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Beatrix Potter in New London on the Thames River

From June 9th to 11th, I attended "Beatrix Potter in New London on the Thames River," a Beatrix Potter Society symposium at Connecticut College's Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives. Lear, a ConnColl alum and author of two award-winning biographies (Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, 1997; and Beatrix...

Happy birthday, dear Beatrix

On this 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth, I count myself lucky to have met a handful of people who knew her in her later years, when she was most decidedly not Beatrix Potter, but Mrs. William Heelis. By the time she married at age 47, she was beginning to...

Jeremy Fisher, rock star

We recently received Peter Rabbit: Jeremy Fisher Rocks Out (Penguin/Warne, May 2015), part of a series of paperback picture books adapted from the Peter Rabbit TV show.Jeremy might be rockin' out, but I'd bet Beatrix is rolling over. (Not that she's likely ever stopped rolling over.)For more on Beatrix Potter,...

Beatrix Potter and the Horn Book

We just posted "Peter Rabbit and the Tale of the Fierce Bad Publisher," Caroline Fraser's excellent article about Emma Thompson's The Further Adventures of Peter Rabbit and Frederick Warne's methods for getting around copyright laws in order to keep protecting its cash cow. Or bunny. (Cash bunny? Buck bunny?)As someone...

Peter Rabbit and the Tale of a Fierce Bad Publisher

Originality is everything in literature, as in art. “Originals never lose their value,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said. He may have been referring to Shakespeare and Wordsworth, but the statement is just as true of children’s literature. Of course, even originals owe something to the past — “we all quote,” Emerson...

Beatrix Potter resources

Here is a short list culled from the myriad resources available, as well as a list of the books Potter wrote. Web resourcesBeatrix Potter Potter Society has a quarterly newsletter and organizes regional gatherings both in the UK and abroad. Every other summer, they host a one-week tour and a...

Miss Potter fact and fiction

(Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen Miss Potter and you do not knowthe full story of Beatrix and Norman, stop after number 7.)1. In the film, we see a ten-year-old Beatrix telling her brother the story of Hunca Munca (The Tale of Two Bad Mice) and we see a drawing...

Miss Potter movie review

Children’s literature enthusiasts have been anticipating the opening of Miss Potter with a mixture of amusement, dread, and hope. Amusement that anyone would think Potter’s life was exciting enough for a film, dread that she could be misrepresented as glaringly as she was by her first biographer, and hope that...

Beatrix and Bertha

Beatrix Potter’s resistance to critics and fans writing about her books is well documented. In 1939 Margaret Lane, who would later become Potter’s first biographer, received a classic brush-off:So I wrote to Beatrix Potter, as politely and respectfully as I knew how, telling her of my lifelong pleasure in her...

Peter Says Please

In August 1927 the Horn Book carried an appeal for help in preserving the Lake District countryside in the names of two eminent English countryfolk, Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter. In the illustrated letter, Peter pleads mutely, like a dog begging for a bone. But they do not come empty-handed,...

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