A teenage Beatrix Potter with her pet mouse Xarifa, 1885, from Cotsen Children’s Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University.
The daughter of Manchester Unitarians wealthy from the cotton trade, Helen Beatrix Potter, born Saturday, 28 July 1866, grew up in a fully-serviced Kensington house. Notwithstanding the butlers, governesses, grooms, nurses and maids she suffered early from the angst of loneliness. A cold, uninterested mother raised the child at arm’s length, and the warmest early companionship came from pets – lizards, guinea-pigs, newts, birds, mice, bats and rabbits, cats and dogs.
Read more fascinating information about our favorite illustrator here.