Beatrix Potter and the tale of Peter Rabbit.
The world of Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter
Beatrix and the world of Beatrix Potter books are a national treasure to the UK, and admired all over the world. Beatrix Potter world or its formal title of “The world of Beatrix Potter” is one of the stop offs on the mini bus tours of the lakes provide by BusyBus. We have three starting departures for our tour of the lakes – Chester, Liverpool and Manchester.
We have produced this page to assist our drivers’ memory on the history and relevance of Beatrix Potter in literature and her interesting connection with such notoriety as Roald Dahl. Most people just know Beatrix Potter for the tale of peter rabbit, but her impact is greater with many papers that refer to Beatrix’s artistic and authorial contribution to British illustration. Beatrix Potter contributed to not only to poetics and stylistic elements, but also, in parallel, to the socio-cultural context in which she lived. Beatrix Potter embodied a model of an independent woman, address the so called social norms and individual aspirations and became an emblem of a culture of resistance that finds nature and joyful expression within children’s literature.
Home taught by governesses Beatrice was unable to mix with other children. A lonely time for her as her younger brother was at boarding school leaving her with only her pets to play with. Now she had many types of pets from ferrets to a bat. Her favourite however was her rabbits. Their Names were Benjamin and Peter, who was her favourite and she took him everywhere with her on a Lead ! She added character to her pets describing Benjamin as “an impudent, cheeky little thing” and spend an extra ordinary amount of time watching and sketching her best friends; assisting her to become quite an accomplished artist.
Beatrix Potter’s father, Rupert William Potter (1832–1914) was a son of an industrialist and Member of Parliament, Edmund Potter. Every summer, Rupert Potter would rent a country house in Scotland upto 1881 then a house in Lindeth Howe in the English Lake District. It was here the family met the local vicar, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who was deeply worried about the effects of industry and tourism on the Lake District. It was Mr Rwansley who later founded the National Trust in 1895, to help protect the countryside.
The Lakes is where Beatrix Potter fell in love with nature and the region of mountains and lakes. She learned conservation through Canon Hardwicke which became prominent in the rest of Beatrix Potter’s life in the lake district. Beatrix parents appointed her as their housekeeper when she came of age, and actually discouraged any intellectual development. Her literacy was maintain by writing a journal right up to her early 30’s . It was not until she past 30 years of age, and because of the discouragement of her parents, that Beatrix wrote the journal in code which was not decoded until 20 years after her death.
To help her reach her potential her uncle tried to induct her as a student at the Royal Botanic Gardens – Kew Gardens but the application was unsuccessful. Potter continued her love of nature and made many contributions. As photography did not exist at this time she would document microscopic images was by drawing and painting them, Potter made numerous drawings of lichens and fungi and was later one of the first to suggest that lichens were a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae. Her observations and illustrations gained her wide respected throughout England as an expert mycologist. To the point that in 1977 the Society issued a posthumous official apology to Beatrix Potter for the way she had been treated, but still refused to publish any of her technical papers.
It was chance discovery that lead to her fame in children books. In 1893 she sent a picture and story letter about rabbits to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of her last governess. That Governess Annie Moore was the first to recognize the uniqueness and commercial value of Beatrix Potter’s story and encouraged her to publish it. Beatrix revised the story and title the The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor’s Garden.
The rest as they say is History. Well it was not that easy as all the publishers turned her down so she decided to self-publish and in 1901 changed the title and coloured the illustration and produced 250 copies.
The title of the book was:
The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
By the end of that year Beatrix gain interest from Frederick Warne & Co a big publisher and 28,000 copies went in to print. The character Peter Rabbit was patented and is the the oldest licensed character in the UK, and Peter Rabbit exploded into further books and soft toys.
Beatrix produced a whole library of Beatrix Potter books, the following are just a few.
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse
The Tale of Samuel Whiskers
The Tale of Ginger and Pickles
The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes
The Story of Miss Moppet
The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck
The Tale of Mr. Tod
The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan
Potter eventually wrote 23 books, all in the same small format and famed because of her illustrations. When you mention the Lake District or English writers, Beaxtrix Potter is up there with the elite such as Williams Wordsworth.
Beatrix Potter died aged 77 and her ashes were scattered in the countryside near Sawrey, near Esthwaite Water in the Lake District. But Beatrix’s legacy lives on and in 2018 The Tale of Peter Rabbit was made into a movie.
The Peter Rabbit cast included: James Corden, Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Sam Neill, Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, Margot Robbie
Release in 2020 was the movie Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse (2020)
Cast included: Dawn French, Bill Bailey, Rob Brydon
Due to its popularity the movie Peter Rabbit 2 – The Runaway, was released in 2021.
Beatrix Potter popularity does not seem to be stopping as with the outbreak of Covid-19, and the enforcement of staying at home Beatrix Potter books have come to the rescue.
Our day trip tours to THE LAKES will take you to places in the Lake District you thought didn’t (or couldn’t) exist and your driver & tour escort will keep you fully informed and advised as to points of interest and general knowledge regarding the ever-changing panoramic views.
This Lake District sightseeing tour has been carefully routed and planned with your driver tailoring the day to suit the weather, atmosphere and ambiance of the general group on board. This makes every tour unique, special and memorable and allows you to partake in as much (or little) as you feel comfortable with. You will never be put under any commitment or pressure to do anything that you don’t wish to.
After we have waved farewell to the spectacular City of Manchester, we will hit the road to the legendary land of The Lake District in a 2-hour partially-narrated journey, navigating a spectacular section of the M6 motorway, passing Preston and Lancaster. On a clear day you will see the famous British “backbone” called The Pennines.
A superb example of a Neolithic stone circle set in the breath-taking scenery of the Lake District with a view of a number of the surrounding mountains and hills. Stand in the centre of the circle and feel the mystical energy flow from the ground up through your body.
Most of the buildings date from the 19th or early 20th Century, though the Church dates from the 13th Century. William Wordsworth, who died in 1850, and his wife Mary, who died 9 years later, have tombstone in the churchyard of St Oswald’s Church, one of the most visited literary shrines in the world.
This tiny, aroma-flooded quaint shop with happy costumed staff is neatly tucked away at the corner of the churchyard. You’ll browse through, soak up the history, and then sample this most wonderful delicacy before ladling yourself down with bags of the stuff to distribute proudly to your friends (if it lasts that long)!
The Langdales is a superb home to some of the most dramatic and diverse scenery in the whole of Cumbria (if not Britain!) hosting some of the most photogenic scenery around. Weather permitting we’ll drive the “loop” of “Little Switzerland” and even attempt a summit on foot to work up an appetite (for food or more scenery!)
Largely Victorian and home to the Roman Galava Fort – ex-resident to 500 Roman soldiers. Grew rapidly when the ferry terminal opened in 1845. St Mary’s Church (1854) was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The 17th Century Bridge House over Stock Ghyll is one of the most photographed scenes in Lakeland.
Cumbria’s most popular sprawling town developed after the opening of the railway line from Oxenholme and Kendal to Windermere in 1847. Home to a glorious lakeside boat launch. Here you can hop on the optional Lake Windermere Lake Cruise for a trip of a lifetime (£8.00 / $10).
The following locations are all accessible and can be substituted for any of the above at short notice by the driver/guide if weather or traffic conditions dictate.
This welcoming family-owned oasis with a passion for friendly and quality service offers an excellent breather for our weary travellers. The well-stocked and great value menu will tempt your palate as will the local brew and mysterious legends.
Another, earlier home of William Wordsworth from December 1799 to May 1808, the years of his supreme work as a poet. Built in the early 17th century as a small hostelry with an oak-panelled hall and floors of Westmorland slate
Glorious views of Rydal Water and the surrounding fells can be enjoyed from this home of William Wordsworth from 1813 to 1850. It now belongs to the descendants of the poet laureate and is also the starting point for the scenic coffin trail walk linking Rydal Mount with Dove Cottage.
Originally called Birthwaite built around its railway station offering train and bus connections to the surrounding area. Often referred to as the “Capital” of the Lake District with its bustling shops and many hotels – all build from local materials.
Born 28th July 1866. Her parents rented the Wray Castle near Ambleside and spent many holidays with her there. She spent most of her adult life here, inspired to write her books as well as landscape paintings and sketches. She died in 1943 leaving 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust.
Born 8th February 1819. A poet, artist, critic, social revolutionary and conservationist. In 1871 he bought Brantwood near Coniston and was involved conservation after meeting Hardwicke Rawnsley and Octavia Hill, the founders of the National Trust in 1896.
SIR HUGH WALPOLE
A resident here from 1924 until his death in 1941. He wrote a large number of books while living at Brackenburn, including The Herries Chronicle and 15 volumes of his diaries.
Famous for his 7 Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells created when he worked in the Borough Treasurers Office in Kendal from 1941. These handwritten, hand-drawn works of art have been the inspiration to all fell-walkers for the past 40 years. He died in 1991.