The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter was published one hundred and ten years ago, yet it remains a treasured favorite of children of all ages. Potter’s work has been adapted in song, film, ballet and animation and translated in multiple languages. What is it about the story that keeps it beloved by generation after generation?
To explore the legacy of the book, first we will take a look at its author, Beatrix Potter. Born in 1866 to a privileged English family of artistic naturalists, Potter grew up with numerous pets who she would observe and draw constantly. As a student of both science and art, Potter developed a great reputation in the scientific community for her drawings of insects, fossils, archeological artifacts, and fungi. Her interest in the natural world and the arts led to her publishing The Tale of Peter Rabbit, first privately in 1901, and with wider distribution a year later. With the proceeds from the book and an inheritance from an aunt, Potter bought Hill Top Farm in the English Lake District. Her preservation and expansion of this land was left to the National Trust after her passing in 1943, which is now most of the land that comprises the Lake District National Park.
The illustrated book tells the tale of the mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit who is chased through the garden of Mr McGregor. After escaping the garden and being cooked into a pie by McGregor, he returns home to his mother who gets him to fall asleep with chamomile tea. The story was created as a series of letters that Potter sent to her former governess’ ailing child and the characters in the book of Peter Rabbit and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail were based on Beatrix’s childhood pets.
A creative person is at their best when they are passionate about their creation while remaining true to themselves. Potter’s story does just this, combining all of her passions and life’s experience into one grand children’s book.
It is the San Francisco Music Box Company’s great pleasure to work with the legacy of Beatrix Potter by presenting a collection of musical gifts, creating more timeless memories involving the rascally Peter Rabbit.