A Missing Manuscript from Beatrix Potter Becomes a New Book

Imagine opening an envelope from 1914 and discovering not just any letter but one that contained a story penciled by your favorite childhood author. Publisher Jo Hanks certainly opened the right envelope two years ago when she found The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by none other than Beatrix Potter (writer and illustrator of the mischievous Peter Rabbit) who had sent it to her publisher during World War I, The Guardian reported.

After combing through the Victoria and Albert Museum’s archive in London; not one, not two, but three fragile manuscripts were found scribbled in school notebooks, a color sketch of Kitty-in-Boots, and a light sketch of Kitty-in-Boot’s nemesis, Mr. Tod.

I find life getting away from me at times. I can only imagine what it was like for Potter in 1914 during the First World War while up keeping her farm, which explains the many interruptions that caused her to never finish this tale.

With the help of Roald Dahl’s illustrator, Quentin Blake, this colorful book will come to life. With much delight, Blake explains:

quentin-blake-illustration
Illustration from The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Quentin Blake

“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almost incredible when, early in 2015, I was sent the manuscript of a story by Beatrix Potter; one which had lain unpublished for 100 years and which, with the exception of a single drawing, she never had illustrated.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 continued. “I have a stranger feeling that it might have been waiting for me.”

We can expect The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots to be published this coming fall by Frederick Warne & Co, Potter’s original publisher. For a little insight into the life of its author, here’s a trailer from the 2006 movie Miss Potter, featuring Renée Zellweger.

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