But Nutkin sat upon a big flat rock, and played ninepins with a crap apple. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin is set on Derwentwater, and is based on an American story about squirrels travelling on little rafts, using their bushy tails as sails. Squirrel Nutkin sails across the lake with his cousins to gather nuts on Owl Island, where his impudence to Old Brown the owl leads him into serious trouble.
Beatrix has created some of the best-loved characters in children's literature
Beatrix Potter was born in London in 1866. During her rather lonely childhood and later, as a young woman, she studied art and natural history. She acquired her love and knowledge of the countryside during family holidays, at first in Scotland and then in the Lake District. She started her career as children's author and illustrator in 1901 when she was thirty-five. In the years before the First World War, demand for her work was so great that she was publishing an average of two new stories a year. As she became financially independent, she was able to buy some land in the Lake District and in 1913, on her marriage to solicitor William Heelis, she moved to live there permanently. For the last thirty years of her life, writing and illustrating gave place to a second career as a sheep farmer and countryside conservationist.
Her little books never lost their popularity however and today they sell in their millions, translated into numerous languages, and the pleasures of those timeless tales continue to be enjoyed by children all over the world.