Lake District


Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Illustrated letter to Noel Moore, August 7, 1896
The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Colonel David McC. McKell, 1959, MA 2009.8.


From a young age Beatrix visited the Lake District on vacation with her family. In this picture letter, written at the age of 30, Potter depicts herself rowing a boat within the natural beauty of the Lakes:

My dear Noël,

I hope that you are all very well. We are having a very good time here. It is such a pretty place, and we have a boat on Esthwaite Lake. There are tall rushes at the edge of the lake and beds of water lilies.

I sometimes sit quite still in the boat & watch the water hens. They are black with red bills and make a noise just like kissing, when they are hiding in the reeds. They walk on the lily leaves, nodding their heads and peeping underneath for water snails. There are wild ducks too, but they are not so tame. One evening I went in the boat when it was nearly dark and saw a flock of lapwings asleep, standing on one leg in the water. What a funny way to go to bed! Perhaps they are afraid of foxes, the hens are.

There are some cocks & hens on the hill, who 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