New Beatrix Potter story to be published

A story written more than 100 years ago by Beatrix Potter is to be published this September.

 

 

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Featuring an older Peter Rabbit, ‘The Tale of  Kitty-In-Boots’, was rediscovered two years ago by Jo Hanks, a publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, after finding reference to the work in a biography on Potter.

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Following this discovery, three manuscripts were then tracked down in the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. The story was found handwritten in school notebooks, complete with a rough colour sketch of Kitty-in-Boots, a pencil sketch of the notorious villain Mr Tod. Additionally, some of the manuscript was laid out in a dummy book.

Hanks, said: “The tale really is the best of Beatrix Potter. It has double identities, colourful villains and a number of favourite characters from other tales (including Mr. Tod, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Ribby and Tabitha Twitchit).

“And, most excitingly, our treasured, mischievous Peter Rabbit makes an appearance – albeit older, slower and portlier!”

Illustrator Quentin Blake – known for his work with author Roald Dahl – is to illustrate the book.

Blake said: “It seemed almost incredible when, early in 2015, I was sent the manuscript of a story by Beatrix Potter; one which had lain unpublished for 100 years and which, with the exception of a single drawing, she had never illustrated.

“I liked the story immediately – it’s full of incident and mischief and character -and I was fascinated to think that I was being asked to draw pictures for it.

“I have a strange feeling that it might have been waiting for me.”

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According to the V&A archives, Potter intended to finish the story, but major life events, including the First World War, marriage, farming work and illness meant she never returned to finish the tale. 

Beatrix Potter sitting outdoors on bench, wearing tweed suit and hat, at Keswick Show -of which she was President, September 1935. Ref. HIL R222. Original photographer unknown - work may be in copyright

©National Trust/ Beatrix Potter sitting outdoors on bench, wearing tweed suit and hat, at Keswick Show – of which she was President, September 1935