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Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters
Autograph letter signed, Windermere, to Noel Moore, September 3, 1895
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flood. I think they are stupid things, there have been 3 in a field near Ambleside, very much annoyed with an old sow and two young pigs. We have a very good dry house but I think we shall come home in three weeks unless the rain stops.

This is the ferry boat across Windermere, the horses are very good but one day there were 2 Italians with a donk[e]y with an organ, they tied an apron over its head but I never saw a donk[e]y so frightened. We went across to see Cousin Edith who lives at the other side of the lake, her little boy has 2 old pigeons & 3 young ones, they live over the stable, he wanted me to go up the ladder. He has 2 tortoises & he had a jackdaw but it happed away.

This letter contains two self-caricatures. One shows Potter contemplating the awful prospect of a ladder she would have to climb to view a roost of pigeons. In the other she is walking a rambunctious Peter Rabbit on a leash. An earlier letter to Noel contains a sketch of Peter's predecessor, Benjamin Bouncer, on a similar outing with a collar and a lead. She often sketched herself in her letters for humorous effect and included two notional self-portraits in her books, one in The Roly-Poly Pudding and another in The Tale of Pigling Bland.

Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Autograph letter signed, Windermere, to Noel Moore, September 3, 1895
Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959; MA 2009.6

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