“Beatrix Potter was a dutiful Victorian daughter who grew into a plain-spoken and determined artist and entrepreneur.”
That quote comes from a book review by Regina Marler, who continues,
“She was good, but she was not always nice.
“Between the lines of Linda Lear’s sympathetic biography, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, can be glimpsed a feisty perfectionist, a beardless Mr. McGregor laying traps for rabbits.
“Born in London in 1866, Potter spent much of her affluent childhood alone or in the company of governesses.
“She loved to draw and was largely self-taught, copying from books and sketching wild animals that she and her younger brother, Bertram, had caught and tamed. Rabbits, lizards, snails, bats, rats, newts, snakes and hedgehogs joined the household — many unsentimentally skinned and boiled after their deaths, their skeletons preserved for study.”
[Photo: A teenage Beatrix Potter with her pet mouse Xarifa, 1885.]
Marler notes: “To improve her sketches of mushrooms, Potter began to study fungi and eventually to theorize about how different species reproduced.
“Her research led her to suspect that lichens were a hybrid life form: organisms composed of both fungi and algae.
“Another century would pass before the precise nature of the symbiosis would be determined — a posthumous vindication of her work.”
Potter also purchased a number of farms and was active in the preservation of much of the Lake District in England.
[Illustration: Beatrix Potter characters Goody and Mrs. Hackee, illustration to The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes, 1911.]
In his book Solitude: A return to the Self, the late British psychiatrist Anthony Storr points out that creativity is often linked to seclusion. Henry James, Beatrix Potter, Franz Kafka, Beethoven – all were “loners” or embraced solitude to create.
See more quotes on the page Solitude.
Also see my post Developing Creativity in Solitude.
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Article publié pour la première fois le 22/07/2013