Helen Beatrix Potter was born in 1866, in South Kensington, London. Her father was a wealthy investor. Potter lived a secure childhood at home, with her youger brother Bertram. She was taught by governesses, and learned reading by Sir Walter Scott's novels. At age fifteen, she began a diary, and invented a code to write in it. This she continued till the age of thirty. It was decoded by the engineer Leslie Linde, and after seven years of deciphering, it was published.
In the 1890's, "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," and some other short animal stories, originally written to amuse the sickly child of one of her governesses, after first being rejected, were published. They brought her immediate recognition. Up till 1913, she continued to write her animal stories and illustrate them with water-colour. Her books portray animals wearing clothing, but otherwise, she did treated her animal or human characters realistically, without sentiment, imaginatively, but clearly. Among her stories their are a few poems, as well. Their simple humor had appealed to children and adults alike since their first publication.
Eventually her writing career began to pine, and she left writing almost entirely to marry Willam Heelis, a solicitor. Her eyesight began to fail as well. But she wrote one last book, "The Tale of Little Pig Robinson."
Though Potter wrote once in an article, "Thank goodness, my education was neglected," she had great interest in science and nature (as is shown in her writings) and developed a theory on the germination of fungus spores, which were burned during the bombing of London in World War II.
She died in Sawrey, Lancashire, in December 22 of 1943. Her home at the Lake District farm is open to the public, and she left several thousands of acres to the National Trust. Anually, her writings are broadcasted around the world.
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