Membership in The Beatrix Potter Society is open to anyone interested in learning more about her life and work. Our Membership page provides information on the benefits of joining. You can join online by clicking the Join/Renew button below. Welcome!Join/Renew
Beatrix Potter’s Vision: Celebrating the Lake District 18th Biennial Conference and Setting the Scene: Pre Conference Tour Days
Pre conference excursions Sunday, 9 September to Tuesday 11 September. Conference: Tuesday 11 September-Saturday 15 September 2018 Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
Click the link to view flyers that describe the Conference and Tour Days. We encourage you to register and pay online. To fill out and submit our online registration form please click here. Within the following week of submission, you will receive a request for payment of your deposit through PayPal.
Print versions of the flyers and a registration form are included in the January Journal & Newsletter for those who prefer to register and pay via post.
Call for Nominations
The Society is seeking to elect up to four Trustees and to appoint up to four Co-opted Committee members at its Annual General Meeting on 3 March 2018. Trustee terms are for three years with the option of serving an additional three years. Co-opted terms are for one year, but may be extended.
If you are willing to serve as a Trustee, or if you are willing to serve as a Co-opted Committee member (a non-voting role compared with that of a Trustee), click here to fill out our online nomination form. The deadline is 15 February 2018.
AGM and Linder Lecture
3 March 2018 Sloane Club, London
The AGM and Linder Memorial Lecture will be on Saturday 3 March at the Sloane Club in London (52 Lower Sloane Street, London SW1W 8BS). Doors will open at 1 p.m. for those who would like to socialise and browse the Society sales table and bring-and-buy stall (Beatrix Potter items only, please) before the AGM. This will start at 2 p.m. and will be followed by the annual Linder Memorial Lecture, ‘The seeds of inspiration – Beatrix Potter’s herbal treasury’, given by Gareth Evans. Please note that tea, coffee and biscuits will be served in the middle of the afternoon, and that non-Members and guests are welcome (there will be a £5 charge on the door).
Courtesy Frederick Warne & Co. and Victoria and Albert Musuem
Beatrix Potter & Laura Ingalls Wilder
Saturday 24 March, 2018 San Diego, California
Beatrix Potter & Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Day Celebrating Their Writing, Art, Farms & Gardens
Marta Mc Dowell, author of “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life” and “The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books”, and Connie Ryle Neumann, a charter board member of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy & Research Association will talk about the exciting new research on the surprisingly parallel lives of these two authors. Click here to download flyer.
Pottering About- E News
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Beatrix Potter News
Roslind Moscrop’s Recent Bequest to The Beatrix Potter Society
The bequest has the inscribed copy of The Fairy Caravan: ‘For Joe Moscrop in remembrance of Troutbeck Park and the sheep. With kind regards from the author Beatrix Heelis. May 30th 1930’. In 1929, The Fairy Caravan was published only in America, but a hundred copies were produced in the UK for copyright purposes and Beatrix distributed them to her friends and – in particular – to local farmers and shepherds. Joe Moscrop’s copy is number 29; it also contains the frontispiece (the sketches for which are shown on the cover of the October J&N) about which Beatrix wrote: ‘This drawing and several others are not in the American edition. The first chapter was reprinted at Ambleside, for “copyrighting” purposes.’ This along with other correspondence is deposited with the National Trust in the Lake District.
Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books
The Society is 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lizzie Jacklin(email@example.com).
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
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.