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Who Is Beatrix Potter?

Beatrix Potter most popular book and her first story is The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902). Born on the 28th of July 1866, in Kensington, London, she died on the 22nd of December 1943. Her books continue to be classic children’s favorites and have provided inspiration for a musical and a ballet. There are also several books and films about her life such as the 2006 movie, Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger.

Born to socialites (Rupert William and Helen) who lived upon their inheritances, Beatrix Potter had a younger brother, Bertram. She grew up with pets (frogs, newts, rabbits, a rat and a bat) as her main companions. The rabbits are now famously known as Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit; the rat as Samuel Whiskers. At 15, she met the vicar Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley with whom she shared a love of nature and founded the National Trust with.

In Victorian society, she could not pursue her interest in animal and plant science. She wrote a number of papers but they were not published because she was a woman. She was actually one of the first scientists to propose that lichens are a symbiosis of fungi and bacteria, something now widely accepted.

Income from her published works and inheritance allowed her to purchase land and to live on a farm raising sheep with her solicitor William Heelis whom she married in 1914. Upon her death, she bequeathed most of her land to the National Trust which she had founded for conservation of the natural surroundings and her ashes were scattered across the countryside.

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