Rebel with a cause | Sunday Observer

Rebel with a cause

The Beatrix Potter Collection (Volume One) is a collection of 13 short stories which include The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tailor of Gloucestor, The Squirrel Nutkin, The Tale of Two Bad Mice and The Tale of Tom Kitten. Potter called her stories “picture letters” because most of them were originally letters written to the children of her governess, Annie Carter. The stories are set in Victorian England in the early 20th century. Potter’s stories feature anthropomorphic animals such as rabbits, squirrels, dogs, cats and mice.

The Tale of Benjamin Bunny continues the story of Peter Rabbit who escaped being caught by Mr. McGregor. Benjamin Bunny and his cousin Peter Rabbit decide to retrieve Peter’s coat and shoes from the scarecrow in Mr. McGregor’s garden.

The Tailor of Gloucestor has an epigraph from William Shakespeare’s Richard III, “I’ll be at charges for a looking glass;/And entertain a score or two of tailors.” Potter sets the context of the story with the lines, “In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets – when gentlemen wore ruffles and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta – there lived a tailor in Gloucester.”

Beatrix Potter was a rebel with a cause, and her stories are allegorical and provide a commentary on Victorian society. Potter explores adult themes such as staying calm in the face of adversity, overcoming enemies and the importance of industriousness. Potter’s characters are lovable and her beautiful illustrations enhance the stories.

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