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A DELIGHT FOR THOSE WHO LOVE BEATRIX POTTER'S BOOKS
on April 7, 2000
AT HOME WITH BEATRIX POTTER is a delight to the eye and the spirit for those who love this children's author and her "little books." It is written by Susan Denyer of Britain's National Trust. (Potter's property was left to the National Trust.) The focus of the book is Hilltop Farm, the first farm Beatrix Potter acquired. Although she lived across the road in Castle Cottage, Potter often used Hilltop for its library, guestroom, and workplaces. She also used it to display her "treasures." This book reveals her love of nature, the English Lake District, and of old things--carved dressers, chests, spinning wheels are a few of the "gems" portrayed. Two-page color spreads convey the beauty of the Lake Area, where Potter became a major landowner, sheepfarmer, and a happily married woman. It is wonderful to see the original places, buildings, and objects that she incorporated into her books (examples are shown side by side). The book's layout, photographs, and design are first-rate. Reading this book reminded me of THE PRIVATE WORLD OF TASHA TUDOR and its wonderful photographs by Richard Brown. Like Tudor, Potter drew what she knew and preferred country to city life. (Tudor also was a working farmer in New Hampshire.) Finally, this book presents information about Beatrix Potter and the things and people she loved in an informative and respectful way. This book is not a biography, and Denyer avoids the biographer's temptation to "sum up" or "explain" Beatrix Potter. Rather, we draw our own conclusions after being exposed to the things Potter loved. The select bibliography at the book's end provides a list of works on and by Potter (her journals and letters have been published) that is very helpful to those who want to know more about this author. This is a book to treasure.