Archives for posts with tag: Children’s literature

Today as all Fridays (although we’ll take a break to bring you some Christmas specials during the festive period) I bring you a guest author. This time is a classic that I think most of us will be familiar with (and especially with her characters): Beatrix Potter.

There is plenty of information about her on the internet. I leave you a short biography and links to more information about her and her works.

BP with rabbit

Biography:

Helen Beatrix Potter was born on the 28th July 1866 in London (South Kensington). Both her grandparents had been industrialists in the cotton business (in the Manchester area) and her parents were quite wealthy and followers of the Unitarian faith. Her father was a barrister and amateur photographer and her mother enjoyed embroidery and drawing. They were both interested in the arts and encouraged Beatrix and her younger brother, Walter Bertram, in the pursuit of their artistic interests. She was educated at home by private governesses, and she and her brother spent time studying, drawing and taking art lessons and observing and playing with their pet animals. The best know of her governesses, Annie Moore, taught her German and was only 3 years older than her, becoming also her companion. They corresponded throughout the years and Beatrix sent her children (particularly Noel, who was often ill as a child) illustrated letters and tales to keep them entertained. Many of these letters would later become some of her best known children’s books. Her family used to go on holidays to the countryside, often visiting Scotland (Perthshire) and later the Lake District. She developed a love for the area and for the countryside, well reflected in her best known works.

2009cr7471_beatrix_potter_and_parents_290x290

She studied art privately and took exams, although preferred to develop her own style and favoured watercolours. She did illustrations of animals, insects, fossils and fungi, and one of her articles on fungi reproduction was presented to the Royal Society, but due to being an amateur (and also a woman) her findings were ignored. She had some success illustrating cards, and after encouragement she published privately the illustrated The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901) that was published by Frederick Warne & Co a year later as a small three-colour illustrated book. She became engaged (unofficially, as her parents disapproved) to Norman Warne, her editor, in 1905, but he died suddenly of leukemia.

Despite this loss and from the proceeds of her books and a legacy from an aunt she bought Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey, a small village in the Lake District, near Ambleside, in the same year. Over the following decades she bought a number of farms nearby, as she had become interested in conservationism and become friendly with one of the founders of the National Trust, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

She continued to write and illustrate children stories for Warne & Co and as early as 1903 she made and patented a Peter Rabbit doll and followed with many other related items (you will find all kind of merchandise related to her stories and characters, from pottery, bedding, dolls…).

Beatrix Potter and her husband William Heelis ...

Beatrix Potter and her husband William Heelis on their wedding day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1913, aged 47, she married William Heelis, a local solicitor. She became a celebrated breeder of Herdwick sheep and died on 22nd December 1943 at her home near Sawrey, aged 77, leaving most of her property to the National Trust (and that included her flock of Herdwick sheep). To her credit is the preservation of much of the land that is now the Lake District National Park.

There have been a number of adaptations of her books, to songs, films, ballets, and there are also movies about her own life, like Miss Potter (2006, Dir: Chris Noonan, with Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor).

The Gallery

The Gallery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Links:

Gorgeous website (it includes information on visits to the World of Beatrix Potter in the Lake District):

http://www.peterrabbit.com/en/beatrix_potter/beatrixs_life

In Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter

The Beatrix Potter society:

http://www.beatrixpottersociety.org.uk/

The page of the Beatrix Potter Gallery in the National Trust:

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatrix-potter-gallery/

Very appropriately ‘Visit Cumbria’ dedicates a page to Beatrix Potter:

http://www.visitcumbria.com/beatrix-potter/

She also has a page at the Victoria and AlbertMuseum website:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/b/beatrix-potter/

Their biography is also very good and has excellent photographs:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/b/biography-beatrix-potter/

Beatrix Potter’s Garden in Perthshire:

http://www.perthshire.co.uk/index.asp?pg=231

Her page at the Tate:

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/helen-beatrix-potter-1794

Beatrix Potter in You Tube:

www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3887DA12301CFBEA

It seems the Japanese also love Potter:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-24625202

