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My dear Noel,
Thank you for your very interesting letter, which you sent me a long time ago.
I have come a very long way in a puff-puff to a place in Cornwall, where it is very hot, and there are palm trees in the gardens & camellias and rho[de]dendrons in flower which are very pretty.
This is Potter's earliest known picture letter, written to Noel Moore when he was four years old. It describes a holiday trip to a seaside resort in language easily understandable at his age with illustrations that might pique his interest and retain his attention. Note the passage in square brackets (at the bottom of the third page) cautioning his mother about seashells she proposed to give him and his younger brother.
Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Autograph letter signed, Falmouth, to Noel Moore, March 11, 1892
Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959; MA 2009.1