Saturday 2 December, 2017 The Sloane Club, London
Festive Frolics will be on Saturday 2 December at the Sloane Club in London, and further details will follow in the October J&N
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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The 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.
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.
The Beatrix Potter SocietyCommittee
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 News
Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books
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 (email@example.com) or Lizzie Jacklin(firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.