The fact is that I share my birthday,

With a woman incredibly brill!

She’s an author, an artist,

She’s simply the smartest,

I adore her and I always will.

She wrote of the wonderful Pigling Bland,

Samuel Whiskers and all of his tricks,

She wrote them as pieces,

For nephews and nieces,

The incomparable, marvellous Beatrix*!

*I was born rather more recently,

Beatrix Potter? 1866.

In an age when a girl had to marry,

She forged a fantastic career,

More keen on creatures and the paints she could carry,

Than convention or social niceties, I fear! 

She fell for her publisher, Norman Warne, 

Who, adoring, was oft at her side,

But her parents, who doubted him,

Made her pledge three months without him,

And during that time Norman died.

Broken-hearted, Beatrix left town for the country,

To a place she had always adored,

And with the help of Norman’s sister, Millie,

Her equilibrium was slowly restored.

She bought Hill Tops and numerous other farms,

In the Lake District, to which she had fled, 

Instead of mass decimation,

And complete desecration,

She saved them for the nation instead. 

She married William, a friend from her childhood,

A Yorkshireman, wise and robust,

When she died, she left William a fortune **,

All else to the National Trust.***

© Caro Ness 2016

© Photo: Renee Zellwegger as Beatrix Potter in the film Miss Potter – Momentum Pictures 

** £211,638 – the equivalent of £8 million today 

*** The National Trust preserves and protects historic places and spaces for the public in perpetuity