Beatrix Potter, born in London, grew up isolated from most other children, with drawing, nature, pets, her little brother, and governesses as her contacts with the world. In the 1890s, Beatrix Potter carried out experiments in natural history, illustrating plants, lichen, and fungi. When the difficulties of succeeding as a woman scientist became clear, she began a career as an illustrator of children's writing.
Her best-known book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, began as a letter to the young son of her former governess. It was first privately published in 1901. After she married at age 47 and bought a farm in the Lake District, her writing tapered off, and she focused on her personal life, her husband, preserving the natural landscape, and raising sheep.
Selected Beatrix Potter Quotations
• Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.
• I must draw, however poor the result.... I will do something sooner or later.
• Most people, after one success, are so cringingly afraid of doing less well that they rub all the edge off their subsequent work.
• All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife. . . . Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest. [Journals 1881-1897]
• I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever. [Journals]
• I hold an old-fashioned notion that a happy marriage is the crown of a woman's life. [Journals 1894]
• I hate publicity, and I have contrived to survive to be an old woman without it, except in the homey atmosphere of Agricultural Shows. [1939 interview]
• Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were -- Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big tree. [The Tale of Peter Rabbit]
• Don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor. [The Tale of Peter Rabbit]
More About Beatrix Potter
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About These Quotes
Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2008. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Beatrix Potter Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/beatrix_potter.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)