How much do you know about Beatrix Potter?

How much do you know about Beatrix Potter?

How many of these facts about Beatrix Potter did you already know?

  • Her real name was actually Helen, while Beatrix was her middle name. She was born on July 28th 1866 in Kensington, London.
  • A childhood love of animals was encouraged – she and her younger brother Walter had pets including rabbits, mice, frogs, lizards, snakes and a bat.
  • Benjamin Bouncer – a rabbit who was an early model for her sketches – was fond of buttered toast and would be taken for walks on a lead.
  • While her animal drawings and paintings are world-famous, Beatrix was accomplished at drawing flowers, and studied fungi at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew.
  • In fact, she was such an excellent student she developed her own theory of how fungi spores reproduced, and is still well regarded by scientists for her research.
  • If you’ve ever experienced setbacks, follow Beatrix’s example and try, try again. Her stories were rejected by publishers, so she decided to print 250 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself. It was so popular that the publishes Frederick Warne & Co soon thought better of their initial rejection! She went on to create 23 tales.
  • Against her parents’ wishes, Beatrix became engaged to editor Norman Warner. Sadly he died of leukaemia a month later.
  • A smart business woman through and through, she designed and created the first Peter Rabbit doll in 1903. She registered him at the patent office, making him the world’s oldest licensed literary character.
  • Through buying properties in her beloved Lake District she met and fell in love with local solicitor William Heelis. They married in 1913 and lived together until her death in 1943.
  • During her lifetime she bought 15 farms and took an active part in caring for them and their livestock – even winning prizes for her sheep at local shows. She died leaving the farms and more than 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust.