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Saturday/Sunday 9, 10 September, 2017                   Lake District

Autumn Meeting

Autumn Meeting will be held  in the Lake District on Saturday 9 September and Sunday 10 September 2017. 

 On Friday 8 September Mandy Marshall has kindly offered to host an afternoon at Castle Cottage as an optional extra to the weekend. She is also able to give advice about local travel and accommodation – please contact her directly on mandymarshall.bbg@gmail.com.

   On Saturday 9 September lunch at 1 p.m. in the Braithwaite Hall, Far Sawrey, will be followed by two talks and then tea, and there will be opportunities throughout the day to browse the bring-and-buy and sales tables. Dominic Riley, award winning bookbinder, teacher and accredited lecturer with the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies, will speak on ‘The Whole Art of the Book’; and then David Seymour, owner and renovator of Lingholm, will talk about ‘Beatrix Potter at Lingholm and around Derwentwater’.

   On the morning of Sunday 10 September Members should make their own way to Lingholm, just outside Portinscale, Keswick, at the kind invitation of David Seymour. Tea and coffee will be served before a guided tour of the newly-restored walled garden and a visit to the house itself.   There is a small gallery/museum dedicated to Beatrix’s work around Derwentwater and the Newlands Valley, and the Lingholm café serves lunch should Members wish to stay on. Deadline for registration is 31 July. Click here for flyer.

Connecticut SymposiumThe Beatrix Potter Society Symposium, New London, Connecticut

As reported in Pottering About The Symposium in New London, CT, was a stimulating weekend of discussions around the biographies on Beatrix, her North American friends, and the importance of archives and how to make use of them to conduct your own research. Mark Samuels Lasner gave a fascinating talk on the need for a complete Potter bibliography (it would be no small undertaking), and Mandy Marshall entertained with a glimpse of life behind “Timmy Willy’s gate” at Castle Cottage.

The exhibit at the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives, “The Passion for Animals in Victorian Children’s Literature and Beyond”, had many Potter treasures, including a copy of Hildesheimer & Faulkner’s “A Happy Pair”.

The J&N will have a longer report to satisfy you.
Thanks to Lolly Robinson from the Horn Book for her summary of the Symposium from The Horn Book’s “Out of the Box” blog. To view click here.

Connecticut symposium 4

Brian Alderson donates his book collection to Newcastle University and Seven Stories

Brian Alderson, President of our Society, has donated his collection of more than 20,000 children’s books from the seventeenth century to the present day to Newcastle University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books.

Brian will be giving a talk at Seven Stories on Wednesday 14 June at 5.30 p.m. For further details, please click here

Newcastle University’s Philip Robinson Library is hosting a free exhibition of some of the highlights of Brian’s collection, starting in June and running through this summer.


Castle Cottage

Castle Cottage, Beatrix Potter’s marital home

Pottering About- E News

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Committee Elected at 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 

Congratulations to Dame Patricia Routledge DBE!

We are thrilled to learn that our Patron, Patricia Routledge, 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 with her award after it was presented to her by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

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

No man is an island: Hardwick Rawnsley a green Victorian

No man is an island: Hardwick Rawnsley a green Victorian

Hear first hand Dr. Rosalind Rawnsley, the great- granddaughter of Canon Rawnsley, how the sale of Grasmere Island in 1893 inspired the foundation of the National Trust. Read more

Into the Woods: Trees in Illustration

This display shows a variety of illustrations celebrating trees, woods and landscapes. Featuring watercolours by Beatrix Potter and Arthur Rackham, alongside drawings by E. H. Shepard for A. A. Milne’s Pooh stories and his verses in Now We Are Six. Read More

That Corner of the Lake District: An Exhibition

That Corner of the Lake District: An 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 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

Melford Hall

Secret Beatrix Potter drawings

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

Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books


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. 

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