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Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature

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Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"[A] careful, intelligent look at Potter's life. Potter kept a coded journal in her youth and thanks to these entries Lear is able to share some of Potter's own thoughts and feelings, at least in the early part of her life....[A]s an appreciation of a life well-lived and a talent almost accidentally nurtured, Beatrix Potter tells an absorbing story well worth reading." Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGregor, and many other Beatrix Potter characters remain in the hearts of millions. However, though Potter is a household name around the world, few know the woman behind the illustrations. Her personal life, including a romantic relationship with her publisher, Norman Warne, and her significant achievements outside of children's literature, remain largely unknown.

In Linda Lear's enchanting new biography, we get the life story of this incredible, funny, and independent woman. As one of the first female naturalists in the world, Potter brought the beauty and importance of nature back into the imagination at a time when plunder was more popular than preservation. Through her art she sought to encourage conservation and change the world.

With never before seen illustrations and intimate detail, Lear goes beyond our perrenial fascination with Potter as a writer and illustrator of children's books, and delves deeply into the life of a most unusual and gifted woman — one whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.

Review:

"Beatrix Potter (1866–1943), creator of the immortal Peter Rabbit, is known as an avid writer of comical illustrated letters to friends and as an assertive marketer of her illustrations, and this lively volume also captures her energetic participation in Victorian-era natural history research and conservation. Environmental historian Lear (Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature) relates that, as a child in an upper-middle-class family, Potter sketched flowers, dead animals and live lizards, insects and rodents that she brought home. 'Rabbits were caught, tamed, sketched, painted' by young Beatrix and her brother, Bertram. In 1893, while traveling with her pet rabbit, Peter Piper, and seeking unusual fungi with self-taught mycologist Charles McIntosh, Potter jotted an illustrated note 'about a disobedient young rabbit called "Peter"' to an ailing child friend and sketched Peter's nemesis, a McIntosh–look-alike farmer called Mr. McGregor, creating 'two fictional characters that one day would be world-famous.' Lear judges Potter 'a brilliant amateur' naturalist who expressed strong convictions about land preservation. Potter's witty journals, with their close observations of people, animals, objects and places, serve as the basis for Lear's engrossing account, which will appeal to ecologists, historians, child lit buffs and those who want to know the real Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Benjamin Bunny. A movie, Miss Potter, also releases in January. 16 pages of color illus., 8 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Beatrix Potter (1866 — 1943), creator of the immortal Peter Rabbit, is known as an avid writer of comical illustrated letters to friends and as an assertive marketer of her illustrations, and this lively volume also captures her energetic participation in Victorian-era natural history research and conservation. Environmental historian Lear (Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature) relates that, as a child in an upper-middle-class family, Potter sketched flowers, dead animals and live lizards, insects and rodents that she brought home. 'Rabbits were caught, tamed, sketched, painted' by young Beatrix and her brother, Bertram. In 1893, while traveling with her pet rabbit, Peter Piper, and seeking unusual fungi with self-taught mycologist Charles McIntosh, Potter jotted an illustrated note 'about a disobedient young rabbit called 'Peter' ' to an ailing child friend and sketched Peter's nemesis, a McIntosh — look-alike farmer called Mr. McGregor, creating 'two fictional characters that one day would be world-famous.' Lear judges Potter 'a brilliant amateur' naturalist who expressed strong convictions about land preservation. Potter's witty journals, with their close observations of people, animals, objects and places, serve as the basis for Lear's engrossing account, which will appeal to ecologists, historians, child lit buffs and those who want to know the real Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Benjamin Bunny. A movie, Miss Potter, also releases in January. 16 pages of color illus., 8 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Renee Zellweger plays a young Beatrix Potter in a recent biopic, putting a romantic spin on this relentlessly down-to-earth British author's life and work. But readers of Linda Lear's thorough new biography may more easily imagine a stout pragmatist such as Dame Margaret Rutherford in the role, sensibly shod as she pursues hedgehogs and mice across the English countryside. From the appearance of her... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] meticulously researched and brilliantly re-created life that, despite its length and accretion of detail, is endlessly fascinating and often illuminating. It is altogether a remarkable achievement." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"A stolid biography by environmental historian Lear that gets at the facts of Victorian Potter's life but does not bother addressing motivations and thwarted ambition." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Happily, Lear lavishes attention on the sources and back stories for Potter's drawings....The last few pages of Lear's book...are the most stirring. This legacy of natural beauty is as important as Potter's books and her biographer has every right to cheer it." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

