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Beatrix Potter & Peter Rabbit

Updated on February 14, 2013

The Tales of Beatrix Potter

I grew up reading the tales of Beatrix Potter and I still love her gorgeous illustrations and charming characters. From Peter Rabbit to Flopsy Bunny and from Squirrel Nutkin to Tom Kitten, her characters are full of vivid personality and are cherished in hearts young and old the world over.

Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated many classic tales, the most famous of which is The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Here we'll discuss Peter Rabbit, as well as the life of Miss Potter and the fabulous merchandise representing her beautiful illustrations, including some unique Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin gifts!

The World of Peter Rabbit - A collection of all 23 of Beatrix Potter's classic tales, each in their own hardcover book and with full-color illustrations, all co

Beatrix Potter's Characters as Stuffed Animals - Lovable and hugable versions of the beloved characters!

The Life of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born in London, England on July 28, 1866 and was an author and illustrator. She published the famous The Tale of Peter Rabbit as well as many other beloved children's stories, but was also famous within the field of mycology for her detailed watercolors of spore germination and fungi life cycles.

She had a lonely childhood with her only brother away at school, and so spent much of her time observing and drawing animals and nature. She had many pets, including two rabbits named Peter and Benjamin.

Beatrix's summers were spent visiting Scotland for most of her young life, though one summer her parents took her to the Lake District in northwest England. The Lake District would become very important to Beatrix. It not only greatly influenced her artwork, but it was also where she met Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley, who inspired her interest in conservation and later co-founded the National Trust.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit was originally written in a letter to the daughter of Beatrix's former governess, but upon insistence from the governess, Beatrix tried to publish the story. Her attempts were unsuccessful, so she published it herself. Soon, the publisher Frederick Warne & Co took an interest in it and published it in 1902 to great success, selling over 20,000 copies over the next year.

Potter became engaged to Norman Warne a few years later, much to the chagrin of her parents, as he was not of the same social status. Tragically, Norman died before they could get married.

From the sale of her books, Beatrix became financially independent from her parents and purchased land in the Lake District. She settled at Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey permanently at the age of 47 when she married William Heelis, a local lawyer.

While Potter continued to write and illustrate books until her eyesight began to fail, publishing 23 books in the Peter Rabbit collection, she also spent much of her later life farming and breeding sheep, though eventually Beatrix and William moved into the town of Sawrey. She died on December 22, 1943. Her husband passed a few years later and left Hill Top Farm to the National Trust so that, despite the Lake District's popularity with tourists, it would be preserved just the way Beatrix loved it and had forever documented in her treasured illustrations.

Miss Potter on DVD - Renee Zellweger stars in this charming biographical tale of Beatrix Potter.

Miss Potter
Miss Potter

The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children's book, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", and her struggle for love, happiness and success.

 

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were--

Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail,

and Peter.

They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.

'Now my dears,' said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, 'you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.'

'Now run along, and don't get into mischief. I am going out.'

Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker's. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.

Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries:

But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate!

First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes; And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.

But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor!

Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, 'Stop thief!'

Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate.

He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.

After losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.

Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.

Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him.

And rushed into the tool-shed, and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not had so much water in it.

Mr. McGregor was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the tool-shed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower-pot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each.

Presently Peter sneezed--'Kertyschoo!' Mr. McGregor was after him in no time, and tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGregor, and he was tired of running after Peter. He went back to his work.

Peter sat down to rest; he was out of breath and trembling with fright, and he had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp with sitting in that can.

After a time he began to wander about, going lippity--lippity--not very fast, and looking all round.

He found a door in a wall; but it was locked, and there was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath.

An old mouse was running in and out over the stone doorstep, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. She only shook her head at him. Peter began to cry.

Then he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Presently, he came to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A white cat was staring at some gold-fish, she sat very, very still, but now and then the tip of her tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter thought it best to go away without speaking to her; he had heard about cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny.

He went back towards the tool-shed, but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe--scr-r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scuttered underneath the bushes. But presently, as nothing happened, he came out, and climbed upon a wheelbarrow and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate!

Peter got down very quietly off the wheelbarrow; and started running as fast as he could go, along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes.

Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.

Mr. McGregor hung up the little jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten the blackbirds.

Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree.

He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit-hole and shut his eyes. His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!

I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.

His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter!

'One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time.'

But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.

THE END

The Tales Brought to Life on DVD - This wonderful collection features a charming BBC production of Beatrix Potter's beloved tales!

The Beatrix Potter Collection: Tale of Peter Rabbit & Friends / Tale of Pigling Bland & Other Stories / Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle & Mr. Jeremy Fisher & Other Stories
The Beatrix Potter Collection: Tale of Peter Rabbit & Friends / Tale of Pigling Bland & Other Stories / Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle & Mr. Jeremy Fisher & Other Stories

"The beautiful illustrations are magically brought to life in this captivating series, including a live action introduction featuring Niamh Cusack as Beatrix Potter, specially tailored for each story. Each episode invites us to join the exciting adventures of a beloved group of characters, including Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle- Duck and of course, Peter Rabbit!"

 

A Series of Excerpts from The Beatrix Potter Collection DVDs - Watch the World of Peter Rabbit brought to life!

Beatrix Potter's Books

A list of her publications, year of publication included.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902)

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903)

The Tailor of Gloucester (1903)

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (1904)

The Tale of Two Bad Mice (1904)

The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (1905)

The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan (1905)

The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher (1906)

The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit (1906)

The Story of Miss Moppet (1906)

The Tale of Tom Kitten (1907)

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (1908)

The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding (1908)

The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (1909)

The Tale of Ginger and Pickles (1909)

The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse (1910)

The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes (1911)

The Tale of Mr. Tod (1912)

The Tale of Pigling Bland (1913)

Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes (1917)

The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse (1918)

Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes (1922)

The Fairy Caravan (1929)

The Tale of Little Pig Robinson (1930)

Wag-By-Wall (illustrations by J. J. Lankes) (1944)

The Tales of Beatrix Potter Live - An ad for the Royal Opera performance of the Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Beatrix Potter Quotes

"Thank God I have the seeing eye, that is to say, as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough land seeing every stone and flower and patch of bog and cotton pass where my old legs will never take me again."

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

"Most people, after one success, are so cringingly afraid of doing less well that they rub all the edge off their subsequent work."

"I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever."

"I hold an old-fashioned notion that a happy marriage is the crown of a woman's life."

"I hate publicity, and I have contrived to survive to be an old woman without it, except in the homey atmosphere of Agricultural Shows."

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What's Your Favorite Beatrix Potter Tale?

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Unique Beatrix Potter Gifts - From clocks to pencil tins, unique gifts for Beatrix Potter fans!

Beatrix Potter's Characters in Cross Stitch Patterns - A crafty way to enjoy the stories!

The Lake District

A stunningly beautiful mountainous region, the Lake District is located in northwest England and has proved the inspiration for many great authors, including not only Beatrix Potter, but also William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey, among others.

Located within the shire county of Cumbria, the Lake District is one of England's National Parks. Beatrix Potter's cottage and property of Hill Top Farm is in Near Sawrey near Hawkshead which is between the lakes of Windermere and Coniston Water.

When Beatrix Potter passed away, she left her property in Sawrey to her husband and in his will he left Hill Top Farm to the National Trust so that it could be preserved the way that his wife remembered and loved it.

Read more about the Lake District on Wikipedia.

Where is the Lake District? - See where Hill Top Farm and Near Sawrey is located.

A markernear sawrey, cumbria, england -
near sawrey, cumbria, england
get directions

Beatrix Potter's Characters in Pewter and Sterling Silver - Pewter figurines and sterling silver Christmas ornaments

Decorate Your Walls with Peter Rabbit - Wall clings and posters of Peter Rabbit and friends!

Leave a Note! - Do you love Beatrix Potter and her stories? Let us know!

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Beautifull site!!! ^_^

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beatrix Potter books are fabulous classics. Great lens!

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 6 years ago

      Thank you for a delightful lens. I love Beatrix Potter's books! Blessed by a SquidAngel

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love the Peter Rabbit books. Lovely lens!