Children's author and illustrator Helen Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) was born on this day in London, England, the only daughter of a wealthy cotton-producing family. A lonely and sheltered child, she loved animals and took up drawing and painting at a young age.
"Children like a fine word every now and again," she once observed.
In 1890 she began illustrating greeting cards with delicate watercolors. She transformed a picture letter to a young friend into her famous classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter," she wrote...
After rejections from at least six publishers, the tenacious artist used her savings to privately publish the book in 1901. She designed the small book (5-3/4" X 4-1/4") for tiny hands to hold comfortably. She found a publisher in 1902 and by the end of 1903, she had sold 50,000 copies.
The first of a series of 23, the novel featured precious illustrations of Potter's furry friends and launched her remarkable career as a storyteller, celebrating humor and adventure. Potter left a creative legacy that continues to be in demand throughout the world today.
British writer Rumer Godden said in tribute: "Simplicty, modesty, truth, balance. These are the qualities to be found in Beatrix Potter and, overriding all of them, love."
Believe in the power of goodness.