- Museum number
Illustration to page 8 of 'The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies', 1909; group of rabbits sleeping around a cabbage leaf
Pen and brown ink and watercolour
- Production date
Height: 95 millimetres
Width: 100 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Label from Room 90 display, 2007, for illustrations to frontispiece and pages 8, 11, 14 of Flopsy Bunnies:
Beatrix Potter’s first book was The Tale of Peter Rabbit and a few years later it was followed by the adventures of Peter’s cousin, Benjamin Bunny, named after one of her pet rabbits. Most of the books that followed were about other creatures - mice, frogs, kittens, ducks, badgers and foxes – but the rabbit stories were some of the most popular and in 1909 she returned to Benjamin Bunny. In this story he has grown up and married Peter’s sister Flopsy.
Very ‘improvident and cheerful’, they have a large family of children called the ‘Flopsy Bunnies’. The story opened by introducing the family and the fact that eating lettuces had a very soporific effect on rabbits - charmingly illustrated here with the bunnies asleep in a lettuce patch.
The following entry appeared on the Explore section of the BM website until September 2015:
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is among the best-loved of children's book authors and illustrators, and today her books remain as popular as ever. She was born in London into a wealthy family, and was introduced as a child to the world of art; the Pre-Raphaelite painter, John Everett Millais (1829-96), was a family friend. She was a solitary child who found most comfort in her many pets and in drawing. She made many careful watercolour studies, particularly of fungi, fossils and Roman artefacts. A collection of these is in the National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
In 1900, she wrote and illustrated The Tale of Peter Rabbit for the children of her former governess. It was first printed privately, but in 1902 it was published by Warne & Co. and was an immediate success, selling 50,000 copies in a year. Squirrel Nutkin followed in 1903, and then fourteen more tales in seven years. Many of her stories were set in the countryside around Hill Top Farm in the Lake District, which she purchased with her earnings from her books. After the publication of Mrs Tittlemouse, Beatrix spent most of her time farming sheep. On her death, she left her home to the National Trust, who opened it as a museum.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1985 July, Shrewsbury, The Gateway, Beatrix Potter in Wales, (no cat.)
1992/3 Sept-Jan, Paris, Musée d'Orsay, 'Peter Rabbit' (ex cat.)
2007 Jan-Feb, London, BM, P & D, Room 90 display
2009 Aug-Dec, London, V&A, Flopsy Bunnies display
2010 July-Oct, Hatfield, Mill Green Museum, Beatrix Potter in Hertfordshire, display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number