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Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was an English author, who was born on 28 July, 1866. Undeniably, she was the most loved author of the 20th century. She belonged to the caste of English Unitarians. Her childhood was very lonely and she had very little contact with people. Although she was widely known for her books on children, at the same time she was a conservationist, natural scientist and illustrator. Fortunately, she was born into a wealthy family. Her parents had always been in favour of higher education despite the fact that women of the Victorian era were privately governed. As a child, she was fondly drawn towards animals. She and her brother tamed their pets quite well. Until the age of 18, she was tutored privately. Her performance as a student was impressive as she possessed the ability to grasp things quickly.

Her talent was immediately recognized as she produced great artistic works. She drew sketches of plants and animals. Other sketches were of pets that she and her brother tamed. Moreover, she loved visiting galleries and seeing the works of other famous artists such as Titian, Raphael, Reynolds and Gainsborough. She preferred doing things on her own and added her own touch to everything. Her interests lay in many other things such as archaeology, botany, entomology, mycology, astronomy and many others. As far as her literary interests are concerned, they were deeply influenced by fairy tales and fantasies. She grew up reading Grimm’s Brothers, Water Babies and Hans Christian Andersen. At a later stage, her focus shifted to Shakespeare, the folk tales of Scotland and the romances involved in the books of Sir Walter Scott. She particularly visited art galleries in her teenage years as she had deep love for art. In order to earn some money, she and her brother used to print Christmas cards with different designs.

In 1902, she published her first book, the tale of Peter Rabbit that became a mega hit. Next was the tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester. In 1922, she published the Cecily Parsley’s Nursrey rhymes which were an amalgamation of nursery rhymes. However, after World War 1, her writings were oriented towards land conservation, farming and sheep breeding. Her books were popular because of the fact that she depicted the culture of the rural side and used animals as imaginative characters in her books. In 1934, she gave many of her drawings of fungi, mosses, fossils and her watercolors to the Armitt library located in Ambleside.

On 22 December, 1943, she died. Her property which included 4000 acres of land and fourteen farms was donated to the National trust. Her fans and readers talk about her books till today and she is widely remembered.

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