Thursday, October 11, 2007

Meet Miss Potter

If you haven't seen "Miss Potter" with Rene Zellwiger, rent it. It is a quiet little movie about a strong woman in a time that little appreciated strong women. There are a few chronological details that aren't quite accurate but the basic story is a factual account. Beatrix Potter didn't begin "writing" until her late 20s when she wrote a letter to the son of her former governess. Not knowing exactly what to write to this boy she hardly knew, she wrote him a story. A few years later, she decided to try to turn that little story into a book. No publisher would touch it, so she had 250 copies published on her own. They quickly sold out. Frederick Warne Company became interested -- the result was "The Tale of Peter Rabbit." Several years and books after that, she was able to buy Hill Top Farm in the Lake District. On our visit, we saw the garden that appears in the illustrations for Jemima Puddleduck and toured the house, which figures prominently in "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers." Upon leaving, we drove past Esthwaite Water -- I'm sure if the driver had stopped, we could have seen Jeremiah Fisher on a lily pad with a pole and line.

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