With never-before-seen illustrations and intimate detail, Lear goes beyond the perennial fascination with Beatrix Potter as a writer and illustrator of children's books, and delves deeply into the life of a most unusual and gifted woman. One 8-page b&w insert. Two 8-page color inserts.

Synopsis:

Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGregor, and many other Beatrix Potter characters remain in the hearts of millions. However, though Potter is a household name around the world, few know the woman behind the illustrations. Her personal life, including a romantic relationship with her publisher, Norman Warne, and her significant achievements outside of children's literature remain largely unknown. In Linda Lear's enchanting new biography, we get the life story of this incredible, funny, and independent woman. As one of the first female naturalists in the world, Potter brought the beauty and importance of nature back into the imagination at a time when plunder was more popular than preservation. Through her art she sought to encourage conservation and change the world. With never before seen illustrations and intimate detail, Lear goes beyond our perrenial fascination with Potter as a writer and illustrator of children's books, and delves deeply into the life of a most unusual and gifted woman--one whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.

Synopsis:

In this remarkable biography, Linda Lear offers a new look at the extraordinary woman who gave us some of the most beloved childrens books of all time. Potter found freedom from her conventional Victorian upbringing in the countryside. Nature inspired her imagination as an artist and scientific illustrator, but The Tale of Peter Rabbit brought her fame, financial success, and the promise of happiness when she fell in love with her editor Norman Warne. After his tragic and untimely death, Potter embraced a new life as the owner of Hill Top Farm in the English Lake District and a second chance at happiness. As a visionary landowner, successful farmer and sheep-breeder, she was able to preserve the landscape that had inspired her art. Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature reveals a lively, independent and passionate woman, whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.

