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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Beatrix Potter's birthday

Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.

Don't go near Mr. McGregor's garden: your father had an accident there, he was put into a pie by Mrs. McGregor. 

~ Ibid. 

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

~ Potter, attributed

And the best quote ever on why you should ply your children (and grandchildren!) with good books throughout their childhoods:

For quiet, solitary and observant children create their own world and live in it, nourishing their imaginations on the material at hand.
In the UK, stamps depicting Beatrix Potter's creations
 have been released on the 150th anniversary of her birth.
Today is the anniversary of the birth of the English writer and illustrator of children's books, Beatrix Potter (wiki) (1866-1943). Most familiar as the author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) and The Tailor of Gloucester (1903), Beatrix Potter was born in London and despite having no formal artistic training, illustrated all her books with simple, unassuming watercolors, while creating the characters of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, the hedgehog Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and others.  

After 1927, she wrote very little but became a farmer and sheep-breeder in the north of England. From the age of 15 until she was past 30, Potter kept a journal in a secret code that was not broken until 20 years after her death

Here's a brief documentary on Potter's life:

She also produced a series of gorgeous, scientifically accurate paintings of various types of fungi, as discussed and illustrated in Linda Lear’s highly regarded Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature:

Flammulina velutipes (Armitt Museum and Library)

Strobilomyces strobilaceus (Armitt Museum and Library)

Hydrocybe coccinea (Armitt Museum and Library)
Related links:

She sent the story to her publisher in 1914, saying it was about "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life".
The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots also features an appearance from an "older, slower" version of Peter Rabbit.

The Economist had an interesting article on her in 2007.

Here's an article on her mushroom illustrations, with several excellent examples.

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