2 Oct: Meet Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published on October 2nd, 1902. The book was an instant sensation, needing reprints almost immediately, and ultimately went on to sell an extraordinary 40 million copies worldwide.

Potter had initially written it in 1893 as a letter to cheer up Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of her former governess. Noel was ill, and Potter wrote the story simply to help him pass the time. Seeing Peter Rabbit’s potential, however, her friends encouraged her to publish.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explore why The Tale of Peter Rabbit was rejected by six publishers; look into how Potter first met the “real” Peter Rabbit; and discuss how the gentle book was given a high-octane update when it transferred to TV…  

Further Reading:

• ‘Peter Rabbit: the tale of “The Tale”’ (V&A Museum, 2021): https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/peter-rabbit-the-tale-of-the-tale 

• ‘Peter Rabbit and Other Stories’ (Lit2Go, 1902): https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/148/peter-rabbit-and-other-stories/4923/the-tale-of-peter-rabbit/ 

• ‘Peter Rabbit – Official Trailer’ (Sony Pictures, 2017):


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