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Archive for the ‘Beatrix Potter’ Category

I’ve just come back from visiting family in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I always love a trip to Tenby where there is a gem of a bookshop at the bottom of a medieval passage. The Tudor Merchant’s house is well worth a visit too – you have to pass it down the steps to get to the bookshop, and there’s also a very good pub that does lovely food. The bookshop is filled from floor to ceiling with tottering piles of books, some on shelves, others piled up on the floor so there’s just about room to stand and circumnavigate. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave because you never know what treasure you might find. The books are all rather precariously placed – I don’t think I’ve ever been without knocking half a dozen or more off their wobbly pile, but this is what makes it such fun. This time I found a wonderful book on Thomas Wentworth – (yes, of course there is a Jane Austen connection with the Leigh family), a Georgette Heyer hardback, and some Daphne du Maurier short stories, so I was very pleased as you can imagine!

From the hafodymor website: Tenby (Welsh: Dinbych-y-Pysgod, meaning little town of the fishes or little fortress of the fish)

There is no doubt that Tenby is steeped with rich culture. It is seen on every street in every niche, and in all aspects of life. Tenby has also has brought up a number of famous people, and has inspired them, people such as Augustus John and his sister Gwen, two popular artists; actor Kenneth Griffith who received his earlier apprenticeship at the local Greenhill School; the mathematician Robert Recorde who presented the world with the equals sign. It has also inspired many visitors, whether in paintings, poetry or books such as Beatrix Potter (author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit), George Eliot (author of Middlemarch), and Laurie Lee (author of Cider with Rosie).

I have often wondered if Jane Austen visited Tenby. It’s easy to imagine the Austens here on one of the trips into Wales they talked about making once they moved to Bath, but unfortunately we just don’t know if she ever ventured that far. Nelson and Lady Hamilton made the trip staying at East Rock House, which has wonderful views over the sea.There are some lovely Regency houses and you can walk along the top of the harbour and see where Beatrix Potter and George Eliot stayed whilst they were in Tenby. Vanity Fair was filmed here a few years ago – the scenes on the beach are very funny!
Photos:
A medieval passageway leading to the bookshop
Tenby Harbour
Plaque to Beatrix Potter
East Rock House where Nelson and Lady Hamilton stayed.

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This is very tenuously linked from my last post, but one of the exhibitions they had on at Chatsworth featured the costumes from ‘The Duchess’ which starred Keira Knightley and Dominic Cooper who we also know as Mr Willoughby, of course. I think this era and the Regency period have to be my favourite for costume – I’m not sure I would have enjoyed being trussed up in all that stuff on a daily basis, though when I was much younger, I did dress up in similar costumes for Fancy Dress parties. I’ve always loved dressing up!
The paintings I’m posting today came about after a trip to the Lakes. We visited Beatrix Potter’s house at Hill Top and of course, I felt so inspired when I visited her husband’s office where so many of her exquisite paintings are kept. Whilst I could never hope to aspire to Mrs Heelis’s excellence with a brush, I hope you enjoy them. They are just a few of the paintings I did with a children’s book in mind – never finished, but as with so many things, I probably got side-tracked!




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This is very tenuously linked from my last post, but one of the exhibitions they had on at Chatsworth featured the costumes from ‘The Duchess’ which starred Keira Knightley and Dominic Cooper who we also know as Mr Willoughby, of course. I think this era and the Regency period have to be my favourite for costume – I’m not sure I would have enjoyed being trussed up in all that stuff on a daily basis, though when I was much younger, I did dress up in similar costumes for Fancy Dress parties. I’ve always loved dressing up!
The paintings I’m posting today came about after a trip to the Lakes. We visited Beatrix Potter’s house at Hill Top and of course, I felt so inspired when I visited her husband’s office where so many of her exquisite paintings are kept. Whilst I could never hope to aspire to Mrs Heelis’s excellence with a brush, I hope you enjoy them. They are just a few of the paintings I did with a children’s book in mind – never finished, but as with so many things, I probably got side-tracked!




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I’ve been going through some old photos and came across these taken in the Lake District. I have always been a huge admirer of Beatrix Potter’s books ever since my first was given to me at a birthday party. It was the Tale of Tom Kitten and I, like thousands of people before me, soon fell in love with all of Beatrix Potter’s stories and wonderful painting. If you ever get a chance to visit her house at Hill Top,near Sawrey, Cumbria, you will not be disappointed. It is possible to see some of the rooms and places that inspired her paintings; in Hawkshead village you can actually see the beautiful, finely detailed watercolours, that were used in her little books. They are housed in what was her husband’s solicitor’s office, alongside information about Beatrix and information about the National Trust.
As I stated in yesterday’s post, Beatrix Potter loved Jane Austen’s books, her particular favourite being Persuasion.


The photo at the top is Jeremy Fisher’s lake-Esthwaite Water and the bottom photo shows me in Beatix Potter’s garden, on the path leading to the house.

