A Life in Nature
By Linda Lear
(St. Martin's Griffin, Paperback, 9780312377960, 608pp.)
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
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In this remarkable biography, Linda Lear offers a new look at the extraordinary woman who gave us some of the most beloved children’s books of all time. Potter found freedom from her conventional Victorian upbringing in the countryside. Nature inspired her imagination as an artist and scientific illustrator, but The Tale of Peter Rabbit brought her fame, financial success, and the promise of happiness when she fell in love with her editor Norman Warne. After his tragic and untimely death, Potter embraced a new life as the owner of Hill Top Farm in the English Lake District and a second chance at happiness. As a visionary landowner, successful farmer and sheep-breeder, she was able to preserve the landscape that had inspired her art. Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature reveals a lively, independent and passionate woman, whose art was timeless, and whose generosity left an indelible imprint on the countryside.
An environmental historian and biographer, Linda Lear is the author of the prize-winning study, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. A natural history enthusiast and a collector of botanical art, she and her husband tend gardens in Bethesda, MD and Charleston, SC.
Winner of the 2007 Lakeland Book of the Year Award:
"Read Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear and you sense a woman poised between late-Victorian constraint and the promises, intellectual and amorous, of liberation."--Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
"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*
"Lear is not only an impeccable historian but a grand storyteller...a magisterial and definitive biography, a delight in every way."--The Horn Book
"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