Beatrix Potter is renowned for writing one of the most beloved children’s books of all time, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She went on to write and illustrate more books in her lifetime, many of which were translated into other languages and are still sold worldwide.

The Tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle

Children’s books by Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter wrote picture letters to children she knew, and in 1901 she turned one into her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and produced her own privately printed edition of it. Several commercial publishers had turned the idea down, but Frederick Warne published it in 1902 after Beatrix agreed to create her black-and-white illustrations in colour. The following year, under the editorial supervision of publisher Norman Warne, Beatrix Potter produced The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester. All were enormous commercial successes. Twenty more little books followed, at the rate of two or three a year.

Beatrix Potter Tales

Beatrix Potter The Little Books: A Closer Look

Beatrix Potter’s book illustrations

Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated all her books published in her lifetime. She got inspiration from her garden, the Lake District, and other rural areas in the England, Scotland and Wales. You can tell that Beatrix Potter was also a scientist, and drawing from real life, since her illustrations of animals and places are both accurate and tender.

No more little tales by Beatrix Potter

Beatrix continued to write, but her diminished eyesight and enthusiasm for farming meant that The Tale of Little Pig Robinson, published in 1930, was the last little book. In 1929 she had also published a longer book, The Fairy Caravan, in the United States. Although a small edition was published in England for copyright reasons, it did not appear commercially there until after her death because she thought it too autobiographical and personal.

The Tale of Little Pig Robinson – Published by Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. reproduced by kind permission

Book Beatrix Potter’s Secret Code Breaker by Andrew P Wiltshire

Beatrix Potter’s Journal

From 1881, at the tender age of fifteen, to 1897, Beatrix Potter kept a journal in which she recorded her activities and opinions about society, art and current events. It was written in her secret cypher-coded alphabet, which was not deciphered until 1958.

The paperback Beatrix Potter’s Secret Code Breaker tells the story of the codebreaker, Leslie Linder, who spent thirteen years bringing Beatrix’s Journal to life. It was first published in 1966 in an incomplete edition. See the code and amusing examples of what Beatrix had written, for she never expected others to read her thoughts and observations.

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Publications

These books supply more information about the art, interests and writing of Beatrix Potter.

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