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.

News From The Trustees

The Trustees of the Society are delighted to announce that the UK Charity Commission has granted our request to start a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). We aim to complete 2017 as a Registered Charity, and the CIO will take effect as soon as possible in the New Year, with the start of our new financial year. Please note that we will still benefit from charitable status, as at present. Further details will be given in the January Journal and Newsletter.

Eighteenth Conference and Excursions

Mark Your Calendars!

Pre conference excursions Sunday, 9 September to Tuesday 11 September. Conference: Tuesday 11 September-Saturday 15 September 2018     Castle Green Hotel, Kendal

The Conference will be held at Castle Green Hotel in Kendal. Day 1 will feature six local women who like Beatrix Potter, are true Cumbrian entrepreneurs. A speaker from the Lake District National Park will focus on the UNESCO World Heritage ‘Cultural Landscape’ site designation, and what it means for the future of the Lake District and its farming way of life, so beloved of Beatrix Potter. Full day field trips will follow in the footsteps of Beatrix by spending time at either the Westmorland County Show, near Kendal or in Ambleside and at the Armitt Museum. Full details, including costs and information on accommodation at Castle Green Hotel will be provided in the January J&N.  Stay tuned in the coming months and mark your calendar now! 

Castle Cottage
Castle Cottage, Beatrix Potter’s marital home

Pottering About- E News

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”, an electronic newsletter. Click the Sign Up button to be added to our mailing list.

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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

The Beatrix Potter Society Committee 

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 

Beatrix Potter with Benjamin Bunny on a lead
Courtesy of private collector
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 TimeBeatrix Potter, c.1895
Esthwaite Water at Harvest Time
Beatrix Potter, c.1895

Beatrix Potter News


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. (image left © Frederick Warne & Co.). Read More

National TrustSecret Beatrix Potter drawings

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

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.

The Beatrix Potter Society Photo Janet Sullivan
Frederick Warne & Co.


Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books

Cultural Heritage Digitisation Ltd, London

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 (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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