The Tale of Tom Kitten
First she scrubbed their faces
(this one is Moppet).
Author : Beatrix Potter
Format : Paperback.
Condition : Used. No marks or tears
Dimensions : 10.5cm x 14cm x 0.5cm
About Beatix Potter
Beatrix Potter was born in South Kensington, London on 28 July, 1866. Educated at home by a succession of governesses, she had little opportunity to mix with other children. Even her younger brother, Bertram, was rarely at home; he was sent as a boy to boarding school, leaving Beatrix alone with her many pets.
She had frogs, newts, ferrets and even a pet bat. She also had two rabbits — the first was Benjamin, whom she described as "an impudent, cheeky little thing", while the second was Peter, whom she took everywhere with her on a little lead, even on the occasional outing. Potter watched the animals for hours on end, sketching them and developing her abilities as an artist.
Beatrix Potter's father was Rupert William Potter (1832–1914), son of Edmund Potter. Rupert trained as a barrister, but spent his days at gentlemen's clubs and rarely practised law. Her mother, Helen Potter née Leech (1839–1932), the daughter of a cotton merchant, spent her time visiting or receiving visitors. The family was supported by both parents' inherited incomes.
Every summer, Rupert Potter would rent a country house; Dalguise House in Perthshire, Scotland for the eleven summers of 1871 to 1881, then later, Lindeth Howe in the English Lake District where Potter illustrated The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes and The Tale of Pigling Bland. In 1882, the family met the local vicar, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who was deeply worried about the effects of industry and tourism on the Lake District. He would later found the National Trust in 1895, to help protect the countryside. Potter had immediately fallen in love with the rugged mountains and dark lakes. Through Rawnsley, she learnt of the importance of trying to conserve the region, a sensibility that was to stay with her for her entire life.
Much of Potter's stories' vocabulary and artistic practice stemmed from Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories. The basis of her many projects and stories were the small animals which she smuggled into the house or observed during family holidays in Scotland and the Lake District. When she was 27 and on one such holiday in Scotland, in a letter dated September 4, 1893 she sent a story about rabbits to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of her last governess. She was encouraged by former governess Annie Moore to publish the story, so she borrowed it back in 1901 and made it into the book titled The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor's Garden.
She sent her slightly rewritten picture letters to six publishers, but was turned down by all of them. The primary complaint from all of them was the lack of colour pictures, which were popular at the time. In September 1901, she decided to self-publish and distribute 250 copies of a renamed The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Later that year, because the colour printing blocks were already created and other children’s books were popular, she finally attracted the publisher Frederick Warne & Co. The publishing contract was signed in June 1902 and, by the end of the year, 28,000 copies were in print. Later, the character Peter Rabbit was patented and produced as a soft toy in 1903. This makes Peter the oldest licensed character.
She followed it with The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin in 1903, that was also based on an earlier letter. Such was the popularity of these and her subsequent books that she gained an independent income from their sales. She also became secretly engaged to the publisher, Norman Warne in 1905, but her parents were set against her marrying a tradesman. Their opposition to the wedding caused a breach between Beatrix and her parents. The wedding was not to be, for soon after the engagement, Norman fell ill of pernicious anemia and died within a few weeks. Beatrix was devastated. She wrote in a letter to his sister, Millie, "He did not live long, but he fulfilled a useful happy life. I must try to make a fresh beginning next year."
Potter eventually wrote 23 books, all in the same small format. Part of the popularity of her books was due to the quality of her illustrations: the animal characters are portrayed as full of personality, but are deeply based in natural actions. Her writing efforts finally abated around 1920 due to poor eyesight. The Tale of Little Pig Robinson was published in 1930; however, the actual manuscript was one of the first to be written and much predates this publication date.
The Tale of Tom Kitten
In stock-ready to post on Monday