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 Beatrix Potter

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Beatrix Potter

Original Name Helen Beatrix Potter
Birth
West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England
Death 22 Dec 1943 (aged 77)
Hawkshead, South Lakeland District, Cumbria, England
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Ashes scattered in Sawrey, England
Memorial ID 3478 View Source
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Author. She gained world-wide acclaim as an early 20th Century British author, who wrote the popular children's story of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” Helen Beatrix Potter was born in South Kensington, London, England. Her family was a typical upper-middle class English family, who had inherited their wealth from cotton manufacturing. Since all the household duties were performed by servants, the family enjoyed long holidays at regular intervals initially at their estate in Scotland, but later in the more breathtaking landscape of the English Lake District. During her lonely childhood, she and her younger brother were educated at home by a succession of German governesses, and she developed a keen interest in animals and hobbies such as art, mycology or the study of fungus, and keeping a journal written in her own secret code even into adulthood. In the fall of 1893 she wrote an illustrated eight-page letter about rabbits to the sickly five-year-old son of her governess. The governess thought the letter deserved a wider audience as the basis for a small book for young children. Eventually, the book interested publisher Frederick Warne and Company of London, and was successfully published in 1902 under the title of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” Thereafter, her other books appeared at short regular intervals: “The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin” and “The Taylor Gloucester” in 1903, “The Tale of Benjamin Bunny” in 1904, and others totaling in all 23 books by 1930. Selling her books afforded her long-held ambition of financial independence. She had a vivid imagination giving animals human traits such as talking. In 1905 after the sudden and tragic death from leukemia of her fiance, Norman Warne, who was her publisher's youngest son, she purchased a farm called Hilltop in the tiny village of New Sawrey, Cumbria in northern England. She relocated to her farm to live combining her writing of children's books with learning about sheep farming. Gradually, her writing gave way to farming Herwick sheep. In 1913 she married her solicitor William Heelis, who was handling further property transactions for her. She was a forty-seven-year-old bride, and this marriage was against her parents' wishes as was the earlier planned one to Warne. Due to her fame, both in the United States as well as Britain, she received many letters from readers, and sometimes they were visitors at her home long after she ceased writing professionally. She had become a astute and much respected farmer. She died from a “cold.” She was cremated with her ashes scattered by her beloved husband on the spot in New Sawrey at the south end of the lake called Esthwaite Water. It was there that they had often walked while dating. In her will most of her property was bequeathed to the National Trust in order to help protect the sublime natural beauty of the English Lake District from developers. In this she became an early and important conservationist.

Bio by: Timothy Purnell


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 19 Aug 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3478
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/3478/beatrix-potter : accessed ), memorial page for Beatrix Potter (28 Jul 1866–22 Dec 1943), Find a Grave Memorial ID 3478, ; Maintained by Find a Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Ashes scattered in Sawrey, England.