Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Beatrix Potter - a Journal

Oh, what a treasure this book is. I want to hug it to me and carry it to my bed and sleep with it. My early birthday present.

On the end page of the front cover is a letter dated December 10th, 1925, written to an American woman who had asked her for details about how she came to write "The Tale of Peter Rabbit."

The journal begins with an entry dated 1882 "I was sixteen when I decided to start this dairy. I was beginning to feel the peaceful time of childhood was ending and I foresaw changes in my life." There is a family tree with photos of each member as well as photos of her London home and their holiday home in Scotland.

Photos and sketches and paintings and handwritten diary entries fill the pages. Bits and pieces open up to show something new. An envelope contains a two-page letter.

She was married to William Heelis in 1913, and led a "busy, contented life managing my own land (Hill Top Farm) among the mountains and lakes that I have drawn in my books."

An extra surprise is hidden in the endpage of the back cover - a privately printed edition of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". A small hard cover book about 4" x 5" lifts right out, and there are Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter just as we have always loved them.