Potter’s illustrations also showcase her deep knowledge and interest in botany. She would often carefully study plants and flowers in their natural environment and accurately depict them in her illustrations. We need only think of “The Tale of Benjamin Bunny”, where her drawing of Mr. McGregor’s garden is filled with intricately painted vegetables, fruits, and flowers, showcasing her attention to detail and botanical expertise!
In addition to her artistic talent, Potter was also a savvy businesswoman. When she struggled to find a publisher for her first book, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” she decided to self-publish it in 1901. She printed 250 copies of the book, and it was an instant success, leading to subsequent printings and eventually catching the attention of a publisher. This entrepreneurial spirit and determination to bring her stories and illustrations to the world paved the way for her successful career as a children’s book author and illustrator.
Happily, Potter’s works of art continue to be cherished and celebrated today. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Her illustrations have been reproduced in various forms, from merchandise to adaptations in movies and television shows. In recognition of her contributions to children’s literature and illustration, Potter was elected as the first female president of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association and was awarded the prestigious Peter Pan Prize for her lifetime achievement in children’s literature.