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