Beatrix Potter

photo by piddy77
Born 28 July 1866 in London, Helen Beatrix Potter was both an author and illustrator, conservationist and botanist, most well known for the children’s books she wrote, featuring famous animal characters such as Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggywinkle, which remain household names today.

Born into a well off family, Potter was taught at home by a governesses, and rarely mixed with other children. She had many pets and on holidays in Lake District and Scotland, formed a love of fauna, flora and landscape, all of which she painted and observed. Although her parents frowned on her intellectual pursuits, she became widely respected in mycology circles for her study and paintings of fungi. In her thirties Potter wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which went on to become one of the best selling children’s books of the time was also. Around this time Potter was disowned by her parents after becoming engaged to Norman Warne, her publisher. Her parents thought him to be of a lower social status. However, Warne died before the wedding took place – a major tragedy for Potter despite her literary success.

In her lifetime, Potter published 23 books for children, and became financially independent from her parents. She bought a farm in the Lake District, and extended it substantially by buying up land from neighbouring farms. She married William Heelis, a local solicitor and became a farmer and sheep breeder while writing and illustrating her children’s books. On 22 December 1943 Potter died leaving almost all her property to The National Trust so as to preserve the natural beauty of the English Lake District as she remembered it, protecting it forever from developers.

Beatrix Potter’s books sell well throughout the world to this day, in a variety of languages. The stories have been retold in various formats, including films, animation and a ballet.

Source: Wikipedia – under the GNU Free Doc Licence