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Peter Rabbit Begins
by Josephine Stone
Today in history: 1893, English author Beatrix Potter first told the story of Peter Rabbit in the form of a "picture letter" to Noel Moore, the son of Potter's former governess. (The Associated Press)
Helen Beatrix Potter, in addition to being a conservationist and scientist, was a famous author and illustrator of children's books. Potter's stories most commonly depicted animals living againt a British backdrop in the late 1800s. Potter was educated under a series of different governesses until she was eighteen, and it can be assumed that the five-year-old Moore, of whom the first Peter Rabbit story was ever sent while he was sick in bed, was the son of one of the women who had a hand in Potter's education.
According to the Frederick Warne & Co.'s The World of Beatrix Potter, the letter began:
"My dear Noel, I don't know what to write you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits..."
To learn more about Beatrix Potter and her contribution to the children's literature genre, as well as the invention of the story book, click here for the full Quail Bell story.
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