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Peter Rabbit

660 of 1169 nominations


Peter Rabbit

Is this an icon?


Peter Rabbit

“I don’t know what to write to you, so I shall tell you the story about four little rabbits, whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter…” wrote Beatrix Potter in 1894, in a letter to a five-year-old who was sick with scarlet fever. Eight years later, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, complete with her own watercolour illustrations, was published by Frederick Warne & Co.

The enduring, cheeky character of Peter Rabbit is thought to have originated from Potter’s pet rabbit of the same name, and went on to appear in five more Potter books. Peter, along with the author's other famous characters, such as Jemima Puddleduck, Tom Kitten and Pigling Bland, are steeped in English country life, and informed by Potter’s fascination with the natural world. Her books, thought to have sold around 150 million copies worldwide, are particularly associated with the Lake District, where Potter lived for many years until her death in 1943.

Photo: Courtesy of Penguin Books


Your comments

Peter Rabbit and the other Beatrix Potter creations are quintessentially English.

David Rowell

I would bet that Beatrix Potter's beautiful and inspired stories are to be found in virtually every household in England and in a good deal of other places too. The stories are unique in their combination of the realistic and the fantastical in the lives of little creatures we associate with traditional farms and the countryside - definitely an icon of this country. Every child and adult should have copies of these perfect little books. There is also a veritable merchandising empire built around the institution that is Peter...

Undoubtedly the loveliest, most perceptive children's books ever written by an author incredibly attached to her home in the Lake District, and also deeply knowledgeable of English wildlife and farming.
Tamar Good

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer