Title: The Country Artistthe-country-artist
Author: David R. Collins
Illustrator: Karen Ritz
Pages: 56
Reading Level: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★

Beatrix Potter. The name that now means cozy little animal stories for children. The name that produced dozens of animal characters who have delighted generations. But who was she? What was she like?

Beatrix’s life is simply described in The Country Artist from her life in upscale London, through her gloomy childhood, eventual marriage, and life at Hill Top Farm.

Discussion.

Beatrix’s family was wealthy, and both of her parents chose to occupy themselves with indolence. They were not really involved in their children’s upbringing save when important decisions – such as education – were to be made. These decisions were made without any real knowledge of their childrens’ souls, and the children themselves often chafed under the decisions. Later, Beatrix engaged herself to a man against her family’s wishes; they objected because he did not meet their social standard. This man died before they could be married, and she later became engaged again under similar circumstances.

We are told that a particular nurse told Beatrix “Scottish tales of witches and fairies, of enchanted forests and glens.” [pg. 9]

Obviously, the very stories Beatrix wrote were partially fantasy and are discussed.

Conclusion. An interesting biography of a prominent authoress who was plagued by significant relationship issues.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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