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Beatrix Potter (Hardback)

Her Inner World

Social History Women of History

By Andrew Norman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Social
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781781591918
Published: 15th January 2014

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£19.99


150th anniversary

2016 marks 150 years since the birth of children's author Beatrix Potter, on 28 July 1866

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Even before she emerged from the cot in her nursery, Beatrix Potter was up against it. With her prodigious memory she recalled being placed 'under the tyranny of a cross old nurse' who introduced her to 'witches, fairies and the creed of the terrible John Calvin'. More sadness followed. She had no siblings of her own age and was brought up, virtually, in isolation. She also had a love affair that ended tragically. She was afflicted by two most unpleasant illnesses – one of which affected her for the remainder of her life – and she found herself often at odds with her mother. Yet, she grew up to become one of the most original of children's authors and illustrators whose books are as popular today as they were when they were first published, almost a century ago.

How did her sheltered upbringing, her tense relationship with her parents and, critically, her chronic and debilitating illnesses, determine the development of her personality and her evolution as a writer? Andrew Norman, in this concise and insightful biography, seeks to answer these questions and to uncover the source of the inspiration that gave birth to a series of remarkable children's books, including the most famous of all The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Andrew Norman quotes extensively from Beatrix Potter's fluent and revealing letters, and traces the strong influences exerted by her family and by her love of animals and the countryside. As he describes her reaction to her childhood illness, he shows how she escaped from the pain and sorrow of the world by creating for herself another world – one to which only she had access.

As featured in the Western Daily Press, Cumberland News, Workington Times & Star, News & Star (Carlisle) and Farnham Herald.

This concise biography of the children's author and illustrator contains a vivid account of her isolated upbringing and traces her development and inspirations as a writer.

Bookseller

As well as the many meticulously researched extracts from Potter's lively letters, Norman provides extensive family trees helping to piece together who's who in Potter's world.

Eastern Daily Press

Of particular note are the chapters on Potter's correspondence and friendship with Sir John Everett Millais as a child and her dalliance with mycology (the study of fungi).

Norwich Evening News

The book uncovers the source of inspiration that gave birth to a series of much-loved children's books, including the most famous of all - The Tale of Peter Rabbit - and also gives interesting insight into the life and mind of one of literature's greatest writers.

Discover Your History

An in-depth study of her life which, with the help of personal correspondence, delves deeply into the inner world of a remarkable woman who gave us Peter Rabbit and friends.

This England

Andrew Norman's scholarly work would sit well in the biographical or reference section of a library and may well also appeal to those who already know something about Beatrix Potter's life but who do not wish to study the previous full biographies.

The Beatrix Potter Society

Excellent reading material. A very enjoyable book

Amazon Reviewer
 Andrew Norman

About Andrew Norman

Dr Andrew Norman worked as a GP in Dorset before a spinal injury ended his medical career. He is now an established writer who has produced biographies of such notables as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Hardy, T. E. Lawrence, Agatha Christie, Jane Austen and Robert Mugabe. He is also the author of Adolf Hitler: The Final Analysis and of HMS Hood: Pride of the Royal Navy, a study of the loss of the famous battlecruiser.

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