Beatrix Potter
Roly Poly Pudding 1930
The Tale of Benjamin Bunny 1904, 1930

Amazingly, Beatrix Potter did not have any formal training in art but was largely self taught.  It was through her study of nature (much of it at the British Museum of Natural History) and through her practice of drawing small objects that her drawing skills developed. Interestingly, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, featuring Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter originated in 1893 as a letter to cheer up the ailing son of her former governess.  From this original letter, the idea for The Tale of Peter Rabbit was hatched and in 1901, having failed to attract a publisher, she published the book privately. Though it was an instant hit, it was not until 1902 that Frederick Warne & Co. agreed to become her publisher, producing the first trade edition. As an artist and author Beatrix Potter was fabulously successful, but a lesser know side of her personal history was her passionate interest in farming. After her marriage to attorney William Hellis the main focus of her life evolved from her writing activities at Hill Top Farm to full time farming. She became very well know as a breeder of prize pigs and Herdwick sheep, the native sheep of the Lake District.  In addition to her very significant and enduring contributions to the classic children's literature Beatix Potter left a lasting legacy as one of the prime benefactors of the National Trust, permanently ensuring the preservation of her beloved Lake District region for future generations.

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