We had a very quiet morning in Coniston and a very fun afternoon outing to Hilltop Farm.
Beatrix Potter, best known for the Peter Rabbit children’s books, bought Hilltop Farm in 1905 for £2000.
She bought the farm after her fiancé died and held onto it even after she married and moved. It was at Hilltop that she created Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and other iconic characters. But what most appeals to me about Potter is her love of nature and het entrepreneurial spirit. After publishing her stories, she used her independent wealth to purchase more land for preservation. Our tour brochure tells us that “on her death, she bequeathed 15 farms and over 4000 acres of land to the National Trust”. She had Rachel Carson’s heart for nature and Madam CJ Walker’s entrepreneurial spirit and I commend her for both.
As I wandered through the lush flower and vegetable gardens, I thought of my mother and grandmother. Gardening is a sacred tradition within my family and we run a successful garlic business on our family farm. My previous essay The Farm and the Family details the journey of the farm over my lifetime.
(A wall in the museum shop of all of Potter’s work)
Beatrix Potter was able to become successful through her writing, run a farm, and have a presumably lovely husband. To me, it sounds like an ideal life, and I appreciate the lovely reminder of my family. It has been a lovely day, and I’ve enjoyed my stay in Coniston. Tomorrow we are free to roam as we wish, and then we leave for Stratford-upon-Avon!
On the way we’ll stop at the parsonage of the Bronte sisters, so that will be interesting. I have finished reading Jane Eyre, and I have watched the 2011 movie. If anyone is actually interested in a review, I can find time for one.
Bon Voyage 🏴🥕 E