Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter - July 28, 1866

Beatrix and Spot
Beatrix and Spot
Beatrix Potter, the twentieth century's most beloved children's writer and illustrator, created books that will forever conjure nature for millions. Yet though she is a household name around the world, her personal life and her other significant achievements remain largely unknown. This remarkable new biography is an exploration of the life and times of an extraordinary woman.

Beatrix and Revd. William Gaskell
Beatrix and William Gaskell
Potter's was, Linda Lear reveals, a life inspired and enriched by nature. Even as a child and a young woman, growing up in a wealthy, conventional London family, her imagination and artistic talent were fed by visits to the countryside. She found personal and financial freedom through nature, first as an artist and scientific illustrator, and then as the creator of the overnight bestseller Peter Rabbit which also revealed her to a far-sighted marketer and merchandiser. It was in the "little books" that led Beatrix to her first great love: her editor and publisher Norman Warne, who died tragically just a month after he proposed to her.

Beatrix and William Heelis
Beatrix and William Heelis
But Beatrix Potter was one of those rare individuals who is given a second chance at happiness. Her purchase of Hill Top Farm in the Lake District just after Warne's death led to her reinvention as a successful landowner and country farmer, and eventually to a happy marriage to William Heelis. She became a conservationist in order to preserve the landscape that had inspired her art, and, through the lands she bequeathed to the National Trust on her death, she saved whole areas of the Lake District for posterity.

At a time when plunder was more popular than preservation, she had brought nature back into the imagination. Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature reveals a strong, humorous, and independent woman, whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.

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