The life of Beatrix Potter

Author, illustrator, farmer and passionate conservationist, Beatrix Potter was a very unusual woman. One of the world’s best-loved children’s authors, Beatrix Potter’s stories have captured our imagination for over 100 years with her beautifully illustrated tales. However few people are aware of the fascinating woman that Beatrix was or the achievements she accomplished in her lifetime, during an era when ambitious women were firmly discouraged from flourishing.

Beatrix was born to wealthy parents in London on 28 July, 1866. Even as a young child, she loved to sketch plants and animals, especially on her holidays in the Lake District.

Find out more of Beatrix’s story and how she came to leave London to live in Hill Top Farm, Near Sawrey in our Attraction interactive timeline full of fascinating facts.

In 1902, Frederick Warne & Co. published 8000 copies of the Tale of Peter Rabbit, which sold out instantly. By 1905, Warne had published six of Beatrix Potter’s books. It was at her Lake District home, Hill Top Farm where she wrote several of her most popular tales.

Beatrix loved life in the Lake District and became a prominent member of the farming community, winning prizes for breeding Herdwick sheep.

She bought a large amount of local land and married her local solicitor, William Heelis. When she died in 1943, she left a large estate to the National Trust.

An artist, storyteller, botanist, environmentalist, farmer and impeccable business woman, Beatrix Potter was a visionary and a trailblazer. Single-mindedly determined and ambitious, she overcame professional rejection, academic humiliation, and personal heartbreak, going on to earn a fortune and a formidable reputation.