2 of 39
We are living in a big house close to the sea, we go on the harbour in a steam boat and see ever so many big ships.
Yesterday we went across the water to a pretty little village where the fishermen live. I saw them catching crabs in a basket cage which they let down into the sea with some meat in it & then the crabs go in to eat the meat & cannot get out.
I shall be quite sorry to come away from this nice place but we have been here 10 days. Before we go home we are going for two days to Plymouth to see some bigger ships still. I shall come to see you and tell your Mamma all about it when I get home. I have got a lot of shells for you & Eric, [I suppose they would not swallow them]
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