Beatrix Potter All-Occasion Cards
British artist Amanda White has produced a series of notecards and holiday cards featuring her cut paper collages of historic houses of writers and poets. On the back of each card is printed a brief essay relating the dates the author lived in the house, what works were created there, and other information about the location, including what he or she loved about the setting and how it inspired creativity. The entire descriptions from the back of each card are below.
Miss Potter’s First Hill Top Winter
Towards the end of her life Beatrix Potter recalled: “My brother and I were born in London because my father was a lawyer. But our descent, our interests and our joy was in the North Country.” At home in her “unloved birthplace” in Kensington, she dreamed of life in the countryside, and more specifically the Lake District. But it was not until she was in her late thirties and following the great success of her illustrated tales for children, that her new found financial independence gave her the opportunity, in 1905, to purchase Hill Top Farm. Winter was a favourite time of year for Miss Potter who loved to walk and sketch the snow-clad Lakeland mountains and valleys.
Hill Top Summer
Beatrix Potter, beloved author and illustrator of her even more beloved childrens' tales, purchased Hill Top in 1905 with royalties from her first books. A working farm (as it still is), it provided the inspiration and background to so many of her stories. In 1906 she added a wing to the building to accommodate her farm manager and his family. Farming and a mission to save as much of the local landscape as she could for posterity became a passion with Beatrix Potter (or Mrs Heelis as she was after her marriage). At her death in 1943 she left an astounding 4,000 acres and 15 farms to the National Trust.
Passing Showers, Hill Top, 1905
In 1905, with the royalties from her first book, Beatrix Potter took a momentous decision: to purchase this traditional seventeenth century farmhouse in Near Sawrey, in the Lake District, an area she had visited often with her parents on annual family holidays. Some of her best-loved characters were created at Hill Top, including Tom Kitten and Jemima Puddleduck. The house, garden and surrounding countryside all served as inspiration for her stories and illustrations. Hill Top, which was enlarged in 1906, was the first of many farms Beatrix Potter purchased to preserve her beloved Lake District's landscape.
Beatrix Heelis and her Herdwicks
In later life, established in her beloved Lake District, practical tweeds and woolens replaced the fashionable silks and velvets of Beatrix Potter’s prim and proper family home in South Kensington. She stayed there looking after her parents until she was over 40, all the while writing and illustrating her famous stories and escaping intermittently to Hill Top, the farm purchased with her book royalties. Marriage to local solicitor William Heelis freed Beatrix to realize her dream of full-time farm life. She bred prize-winning Herdwick sheep and acquired property with a view to preserving the landscape and way of life she loved. At their death Beatrix and William Heelis left over 4, 000 acres to the National Trust. (This card is 6” x 6”)
Eight cards and envelopes: two each of four designs, blank inside. Six cards are 5” x 7” and two cards are 6" x 6".
Artist’s note: “I love: folk art and history, Staffordshire pottery, old textiles and plates, gardens, broadsheet woodcuts, Blake, Douanier Rousseau, Kahlo, Alfred Wallis, Ravilious, Bawden, the Romantic movement, browsing in books, mooching in museums, Sussex, old buildings, cats, the sea... Exhibitions include group and solo shows in the UK, Spain, and New York.”