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I’ve been going through some old photos and came across these taken in the Lake District. I have always been a huge admirer of Beatrix Potter’s books ever since my first was given to me at a birthday party. It was the Tale of Tom Kitten and I, like thousands of people before me, soon fell in love with all of Beatrix Potter’s stories and wonderful painting. If you ever get a chance to visit her house at Hill Top,near Sawrey, Cumbria, you will not be disappointed. It is possible to see some of the rooms and places that inspired her paintings; in Hawkshead village you can actually see the beautiful, finely detailed watercolours, that were used in her little books. They are housed in what was her husband’s solicitor’s office, alongside information about Beatrix and information about the National Trust.
As I stated in yesterday’s post, Beatrix Potter loved Jane Austen’s books, her particular favourite being Persuasion.


The photo at the top is Jeremy Fisher’s lake-Esthwaite Water and the bottom photo shows me in Beatix Potter’s garden, on the path leading to the house.

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Helen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English author and illustrator, botanist, and conservationist, best known for her children’s books, which featured animal characters such as Peter Rabbit.

Born into a privileged household, Beatrix Potter was educated by governesses, and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and through holidays in Scotland and the Lake District developed a love of landscape, flora and fauna, all which she closely observed and painted. As a young woman her parents discouraged intellectual development, but her study and paintings of fungi led her to be widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties Potter published the highly successful children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Beatrix Potter eventually published 23 children’s books, and having become financially independent of her parents, was able to buy a farm in the Lake District, which she extended with other purchases over time. She became a sheep breeder and farmer while continuing to write and illustrate children’s books. Potter died in 1943, and left almost all of her property to The National Trust in order to preserve the beauty of the Lake District as she had known it, protecting it from developers. (Short biography from Wikipedia)

Persuasion is a story about Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. Eight years before the story begins, Anne falls in love with Wentworth, who is working his way up through the navy. Her father and good friend, Mrs Russell, feel that the connection with this young naval officer is not suitable and persuade her to break off the engagement. Captain Wentworth comes back into her life but it seems there is little hope for Anne who has never stopped loving him, whilst he courts her sister-in-law. But of course, in true Jane Austen style, after a series of events where hopes almost fade entirely, Anne and Wentworth are united at last.

Beatrix Potter was secretly engaged to her publisher Norman Warne. Like Anne Elliot, Beatrix’s parents disapproved of Norman, feeling that his social standing was not good enough. Tragically, he died before their wedding could take place.
It was years later, that Beatrix found love again. She must have thought, like Anne Elliot, that she would never marry and remain a spinster all her life, but in her forties, Beatrix married a local solicitor, William Heelis. Persuasion is a story of love being found again and I feel this is why it was Beatrix’s favourite book.

I love Pride and Prejudice but Persuasion is a favourite Jane Austen novel too! The top illustration is a painting of Captain Wentworth regaling the party of friends with naval stories at the inn at Lyme. My second watercolour shows Anne and Captain Wentworth on the Gravel Walk in Bath, renewing their feelings and declaring their love for one another.

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Helen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English author and illustrator, botanist, and conservationist, best known for her children’s books, which featured animal characters such as Peter Rabbit.

Born into a privileged household, Beatrix Potter was educated by governesses, and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and through holidays in Scotland and the Lake District developed a love of landscape, flora and fauna, all which she closely observed and painted. As a young woman her parents discouraged intellectual development, but her study and paintings of fungi led her to be widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties Potter published the highly successful children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Beatrix Potter eventually published 23 children’s books, and having become financially independent of her parents, was able to buy a farm in the Lake District, which she extended with other purchases over time. She became a sheep breeder and farmer while continuing to write and illustrate children’s books. Potter died in 1943, and left almost all of her property to The National Trust in order to preserve the beauty of the Lake District as she had known it, protecting it from developers. (Short biography from Wikipedia)

Persuasion is a story about Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. Eight years before the story begins, Anne falls in love with Wentworth, who is working his way up through the navy. Her father and good friend, Mrs Russell, feel that the connection with this young naval officer is not suitable and persuade her to break off the engagement. Captain Wentworth comes back into her life but it seems there is little hope for Anne who has never stopped loving him, whilst he courts her sister-in-law. But of course, in true Jane Austen style, after a series of events where hopes almost fade entirely, Anne and Wentworth are united at last.

Beatrix Potter was secretly engaged to her publisher Norman Warne. Like Anne Elliot, Beatrix’s parents disapproved of Norman, feeling that his social standing was not good enough. Tragically, he died before their wedding could take place.
It was years later, that Beatrix found love again. She must have thought, like Anne Elliot, that she would never marry and remain a spinster all her life, but in her forties, Beatrix married a local solicitor, William Heelis. Persuasion is a story of love being found again and I feel this is why it was Beatrix’s favourite book.

I love Pride and Prejudice but Persuasion is a favourite Jane Austen novel too! The top illustration is a painting of Captain Wentworth regaling the party of friends with naval stories at the inn at Lyme. My second watercolour shows Anne and Captain Wentworth on the Gravel Walk in Bath, renewing their feelings and declaring their love for one another.

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