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Castle Cottage

Castle Cottage, Beatrix Potter’s marital home

Pottering About

Want to keep up to date with what is going on in the Beatrix Potter world sign up for our free e-news, “Pottering About”, a six weekly electronic newsletter. Click the Sign Up button to be added to our mailing list.

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New Committee Elected at Recent AGM

Beatrix Potter Society Committee 03

 

Left to right top row:
Angela Black, Meetings Secretary, Miranda Gore Browne, Sue Smith, Treasurer, Helen Duder, Registrar of Objects, Archivist, merchandise specialist.

Seated left to right:
Rowena Godfrey, Chairman and Kathy Cole, Secretary 

9, 10 and 11 June, 2017                   Connecticut College, Connecticut

Beatrix Potter in New London on the Thames

Connecticut_College

US Symposium “Beatrix Potter in New London on the Thames” will be held on 9,10 and 11 June 2017 at Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut. This is the first meeting held in the United States in 5 years. A great chance to see old friends and make new ones!

The weekend will include talks, panel discussions, and an exhibition in the Linda Lear Center. For details about programme and registration information click here.

Spring Meeting

Saturday 20 May, 2017                   The Sloane Club, London 

Andrew Wiltshire (the Society’s Sales Liaison) will talk his book – ‘Beatrix Potter’s Secret Code Breaker’ – who is the subject of his book of the same name. Leslie Linder was a most remarkable man ‒ his tale is one of perseverance and generosity, and his legacy to Potter scholars is invaluable.Doors open at noon for shopping and socialising, and refreshments (not lunch) will be available. The talk will start at about 2 pm. All are invited to attend.

Dame Patricia RoutledgeCongratulations to Dame Patricia Routledge DBE!

We are thrilled to learn that our Patron, Patricia Rutledge, has received a New Year’s Honour for services to theatre and charity.

Patricia’s charitable works are possibly less well known than her work on stage and screen. Patricia has been a wonderful supporter of the Society for many years. Here she is enjoying a break during filming at Hill Top in October 2015.

Beatrix Potter with Benjamin Bunny on a lead Courtesy of private collector
The Beatrix Potter Society (Reg. Charity no. 281198) was founded in 1980 in the United Kingdom by a group of people professionally involved in the curatorship of Beatrix Potter material. From the start it set out to be a focus for those with a serious interest in all aspects of Beatrix Potter’s life and work and so it remains today. The Society welcomes new Members worldwide.
Esthwaite Water at Harvest Time
Beatrix Potter, c.1895

Beatrix Potter News


 

Beatrix Potter’s London

Marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), this display explores the role of London in Potter’s life and work. Born in Kensington, London Read More

That Corner of the Lake District: A New Exhibition

That Corner of the Lake District: A New Exhibition

The Beatrix Potter Gallery (and Hill Top) is open for the new season. This year’s exhibition is ” That Corner of the Lake District ” Read More

National Trust Beatrix Potter Awards Announced

National Trust Beatrix Potter Awards Announced

The first ever National Trust Beatrix Potter Awards were recently presented at Lindeth Howe Hotel, Windermere. Read More

 

River and Rowing Museum

Peter Rabbit: Mischief and Mayhem: River and Rowing Museum

This fun, family-friendly exhibition will be held from 24 June – 24 September 2017. Based around a collection of works on loan from Frederick Warne & Co., the exhibition Read More

Enchantment Theater

Enchantment Theater

A touring production throughout North America for 2017

Enchantment Theatre Company’s production of the “Peter Rabbit Tales” will be performed on April 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in the Fred Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Read more

Melford Hall

Secret Beatrix Potter drawings

A series of secret drawings by Beatrix Potter are on display for the first time at Melford Hall.
Read more >>

Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books

jemima

Cultural Heritage Digitisation Ltd, London

The Society is now the proud owner of a charming but very old Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books – The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher – and all are on long loan at the V&A .  These were a generous donation from Member, Christine Hacklett, and were given to her family by Beatrix Potter herself. Christine’s great-aunt was Nurse Ellen Bond, who helped to care for Beatrix’s first governess, Miss Hammond, in her old age and the two women became friends. Jemima  is now on long loan at the V&A, where you can make an appointment to see it by contacting Emma Laws (e.laws@vam.ac.uk) or Lizzie Jacklin(e.jacklin@vam.ac.uk).

   The copy of The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher is inscribed ‘to Ellen J Bond from Beatrix Potter Oct 4th 1906 Sawrey Ambleside’, and the Jemima is one of the original dolls registered in 1910 and produced by a company called Farnell to Beatrix’s own design. In the same year she wrote to another little girl, ‘… I should like to send “Jemima” because I have taken a great deal of interest in getting her made. She is being made in hundreds at a toy factory at Acton Hill.’

Several other Jemima dolls have survived – among them one at Melford Hall (given to the Hyde Parker children by Beatrix) and another (which originally belonged to Tom Storey’s daughter, Freda) in the Beatrix Potter Collection of the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. (See the ‘Places to Visit’ page of this website for more about Melford Hall and the Cotsen Collection. You can also read more about the Society’s acquisition in the January 2017 Journal and Newsletter, which featured Jemima on its cover.)

The background letter on the website

Photo by Betsy Bray

Visitors to The Beatrix Potter Society website might be intrigued by the background letter on each page. It is one of a group of eight letters – seven from Beatrix Heelis and one from William Heelis – written to George Walker, the manager of Troutbeck Park Farm from 1930 to 1945. They were bought by the Society at a Sotheby’s auction in May 1998 and are currently on long-loan to the V&A.(see above for making an appointment to view them)

Most of the letters, like this one written in 1942, relate to day-to-day farming matters – sale prices for cattle and sheep, wages for the men and the weather – but the collection also includes Beatrix’s initial approach to George Walker asking him to come and work for her. Her last letter to him was written on 20 November 1943, a few weeks before her death, and she says, ‘Don’t know when I will come, the wind makes me cough.’ Willie Heelis’s letter is also written a few weeks before his death – from a nursing home in York on 27 May 1945 – and encloses a cheque for the wages and enquires about the farm.

George Walker himself features several times in the letters written to Beatrix’s lambing shepherd, Joseph Moscrop, between 1926 and 1943 and published by the Society in 1998 as Beatrix Potter’s Farming Friendship.