A Life in Nature
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312369347, 608pp.
Publication Date: January 9, 2007
Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGregor, and many other Beatrix Potter characters remain in the hearts of millions. However, though Potter is a household name around the world, few know the woman behind the illustrations. Her personal life, including a romantic relationship with her publisher, Norman Warne, and her significant achievements outside of children's literature remain largely unknown. In Linda Lear's enchanting new biography, we get the life story of this incredible, funny, and independent woman. As one of the first female naturalists in the world, Potter brought the beauty and importance of nature back into the imagination at a time when plunder was more popular than preservation. Through her art she sought to encourage conservation and change the world. With never before seen illustrations and intimate detail, Lear goes beyond our perrenial fascination with Potter as a writer and illustrator of children's books, and delves deeply into the life of a most unusual and gifted woman--one whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.
LINDA LEAR, a professor of environmental history and author of the prize-winning biography Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, is an enthusiastic horticulturalist and collector of botanical art. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
Praise for Linda Lear's BEATRIX POTTER: "Lear paints an appealing, revealing picture of an independent, accomplished and loving woman who used her art and research to educate herselve and a host of readers."--Bookpage "As an appreciation of a life well-lived and a talent almost accidentally nurtured, Beatrix Potter, tells an absorbing story well worth reading."--Christian Science Monitor "Potter was a famously close observer of the world around her, and Lear is an equally close observer of her subject. The result is a meticulously researched and brilliantly re-created life that, despite its length and accretion of detail, is endlessly fascinating and often illuminating. It is altogether a remarkable achievement."--Booklist, *Starred Review* "In this remarkable biography...the author's meticulous attention to detail is obvious throughout, not to mention her elegant writing and exceptional scholarship. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "Potter's witty journals, with their close observations of people, animals, objects and places, serve as the basis for Lear's engrossing account, which will appeal to ecologists, historians, child lit buffs and those who want to know the real Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Benjamin Bunny."--Publishers Weekly "The great achievement of this book is the way it knits together Potter's lifelong activities in art and science and shows how they are all part of an extraordinarily integrated life: how her feeling for plants and animals and her finely detailed observations of the natural world were the foundation stones of her children's books as well as her land management skills and environmental awareness."--The Australian "An in-depth biography of Beatrix Potter is long overdue and here Linda Lear fills that gap with a thoroughly well-researched and compelling book."--Judy Taylor, author of Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman