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Beatrix Potter's Biography

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Early Life

Helen Beatrix Potter was born in Kensington in London in 1866 into a well-to-do family.

Beatrix Potter had an isolated childhood. She was educated at home, whilst her brother, Bertram, was sent to boarding school.

Beatrix Potter's family were friends with the painter Millais and Beatrix Potter displayed a talent for drawing from a very young age.

At 15 she started writing a secret diary, whose code was only cracked after her death.

Beatrix Potter had a varied assortment of pets, including two rabbits named Benjamin and Peter, and would often draw these animals.


Beatrix Potter originally wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1893 as a private missive to her former governess's boy who was ill.

Seven years later she published the book by herself.

Later on, Frederick Warne became her publisher and she was to enjoy huge popular success.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit has sold more than 40 million copies and Frederick Warne published 24 Beatrix Potter books.

Personal Life

In her late 30s, Beatrix Potter bought a farm at Sawrey near Lake Windermere in the Lake District.

Her relationship with her editor Norman Warne was not approved of by her parents. Norman Warne proposed to Beatrix Potter, but he died less than a month later.

In 1912 she married a local solicitor William Heelis, in spite, once more, of her parents' disapproval.

Beatrix Potter died in 1943.

She was first woman president of the Herdwick Sheepbreeders Association and had acquired 14 farms and 4000 acres of land.

In 2006, played by Renée Zellweger, Beatrix Potter was the subject of the film Miss Potter.


January 2016

It was reported that The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots written by Beatrix Potter more than 100 years previously was to be published for the first time.
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