The MCC Hendrik Meijer Library is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of world famous English author Beatrix Potter, with a display of her books and a personal collection of 50 miniature Warne animal characters.
An iconic author, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist, Potter is best known for her children’s books featuring animals, such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She was a trailblazer for women of her time. In the early 1900’s, women were supposed to be soft-spoken, gentle, lady-like and not scientists or property owners.
Potter, who lived from 1866 to 1943, never attended school as was typical of women of her generation. Yet, she was atypical in her aversion to Victorian social norms, such as marrying well and being content as a housewife with no rights. Her independent study and watercolors of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology. In 1895, Beatrix Potter accepted a commission from Caroline Martineau to draw 12 lithographs of insects for Morely College for Men and Women to accompany lectures.
In 1897 at age 31, she was not allowed to present her work, “On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae” to the English Linnean Society because she was a woman. In her thirties, Potter published the highly successful children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Potter wrote nearly 30 books.
As a successful author, she was able to purchase 15 farms for conservation in the beautiful Lake District, totaling 4,000 acres, which she donated to England’s National Trust.
The informative exhibit can be viewed now through Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.
For more information on the exhibit, contact Darlene DeHudy at (231)-777-0268 or (231) 777-0269 for library hours.