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Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters
Autograph letter signed, Ambleside, to Noel Moore, August 7, 1896
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sleep right at the top of a hawthorn bush, the branches are quite covered with chickens. Those at the farm go up a stone wall into a loft. The farmer has a beautiful fat pig. He is a funny old man, he feeds the calves every morning, he rattles the spoon on the tin pail, to tell them breakfast is ready, but they won't always come, then there is a noise like a German band.

I remain yrs. aff.
Beatrix Potter

The Lake District in northwest England was a vacation spot favored by the Potter family, especially Beatrix, who eventually settled in the vicinity. Here are some of her first impressions of this picturesque locale. She frequently sketched the marshland scenery around Esthwaite Water, which probably inspired parts of The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher. Other picture letters contain the rudiments of that story, in which Jeremy embarks on his fishing adventures by rowing out on a river, an idea prompted by holiday excursions along the River Tay in Scotland. In the published version, however, Jeremy flirts with danger while floating on a lily pad like those depicted in this letter. Potter's experiences on Esthwaite Water may have convinced her that a tranquil pond would be a better setting for an afternoon idyll on the water, the mood broken only briefly by delightfully absurd, nearly fatal developments in a deceptively simple plot.

Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Autograph letter signed, Ambleside, to Noel Moore, August 7, 1896
Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959; MA 2009.8

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