Beatrix Potter was born 150 years ago – On this day in history

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28 July 2016
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28-July-Peter_Rabbit_first_edition_1902a-28038.jpg Peter Rabbit 1st edition
On her 150th birthday, we celebrate the life and achievements of this much-loved children's author

On 28 July, 1866, much-loved children’s author Beatrix Potter was born. She published her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, in 1902, and her books have been adored by by our grandparents, parents and children ever since.

Although her gentle representations of rural life in times gone by are extremely nostalgic, in many ways Beatrix Potter was very forward-looking and shared many of our values today – being keenly interested in nature, land preservation and history. Her meeting with Hardwicke Rawnsley, future founding secretary of the National Trust, encouraged her love of the countryside further.

Beatrix Potter was also very typical of many comfortably off Victorian women – being privately taught by governesses, well read, accomplished, but ultimately with no plans for future employment. But Beatrix did wish to earn her own money. Peter Rabbit has since sold 45 million copies and has been translated into 36 languages, so we can safely say she realised her aim!

Have a look and see if you can spot her entries in the census returns... a typical Victorian gentlewoman, in many respects, who left an enormous legacy on children’s literature for decades to come. Let us know which is your favourite Beatrix Potter tale, 150 years after her birth!

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