Birthday Bread and Milk and Blackberries for Beatrix Potter

By Caitlin G. RSS Fri, July 28, 2017

We like to celebrate Beatrix Potter every day here in the Rare Book Department, but today is her 151st birthday, so it's extra-special.

You probably remember Peter Rabbit and his better-behaved siblings Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail. They were "born" in 1893, in a get well letter that Beatrix Potter wrote to her former teacher's five-year-old son. He did get well, but it took nearly ten years before children everywhere got to enjoy the exploits of Peter Rabbit. After several publishers rejected the story, Beatrix Potter decided to publish it herself in 1901. She had 250 copies printed (we have two of them here!), then 200 more (we have another two of these as well), and then the publishing firm Frederick Warne & Co. changed their mind and decided they did want to publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit after all. Beatrix Potter shortened the text, added color illustrations, and in 1902 the Warne edition was published (we have four copies of this edition). More than a hundred years later, children are still reading about Peter losing his shoe in the cabbages and Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail getting bread, milk, and blackberries for supper.

The Rare Book Department isn't just a bunch of Beatrix Potter superfans, though. We sure have a lot of rare copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit but our collection also includes original art work, manuscripts, letters, photographs, figurines, board games, jigsaw puzzles... and hundreds of copies of all her published books. We have the largest collection of her work outside of England, and we always have some on public view. Come by sometime and take a look!

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I like those books very much I hope you make more.
sophia chen - philadelphia
Monday, July 31, 2017

I am passionate about all things Beatrix Potter. I have been an avid reader of her little books both as a child and adult. I am also an avid collector of Thank you for this post. Particularly I am interested in the original artwork, letters and photographs. There is particularly one photograph which I have never seen before. Wonderful!!
Maureen Page - Edinburgh, Scotland
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

With reference to above comment. It should read that I am avid collector of Beatrix Potter Figurines. Beswick and Royal Albert and now Border Fine Arts have produced wonderful Figurines of the Beatrix Potter Characters. You can see an amazing collection here:
Maureen Page - Edinburgh, Scotland
Wednesday, January 23, 2019