The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Introduced by Anne Brichto of Addyman Books, Hay-on-Wye

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150 years ago Helen Beatrix Potter was born at No. 2 Bolton Gardens in West Brompton. Here she is at about eight years old surrounded by three first editions of her works with a very early edition (1907) of The Tale of Peter Rabbit that we have in stock at Addyman Books.

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I can’t remember a time that I didn’t know Peter Rabbit, his cousin Benjamin and The Flopsy Bunnies. When I was two I was even called the flopsy bunny as that was what I asked visitors to read me (it was probably due to my curly hair too).

We also had the little long playing records beautifully narrated by Vivian Leigh. If you haven’t heard them do look on YouTube – they are a treat with some very catchy songs alongside the complete stories.

I don’t know how Beatrix Potter did it so well but I always felt the undercurrent of menace through her tales; fathers got cooked, foxes ate your babies, big fish could get you. It was the mixture of this realism with the beauty of both the stories and her drawings that makes her books as thrilling now as when they first came out. 

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The picture is from an early edition with an ownership date of 1907.

I’m very sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter! ‘One table-spoon to be taken at bed-time.’ But Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries, for supper.

The Story of Miss Moppet was first produced in this concertina format and is quite scare. £350

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny is a bit tatty and only £200

The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle has lost her spine and is £120

The early Peter is £160.

We also have The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes for £200 and a vast range of early and modern editions priced between £3 and £10 plus a boxed set of 23 tales for £75.

I am not trying to sell these particularly but thought people might be interested. I love having them in stock.

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Read more about Beatrix Potter on the V&A website

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