by Brenda W. Clough
I nearly forgot to note here that today is the 150th birthday of Beatrix Potter. I didn’t read any of her works until the birth of my children, but they instantly became family favorites. I have read The Pie and the Patty Pan aloud to both my children hundreds of times, in addition to the classic Peter Rabbit.
Her birthday is being more widely feted in Britain, but Beatrix Potter is worthy of note anywhere. She was one of the first women to try and break into scientific journals. The Linnean Society refused to publish her paper on mycology, because she was female — quite recently they published an apology for that.
And a new story, featuring some old friends including Peter, was discovered in manuscript recently and is going to be published. Alas, not with illustrations by the author — Potter lost interest in children’s books and went on to sheep breeding and the National Trust. But the publishers found someone else to do the pictures and so we will have a new Beatrix Potter book after all later this year — exactly the right birthday present.