potter: Place as Inspiration
Gardens, landscape and nature intrigued Potter and inspired the settings of several books, including the tales of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and Tom Kitten. Adopting an animal's perspective, she delighted in sketching objects that an inquisitive rabbit might find appealing: potting sheds, cold frames, water butts, trellises, winding paths, box hedges and vegetable patches.
Beatrix Potter: Furnishing the Imagination
Beatrix Potter had an interest in furniture and furnishings from childhood. Potter sketched many of the pieces of furniture she acquired for her house at Hill Top, with some of the pieces furnishing scenes in her picture books. At Hill Top, Beatrix arranged each room as a stage on which to play out the stories in her imagination.
Beatrix Potter: The Business of Books
Beatrix Potter was very involved in all aspects of the production of her books, from the design of the covers and endpapers to the layout of text and image on the page. Potter was also a merchandising pioneer, taking control of all the 'little side shows' such as toys, board games and puzzles to accompany her books.
Beatrix Potter: The Tailor of Gloucester
'The Tailor of Gloucester' is set between about 1735 and 1785. Beatrix Potter went to great lengths to create an authentic setting for the story: observing tailors at work, sketching scenes of Gloucester while visiting friends and gaining inspiration from 18th-century clothes in the V&A's collection.