Beatrix Potter's London, 1866-1913

Anney Harris

West Midlands
Notice Period:
Emergency (maybe less than one week's notice)
Paid: 75
8th October 2020
Victorian | 19Th Century | 20Th Century | London

Although Beatrix Potter is generally linked to the Lake District in people's minds, she was in fact born and grew up in Kensington, London, during a period of enormous change. Horse drawn vehicles gave way to early motor cars, the Underground was under construction, as well as housing developments as the city spread. Huge old trees and market gardens gave way to smart streets of new houses and squares. In her journal, written in a secret code, Beatrix recorded her feelings about these changes, her impressions of visits to art galleries and reactions to big events of the day, such as street riots and the jubilee processions. She experienced the emergence of a London we can recognise ourselves today. My talk is based on her letters and journal with period illustrations and photographs.

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About Anney Harris

For 30 years I worked as a professional librarian in a wide variety of organisations, from stately homes to a prison library including for two public library authorities. I co-founded the Beatrix Potter Society in 1980, having worked for 5 years as Librarian of the National Book League ( now the Book Trust), then custodians of the Linder Collection of original watercolours, drawings and first editions by Beatrix Potter. During that time I helped curate the first exhibition of her original material to be taken to New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

I have given talks about Beatrix Potter to widely differing audiences many times during my working life, both here and in the USA, and since my retirement. Most recently this year I have given several well received talks to WI meetings on Zoom. I would be delighted to entertain your group and share my knowledge about this many talented writer. As you'll see, she certainly wasn't at all like the image of Beatrix Potter portrayed by Rene Zelwegger!

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