A new Beatrix Potter story to be published…100 years later 46



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A never-published Beatrix Potter story has been discovered, illustrated and will be launched in September, melting all our hearts again with the beauty that this author brought to several generations of children with the Tales of Peter Rabbit.

The story was found by publisher Jo Hanks in an old letter Ms Potter had sent to her publisher in 1914.  The letter referred to a story of “a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life”, and referred to an unedited manuscript of the tale.

Hanks instigated a search through the archives of V&A London and found handwritten manuscripts, a colour sketch and a dummy typeset book complete with a pencil sketch of one of the characters.

Letters found with the referenced letter demonstrated that because of the timing, with the first world war, followed by her marriage, the challenging of sheep farming and it was never finished when she died in 1943.   Quentin Blake, most famous for illustrating Roald Dahl’s books has been engaged to illustrate the book and is excited about doing so.

“It seemed almost incredible when, early in 2015, I was sent the manuscript of a story by Beatrix Potter; one which had lain unpublished for 100 years and which, with the exception of a single drawing, she had never illustrated.”

“I liked the story immediately – it’s full of incident and mischief and character – and I was fascinated to think that I was being asked to draw pictures for it,” he said to the Guardian. “I have a strange feeling that it might have been waiting for me.”

And the publisher is excited too.  She is reported by the Guardian as saying:

“The tale really is the best of Beatrix Potter,” said Hanks. “It has double identities, colourful villains and a number of favourite characters from other tales (including Mr Tod, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Ribby and Tabitha Twitchit)”.



kitty in boots
One of Quentin Blake’s new illustrations for Kitty in Boots | Beatrix Potter/Frederick Warne & Co.


Beatrix Potter_kittyinboots
Beatrix Potter’s original illustration of Kitty in Boots | Beatrix Potter/Frederick Warne & Co. & the V&A Museum



The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots will be published in September by Frederick Warne & Co.  Keep an eye out for your grandkids.

Was Beatrix Potter a part of your childhood?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I adore the whole Beatrix Potter story and love everything she wrote. I always look in op shops for her books and have put together a small collection over the years.

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