beatrix-potter

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Six years before the publication of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter contributed these illustrations to the collection of children’s rhymes, Comical Customers. As she did with her earlier illustrations for Frederic Weatherly’s A Happy Pair, she signed these drawings HBP. The hapless frog here bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr Jeremy Fisher.

“The part of the Lake District that Beatrix Potter chose as her own was not only physically beautiful, it was a place in which she felt emotionally rooted as a descendant of hard-working north-country folk. The predictable routines of farm life appealed to her. There was a realism in the countryside that nurtured a deep connection. The scale of the villages was manageable. Yet the vast desolateness of the surrounding fells was awe-inspiring. It was mysterious, but easily imbued with fantasy and tamed by imagination. The sheltered lakes and fertile valleys satisfied her love of the pastoral. The hill farms and the sheep on the high fells demanded accountability. There was a longing in Beatrix Potter for association with permanence: to find a place where time moved slowly, where places remained much as she remembered them from season to season and from year to year.” ― Linda Lear

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I was reminded by @explore-blog that Beatrix Potter (born 150 years and one day ago) wasn’t just a beloved children’s author and illustrator - she was an enthusiastic amateur mycologist. Before she drew Peter Rabbit, she drew mushrooms!

These beautiful illustrations were shared with Skunk Bear by The Armitt, a charming museum/library/gallery nestled in Lake District Natural Park in Northern England.