Not only did Beatrix Potter write and illustrate her iconic books, she also used the proceeds to buy some freedom for herself.
Beatrix often struggled with her conflicting feelings about her very restrictive mother and a loving but rather aloof father. When her books began to sell, Beatrix purchased a farm of her own in 1905. She could now escape to England's beautiful Lake District.
Hill Top Farm
Hill Top Farm became a place of solace and sowed the beginnings of independence in her life. And, for all the land gave to Beatrix, she gave back to it in plenty. She became an early conservationist, buying up farms as they came on the market in order to keep them out of the hands of developers.
With a sense of purpose ahead of her time, she also raised and preserved a native species of sheep and other animals of historic value to keep them from being lost. At the time of her death in 1943, she bequeathed over 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust. She is credited with saving the vital heart of the area and a historic way of life. The beautiful Lake District can still be viewed and enjoyed today.
As part of the celebration of her 150th birthday, Penguin has released a, yes, long-lost manuscript by Beatrix Potter. It's all about "a serious, well-behaved young black cat, who leads a daring double life defeating vile villains."
Which long-lost manuscript would you most like to discover? See the possibilities here.
Linda Borromeo is the author of Mystery Shores, a story that unfolds on a lighthouse island filled with secrets. In Mystery Shores, two girls must overcome a dangerous threat before all that truly matters to them is lost.