Beatrix Potter’s Secret Code Breaker by Andrew P Wiltshire
The Arthington Publishing Company Ltd
Andrew Wiltshire’s book is a new paperback edition of his acclaimed biography of Leslie Linder, the Buckhurst Hill resident and Essex businessman who, in the 1950s, took five years to break open the cipher code that Beatrix Potter had invented when aged fifteen, and then used, between 1881 and 1897, to record 200,000 words of her private thoughts and observations BEFORE creating The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Alan Titchmarsh, MBE VMH DL has described the book as: ‘A fascinating story of persistence, intelligence and luck that let us into the secret world of the creator of Peter Rabbit!’ and Dame Patricia Routledge DBE, Patron of The Beatrix Potter Society, has said it is ‘…a wonderfully well written work.’
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Linder’s code breaking is illustrated so, too, are amusing examples from his four years of work translating what Beatrix had written for she never expected others to read her ‘jottings.’ When Frederick Warne published this Journal in 1966 Linder became a worldwide literary, film and television celebrity.
Andrew also describes Linder’s family, career, upper-middle class background and the enjoyment of a country estate on the edge of London supported by contracts with clients like Marconi of Chelmsford. Living nearby Andrew was part of the Linder’s church, social and work groups receiving copies of his books and personal insights into Linder’s discoveries. He has spent five years bringing together extensive research, unique photographs, and the recollections of those who, like him, knew and remember Linder’s remarkable story.
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