Illustrated letter to Norah Moore, 25 September 1901 thumbnail 1
Illustrated letter to Norah Moore, 25 September 1901 thumbnail 2
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Illustrated letter to Norah Moore, 25 September 1901

Illustrated Letter
25/09/1901
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This illustrated manuscript 'picture letter' tells the outline of what was to become The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903). It is one of a number of illustrated letters which Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) wrote to children which she eventually converted into one of her 'little books'. The island that the squirrels sail out to on their self-constructed rafts, is known as ‘Owl Island’ in Beatrix’s letter to Norah, one of the children of her former governess, and also within the following book. The island can actually be identified as St Herberts Island in the middle of Derwentwater.

Between 1885 and 1903 Potter spent six of her long family summer breaks, first at Lingholm and then Fawe Park, both country estates near Derwentwater. Beatrix’s picture letters are often highly influenced by the places in which they were written. Red squirrels are known to find their homes in the woods near Lingholm and it was here the idea for 'Nutkin' was sown.

Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is one of the world's best-loved children's authors and illustrators. She wrote the majority of the twenty-three original Peter Rabbit books between 1901 and 1913. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Frederick Warne, 1902) is her most famous and best-loved tale.
read Introducing Beatrix Potter Beatrix Potter remains one of the world's best-selling and best-loved children's authors. She wrote and illustrated 28 books, including her 23 Tales which have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. In her later years, she became a farmer and sheep breeder and helped protect thousand...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Illustrated Letter
  • Packaging
Additional TitleSquirrel Nutkin picture letter (popular title)
Materials and Techniques
Ink on paper
Brief Description
Illustrated letter sent by Beatrix Potter to Norah Moore on 25 September 1901 telling the story of Squirrel Nutkin; Linder Bequest catalogue no. LB 1468.
Physical Description
Sixteen pages of illustrated manuscript. Contains 1135 words and 12 drawings: includes depictions of squirrels, an owl, acorns, oak trees, Lakeland scenery. Letter stitched with cotton into booklet form.
Dimensions
  • Height: 180mm
  • Width closed in booklet form width: 110mm
Size of paper
Content description
List of vignettes:



Page [1]: no ill.

Page [2] Vignette of squirrel constructing raft. Second ill. of squirrel with short tail throwing acorns down at woman below who is shown from behind with her hands in the air.

Page [3] Vignette of squirrel on branch holding acorn.

Page [4] Vignette of lake with many squirrels on rafts sailing into the distance towards an island with mountains behind.

Page [5] Vignette of a group of squirrels gathered around an owl who is standing infront of a large oak tree within a wood with a door in its trunk.

Page [6] No ill.

Page [7] mole lying on its back on a stone with other squirrels gathered around.

Page [8] Illustration of seven minnows on a stone.

Page [9] Vignette of squirrel.

Page [10] Vignette of three squirrels with a comb of honey infront of them.

Page [11] Vignette of owl looking down at honey infront of tree. Squirrel peeping around tree on right hand side.

Page [12] Group of squirrels carrying pie in pie dish. One leading the way from left to right of page.

Page [13] No ill.

Page [14] No ill.

Page [15] Illustration of owl with squirrel between his talons. Two squirrels look on from behind the tree with their front legs in the air.

Page [16] No ill.
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Linder Bequest [plus object number; written on labels on the same line as the object number]
Object history
Letter composed and illustrated by Beatrix Potter on 25th September 1901. Acquired by the V&A from Leslie Linder (1904-1973) in 1973 as part of the Linder Bequest, a collection of ca. 2150 watercolours, drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, books, photographs, and other memorabilia associated with Beatrix Potter and her family.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Literary Reference<i>The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin</i>, Beatrix Potter
Summary
This illustrated manuscript 'picture letter' tells the outline of what was to become The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (1903). It is one of a number of illustrated letters which Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) wrote to children which she eventually converted into one of her 'little books'. The island that the squirrels sail out to on their self-constructed rafts, is known as ‘Owl Island’ in Beatrix’s letter to Norah, one of the children of her former governess, and also within the following book. The island can actually be identified as St Herberts Island in the middle of Derwentwater.



Between 1885 and 1903 Potter spent six of her long family summer breaks, first at Lingholm and then Fawe Park, both country estates near Derwentwater. Beatrix’s picture letters are often highly influenced by the places in which they were written. Red squirrels are known to find their homes in the woods near Lingholm and it was here the idea for 'Nutkin' was sown.



Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is one of the world's best-loved children's authors and illustrators. She wrote the majority of the twenty-three original Peter Rabbit books between 1901 and 1913. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Frederick Warne, 1902) is her most famous and best-loved tale.
Bibliographic Reference
'Hobbs and Whalley, Beatrix Potter : the V&A Collection, London, 1985'Brief catalogue entry, no. 1468.
Other Number
LB.1468 - Linder Bequest catalogue no.
Collection
Library Number
BP.880

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record createdOctober 28, 2011
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