About the Author

Linda Lear, a professor of environmental history and author of the prize-winning biography Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, is an enthusiastic horticulturalist and collector of botanical art. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312369347
Subtitle:
A Life in Nature
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin
Author:
Lear, Linda
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Children's stories
Subject:
Authors, English
Subject:
Authors, English -- 20th century.
Subject:
Children's stories -- Authorship.
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080304
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes four 8-page color photo inserts
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Children's » Authors and Illustrators » Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
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Product details 608 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312369347 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Beatrix Potter (1866–1943), creator of the immortal Peter Rabbit, is known as an avid writer of comical illustrated letters to friends and as an assertive marketer of her illustrations, and this lively volume also captures her energetic participation in Victorian-era natural history research and conservation. Environmental historian Lear (Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature) relates that, as a child in an upper-middle-class family, Potter sketched flowers, dead animals and live lizards, insects and rodents that she brought home. 'Rabbits were caught, tamed, sketched, painted' by young Beatrix and her brother, Bertram. In 1893, while traveling with her pet rabbit, Peter Piper, and seeking unusual fungi with self-taught mycologist Charles McIntosh, Potter jotted an illustrated note 'about a disobedient young rabbit called "Peter"' to an ailing child friend and sketched Peter's nemesis, a McIntosh–look-alike farmer called Mr. McGregor, creating 'two fictional characters that one day would be world-famous.' Lear judges Potter 'a brilliant amateur' naturalist who expressed strong convictions about land preservation. Potter's witty journals, with their close observations of people, animals, objects and places, serve as the basis for Lear's engrossing account, which will appeal to ecologists, historians, child lit buffs and those who want to know the real Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Benjamin Bunny. A movie, Miss Potter, also releases in January. 16 pages of color illus., 8 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Beatrix Potter (1866 — 1943), creator of the immortal Peter Rabbit, is known as an avid writer of comical illustrated letters to friends and as an assertive marketer of her illustrations, and this lively volume also captures her energetic participation in Victorian-era natural history research and conservation. Environmental historian Lear (Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature) relates that, as a child in an upper-middle-class family, Potter sketched flowers, dead animals and live lizards, insects and rodents that she brought home. 'Rabbits were caught, tamed, sketched, painted' by young Beatrix and her brother, Bertram. In 1893, while traveling with her pet rabbit, Peter Piper, and seeking unusual fungi with self-taught mycologist Charles McIntosh, Potter jotted an illustrated note 'about a disobedient young rabbit called 'Peter' ' to an ailing child friend and sketched Peter's nemesis, a McIntosh — look-alike farmer called Mr. McGregor, creating 'two fictional characters that one day would be world-famous.' Lear judges Potter 'a brilliant amateur' naturalist who expressed strong convictions about land preservation. Potter's witty journals, with their close observations of people, animals, objects and places, serve as the basis for Lear's engrossing account, which will appeal to ecologists, historians, child lit buffs and those who want to know the real Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Benjamin Bunny. A movie, Miss Potter, also releases in January. 16 pages of color illus., 8 pages of b&w illus. not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "[A] careful, intelligent look at Potter's life. Potter kept a coded journal in her youth and thanks to these entries Lear is able to share some of Potter's own thoughts and feelings, at least in the early part of her life....[A]s an appreciation of a life well-lived and a talent almost accidentally nurtured, Beatrix Potter tells an absorbing story well worth reading." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "[A] meticulously researched and brilliantly re-created life that, despite its length and accretion of detail, is endlessly fascinating and often illuminating. It is altogether a remarkable achievement."
"Review" by , "A stolid biography by environmental historian Lear that gets at the facts of Victorian Potter's life but does not bother addressing motivations and thwarted ambition."
"Review" by , "Happily, Lear lavishes attention on the sources and back stories for Potter's drawings....The last few pages of Lear's book...are the most stirring. This legacy of natural beauty is as important as Potter's books and her biographer has every right to cheer it."
"Synopsis" by , With never-before-seen illustrations and intimate detail, Lear goes beyond the perennial fascination with Beatrix Potter as a writer and illustrator of children's books, and delves deeply into the life of a most unusual and gifted woman. One 8-page b&w insert. Two 8-page color inserts.
"Synopsis" by ,
Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGregor, and many other Beatrix Potter characters remain in the hearts of millions. However, though Potter is a household name around the world, few know the woman behind the illustrations. Her personal life, including a romantic relationship with her publisher, Norman Warne, and her significant achievements outside of children's literature remain largely unknown. In Linda Lear's enchanting new biography, we get the life story of this incredible, funny, and independent woman. As one of the first female naturalists in the world, Potter brought the beauty and importance of nature back into the imagination at a time when plunder was more popular than preservation. Through her art she sought to encourage conservation and change the world. With never before seen illustrations and intimate detail, Lear goes beyond our perrenial fascination with Potter as a writer and illustrator of children's books, and delves deeply into the life of a most unusual and gifted woman--one whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.
"Synopsis" by ,

In this remarkable biography, Linda Lear offers a new look at the extraordinary woman who gave us some of the most beloved childrens books of all time. Potter found freedom from her conventional Victorian upbringing in the countryside. Nature inspired her imagination as an artist and scientific illustrator, but The Tale of Peter Rabbit brought her fame, financial success, and the promise of happiness when she fell in love with her editor Norman Warne. After his tragic and untimely death, Potter embraced a new life as the owner of Hill Top Farm in the English Lake District and a second chance at happiness. As a visionary landowner, successful farmer and sheep-breeder, she was able to preserve the landscape that had inspired her art. Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature reveals a lively, independent and passionate woman, whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.

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