1. Helen Beatrix Potter was born on July 28th, 1866, and lived in London with her father, mother and younger brother, Bertram.
2. "Beatrix! Come see this toad I found!"
3. "Just a moment, Bertram!"
4. Since she was a child, Beatrix loved to draw and learn about nature. She was inspired by her many pets and the natural world around her.
5. In the 1890s, Beatrix began studying fungi at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew. In addition to the hundreds of botanical illustrations she made during this time, she developed a new theory on how fungi reproduced.
6. Her paper "On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae" was submitted to the Linnean Society of London in 1896 for review by her fellow botanist and friend George Massee because women were not allowed to attend the Society meetings.
7: "I'm sorry, Ms. Potter. The Society rejected your paper."
8. "Hmm. They refused to even give it a peer review..."
9. This rejection did not deter Beatrix, as while she was researching her illustration career was blooming,
10. She made Christmas and other greeting cards to earn money.
11. And she sold illustrations to printers and publishers.
12. Beatrix continued drawing for fun as well as well as profit. Whenever she went on holiday, she would illustrate the letters she sent to friends and family with little sketches.
13. "Annie Moore's poor son Noel is sick again! I wish I had more to write to him to keep his spirits up, but I've run out of things to say."
14. "STOP, THIEF!"
15: "Oh my!"
16: "Mary! I heard someone shouting, what is going on?"
17: "Oh, that's just the old farmer from down the road! Rabbits must have gotten into his garden again. How goes your writing?"
18: What Beatrix wrote in that letter would soon become her most famous work and a children's literature classic.
19. "My dear Noel, I don't know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits. Their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter."
20. Beatrix began submitting The Tale of Peter Rabbit to publishers...
21: "Another rejection! I might as well start publishing this myself..."
22. And she did! Beatrix made 250 copies of the story to give to her friends and family.
23: "By Jove! Didn't we reject that story recently? Perhaps we should reconsider Ms. Potter's submisssion..."
24: The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published for retail on October 2nd, 1902 and was an instant success. Many more of Beatrix's stories came after.
25. In 1903, Beatrix designed and made a Peter Rabbit doll, the first soft toy to be patented. More products based on her stories soon followed.
26: Beatrix was highly involved in the development of these products.
27: In 1905, Beatrix became engaged with her suitor and editor Norman Warne. Tragically, he passed away a month later of leukemia, leaving Beatrix devastated. Beatrix used her income from her books to invest in a house and farmland in the Lake District of England.
28. Beatrix continued to write and illustrate, inspired by her rural surroundings.
29. She met a local man named William Heelis who assisted her with her property dealings. In 1913 they were married.
30. Beatrix had invested in 15 farms in the area and was active in the upkeep of each one.
31: She also bred prize winning Herdwick sheep, a breed native to the Lake District.
32. In 1943 Beatrix was the first female elected president of the Herdwick Sheep Breeder's Association, but unfortunately she passed away before she could take office.
33. Beatrix left her land to England's National Trust. Her home, Hill Top Farm, is kept preserved as it was when she lived there and attracts thousands of visitors each year.