Monday, September 8, 2008

The BP Picture Letters lll

The Pre-Raphaelite connection...well it's a bit of a stretch Margaret, but when Beatrix had completed the privately printed Tailor Of Gloucester she sent copies off to friends and acquaintances including the grandchildren of some of the Pre-Raphaelite painters. Margaret thank you for your kind note in your last blog. I am having so much fun doing this.
Back to the picture letters. As more children came to Annie Moore so there were more picture letters to write. Many of the children received letters but once the the letters had become the source of material for the books Beatrix came up with a new idea...Miniature letters. Here is a sample

Mrs McGregor, Gardeners Cottage.
Dear Sir,

I write to ask whether yur spring cabbages are ready? Kindly reply by return & oblige.

Yrs. truly,

Peter Rabbit

Master P Rabbit, Under Fir Tree.


I rite by desir of my husband Mr. McGregor who is in Bedd with a Cauld to say if you Comes heer agane we will inform the Polisse.

Jane McGregor
P.S. I have bort a py-Dish, itt is very Large

I had to chuckle when I read these, and there are pages of these in the wonderful book, A History of The Writings of Beatrix Potter by Leslie Linder. If you want to immerse yourself in Potter book lore, this a book for you. A great biography is the one pictured above by Linda Lear, and winner of the Lakeland Book of the Year award.
In most cases the letters were written as from characters in the books. The letters were shaped and folded to represent an envelope, addressed and a tiny stamp drawn on them. Some were posted in a mini mail-bag, others sent in toy boxes.
No wonder then when word got out that Miss Potter was coming for a visit that the Moore children were a buzzing. And Beatrix would delight them. She would bring her pet mice and let them out in the house. She would bring party frocks for the girls and I am sure other presents fro the boys.
Lets have a little break from the letters of BP & as per Willows request I will tell my own story about 'letters'.