BBC – Culture – The hidden adult themes in Beatrix Potter

Born 150 years ago on 28 July, the British children’s book author was far more subversive than you may have realised, writes Christian Blauvelt.

“Your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs McGregor.”

Old Mrs Rabbit’s frightful warning to her children Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter appears on the opening page of Beatrix Potter’s first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Aside from featuring perhaps the most dramatic use of a semicolon in children’s literature, it sets the tone for her work from the start: that horrors abound in a world of Darwinian struggle, but that these must be faced calmly. Your parents, and perhaps your children, may be devoured by a vengeful property owner, or sold for tobacco; you may have your tail ripped off by an angry owl; an invading rat might tie you up in string and include you as the key ingredient in a pudding. But life goes on – disappointments must be faced and tragedies overcome.

Full Story at: BBC – Culture – The hidden adult themes in Beatrix Potter

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