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Beatrix Potter


Beatrix Potter was born in 1866 in South Kensington, London. Her father had a regular income from owning property from the Lancashire cotton industry.

Potter, who spent a sheltered childhood, never went to school but was instead taught at home by a governess. In her spare time, she amused herself by painting, using specimens from the Natural History Museum and sketching nature in the Lake District, where her family spent their holidays. As a young woman, Potter lived at her parent’s home and for over fifteen years she recorded her everyday life in her own secret code-writing.

As a writer and artist, her fame came about by accident when she sent a sick child some of her animal stories. The sketches and text somehow ended up in the hands of the publisher Frederick Warne & Company, which gave her instant fame.

From 1905 onwards, she spent her time on a farm in the Lake District and the following years were to be her most productive. She published a number of small format children’s books, best suitable for small hands. Her stories were simple and direct, without talking down to the young listener or reader.

At the age of 47, she married and bought her own farm, where she spent the rest of her life. Her literary work deteriorated with her eyesight and by 1930s she had stopped writing completely. She died in 1943.

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