We are all familiar with The Tale of Peter Rabbit and his siblings Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, but very few know the Tale of the author, Beatrix Potter. Now that is changed since Renee Zellweger, the Executive Producer and star of Miss Potter brings Beatrix to life for us. Ewan McGregor plays her love interest in turn-of-the-century England when a chaperone, Miss Wiggins, had always to be present.
Beatrix (1866-1943) and her younger brother Bertram were part of a privileged family, and Beatrix elicited an extraordinary talent for drawing when she was very young. She considered the animals that she drew her friends because the children did not have close friends to play with. Her parents frowned on her hobby and did not encourage her in it.
Beatrix met Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) when the Warne Publishing family sent their youngest brother to help Beatrix when they decided to publish her stories and drawings. Beatrix and Norman worked well together and she eventually became very wealthy from selling 23 books which are familiar to most children. Some of these books are: The Tale of the Squirrel Nutkin, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, The Story of Miss Moppet, The Tale of Tom Kitten and The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck.
When Norman proposed to Beatrix, her parents were against the marriage, considering Norman a tradesman. Beatrix pointed out to her mother that both her father and mother came from tradespeople. They convinced her to postpone the marriage for a time. Beatrix and Norman’s sister Amelia (Emily Watson) became very close during this time when the couple were planning their marriage. Sadly, Norman became ill and passed away before the marriage took place.
With the help of a lawyer, William Heelis, Beatrix purchased a large farm and two adjoining farms which she wanted to cultivate. She called her home Hill Top Farm. It wasn’t until 1913 when Beatrix was 47 years old that she and William Heelis were married. They eventually settled into sheep breeding as well as farming.
It is interesting that before the credits at the end of the movie, an explanation of her later years is summarized briefly. A sentence stated that Beatrix’s mother did not approve of her marriage to William Heelis either.
I loved learning about Beatrix Potter. She brought a great deal of joy and happiness to others while her own life held much sadness.
Movie – Miss Potter