Beatrix Potter, Work Rejected, Self-Published “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” Now a Bestseller for All Time
….Long before she became a popular published author, Beatrix developed a particular talent for scientific illustration by drawing and exploring fungi. In 1896, she wrote a paper on fungi reproduction titled “On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricaceae,” which, unfortunately, was rejected by the Royal Botanical Gardens.
A year later, George Masse, a fungi expert from Kew gardens in London, presented her work to the Linnean Society of London, a place where Beatrix, being a woman, was not permitted to present it herself. Nevertheless, scientists today recognize and appreciate her contribution to mycology.
The male members of the scientific milieu in England were not the only ones who ignored Beatrix’s aspirations. Her family also disapproved, believing that a proper, respectable lady must eventually marry and certainly mustn’t work.
However, Beatrix’s desire for sharing her imaginative art prevailed, and after a few publications of greeting-card designs and illustrations, her stories were about to see the light of day.
Several publishers rejected The Tale of Peter Rabbit, so the persistent Beatrix decided to publish it by herself.
In December 1901, Beatrix printed 250 copies and handed them to her family and friends. The book was immediately praised and quickly gained a reputation, so the publishing house Frederick Warne & Co. reconsidered their decline and offered a contract to Beatrix. In October 1902, the story of Peter Rabbit became a bestseller and was followed by two other well known books, The Tailor of Gloucester and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. The publication of Beatrix’s legendary stories had begun.
….The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which Beatrix self-published initially, has reached 45 million copies sold around the world.
The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, which remained unseen for a century, is already a bestseller – eight months before it reaches shops
More than 70 years after her death, beloved children’s book author Beatrix Potter has her fans in a frenzy. The creator of the classic Tale of Peter Rabbit, about a mischievous, hungry rabbit, and over two dozen other titles, has a new book set for release in September 2016.
The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots, about a “serious, well-behaved” black cat with a secret crime-fighting double life, is already eleventh on Amazon UK’s bestselling books list at time of writing, just two days after the announcement of its release on Jan. 25.
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