Her house is now Grade II listed building:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10289561/Beatrix-Potters-summer-home-preserved-with-Grade-II-listed-status.html

Her page in IMDB (movies and cartoons based on her stories and some about her):

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0693229/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Benjamin Bunny

Benjamin Bunny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Works:

This is the author’s page in Amazon. I suspect that due to the illustrations the books are not free on this site although some are very cheap.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beatrix-Potter/e/B001HCRWI8/

Free books by Beatrix Potter in Project Guttenberg (there are 25 including two in audio format):

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/292

Here in e-pubbud:

http://www.epubbud.com/search.php?q=Beatrix%20Potter

Many thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, don’t forget to like, share, comment, and of course CLICK!

And as preparation and winding down for Christmas, from next week I’ll be reviewing and reposting some of the most visited posts.

beatrix-potter-museum-christmas

beatrix-potter-museum-christmas (Photo credit: JT Graphics)

I met Diane through ASMSG one of the writers groups I belong to. She’s written a number of Young Adult novels and she kindly agreed to come and talk to us about her writing.

My Books:  Enmitus – The Transformation, Enmitus – The Children I am Nine, Children of Fury, Like Hell Itself, and Children’s BookMason and Bess, The Adventure Begins

Author: Diane Major

Genre: Fantasy

 Diane Major

 

Author Bio:

I grew up in Horden, a mining village in the North East of England.  I gained my professional qualification in Youth & Community Work, BSc Open Degree (Hons) as a mature student. During my career I worked both in the voluntary sector and then for local government which offered her the opportunity to develop many skills.   I worked with people of all ages and from a wide variety of backgrounds.  I enjoyed watching both staff and service users gain skills and become confident people.

I worked on my first book in the genre of fantasy adventure named “Children of Fury” for almost 2 years and at the same time completed my second novel “I am Nine.”   To date I have published 5 fantasy adventure books, a Children’s Book and am almost ready to publish a young adults story.

Now retired, I enjoy spending time with my family, writing, walking and fundraising for a local voluntary organization.

Mason and Bess Cover 2  (2)[1]

A little about some of my books:

Children of Fury : Within a period of turmoil for the immortals Heron is born.  A Fury like no other, Heron has a legacy for vengeance which spans thousands of years.  In England during the 1400’s he meets a young woman named Aimee who has already met her soul mate.  As their paths collide with catastrophic results a story of retribution lasting centuries and continents unfolds.

I am Nine:  Is about Naomi’s journey.  Something strikes and almost wipes out the Earth’s population.  Naomi is taken from her parents and grows up with strangers on a ship.  On reaching America Naomi and two other boys are sent on a scouting mission to find out if the land is safe enough for the community to build a new home.  Naomi is separated from her companions and faces danger, until something saves her.  On her journey Naomi faces great wild dogs and cannibals.

Enmitus – The Transformation: People leave a dying Earth and travel for centuries until they find their new home.  As they travel the people on board the individual ships become tribes.  One of the tribes settle on Serenitus and the adventure begins.  Corinna’s hand in marriage is promised to Omar who is already besotted with an evil woman.  Once this arrangement is made Corinna has to leave her home planet for Enmitus where she finds, hatred, deceit, cruelty, lies and love.  I am currently writing the sequel.

found where we expect it least……

How long did it take to write the books?

It took almost two years to write my first book and after that I found it took less time for each book.

What inspired you to write ? 

My interest in writing really started when I read C S Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia as a child.

When I did start writing I wanted to develop stories that would take people away from everyday life for as long as it would take them to read one of my books.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

I write every day but not at any set time.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

Having enjoyed an escape from reality.

Where can we go to buy your books?

Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones

Amazon USA

http://www.amazon.com/Diane-Major/e/B008R5S3KO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1363795100&sr=8-1

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diane-Major/e/B008R5S3KO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1363795057&sr=1-1

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
www.dianemajorauthor.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/DianeMajorBooks

http://dimajor.blogspot.co.uk/

 Thank you for reading and don’t forget to CLICK!

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