Books by Beatrix Potter: The Tale of Peter Rabbit and More

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943) the British author and illustrator of children’s books, took her inspiration from a childhood spent in nature and with animals. She was also blessed with a vivid imagination.

Best known for The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902), Beatrix wrote and illustrated this popular children’s book, which was originally self-published. The book was inspired by Beatrix’s two childhood pet rabbits, Benjamin Bouncer and Peter Piper. Many more books followed.

As a child, Beatrix was encouraged to pursue her passion for drawing and painting, gathering inspiration from her natural surroundings and family pets. Beatrix and her brother would illustrate postcards when they went on holiday to Scotland, sending letters back home to friends.

In 1893, while on holiday, after having run out of things to write about, she wrote a story to the children of friend about “four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter.” It would later become one of the most famous children’s letters ever written, and laid the groundwork for Beatrix Potter’s success as a writer, artist, and storyteller.

. . . . . . . . . .

Books by Beatrix Potter

. . . . . . . . . .

In 1901, the story of Peter Rabbit was initially rejected by several publishers, until Beatrix decided to publish the book herself. She printed 250 copies for family and friends.

Publishing company Frederick Warne & Co. noticed the success of her self-printed copies, and agreed to publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit if Beatrix re-illustrated the book in color. It was an immediate bestseller. In all, she wrote and illustrated 24 children’s books; the following list of Beatrix Potter books are among the best known.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

This best-selling children’s book has been translated in 36 different languages with over 45 million copies sold. The character of Peter Rabbit has generated merchandise for both children and adults alike, with the first Peter Rabbit doll patented by Beatrix Potter in 1903.

The story is of a young rabbit, Peter, advised by his widowed mother to avoid the vegetable garden of a man named Mr. McGregor. His mother reminds Peter of his fathers demise, where he was “put into a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”

Rebellious by nature, Peter sneaks into the garden only to over-indulge on the bountiful produce and is nearly caught by Mr. McGregor. The children’s book is beautifully illustrated and imaginative of the life of a family of rabbits.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck

Similarly to The Tale of Peter Rabbit, both in reader popularity and with spinoff merchandise,The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (1908) was both written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter.

The book is of a domestic duck named Jemima, whose eggs are repeatedly confiscated by the farmers wife, who believes Jemima to be “a poor sitter.” Jemima attempts to find a place far from the farm to lay her eggs, confiding in a sly fox who invites her to do so in a nest at his home.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

A sequel to the successful Peter Rabbit, the story tells of Peter Rabbit returning to Mr. McGregor’s garden with his cousin Benjamin to retrieve clothing he lost while on his first escapade in the garden.

The character of Benjamin returned in Beatrix’s book The Tale of Flopsy Bunnies and Mr. Tod as an adult rabbit. In 1992 Benjamin Bunny was adapted as an episode of The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends on BBC.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies

The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies

After writing two full-length tales of bunnies, Beatrix yearned for a change in story. Unable to deny the popularity of her rabbit stories and illustrations, Beatrix grabbed plot elements and characters from The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny to develop The Tale of Flopsy Bunnies (1909).

Her illustrations for this book were inspired by the flowerbeds and garden of archways of her aunt and uncles home in Wales.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

Published in 1903, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin the story follows an ill-mannered red squirrel named Nutkin. Similarly to the inspiration of the Peter Rabbit tales, the origins of Squirrel Nutkin are traced to letters Beatrix wrote to Norah Moore, the daughter of the former governess, Annie Carter Moore.

A shortened version of the tale appeared in the 1971 ballet film, The Tales of Beatrix Potter.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tale of Two Bad Mice

The Tale of Two Bad Mice

Inspired by two mice caught in a cage-trap in her cousins home, and in a dollhouse being constructed by her editor and publisher Norman Warne for his niece. As the tale developed, the two fell in love. The story is of two mice who vandalize a dollhouse, destroying the dining room after finding food.

The tales theme of rebellion and destruction is analyzed as a reflection of Beatrix’s own desire to separate and free herself from her parent’s scrutiny and disapproval of her relationship with Norman Warne. Sadly, Mr. Warne died after a brief illness before the couple had a chance to get married.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tale of Tom Kitten

The Tale of Tom Kitten


The Tale of Tom Kitten 
(1907) is to teach children of manners and respectful obedience. The story follows the character Tabitha Twitchit,  a cat who invites her friends over for tea. After dutifully washing and dressing her three kittens, they soon soil their outfits after romping around in the garden.

Banishing the kittens upstairs to the bedroom until the tea party is over, the “dignity and repose of the tea party” is threatened to be ruined after the kittens disobediently cause a ruckus upstairs.

. . . . . . . . .

The Tailor of Gloucester

The Tailor of Gloucester


The Tailor of Gloucester
  (1902) was privately printed by Beatrix Potter in 1902, and later published by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1903. Potter has declared this book to be her favorite. The story is about a tailor who saves a mouse from his cat, who later goes on to finish the tailors work on a waistcoat out of gratitude.

It is based on a real-life incident between the tailor John Pritchard, a Gloucester tailor commissioned to make a new suit for the mayor. He returned to his shop one early Monday morning to find the suit finished (all except for one buttonhole) with a note saying “No more twist.” Beatrix sketched the Gloucester street the tailors shop resided for her book.

. . . . . . . . .

More about Beatrix Potter on this site

beatrix potter stamps Britain

Beatrix Potter books on Amazon

. . . . . . . . .

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through, Literary Ladies Guide receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to The Literary Ladies Guide weekly newsletter

Celebrating women’s voices
with inspiration for readers and writers

  • Find your next great read
  • Get writing advice from authors you love
  • Enjoy fascinating facts and quotes
  • Discover women’s literary history

... and lots more (look for a bonus in your welcome letter!)
Email address
Secure and Spam free...