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Beatrix Potter letter and books under the hammer for Jo's Appeal

A LETTER from Beatrix Heelis (Potter) to Miss Roberts of H Roberts Booksellers of Kendal explaining her reasons for not publishing ‘The Fairy Caravan’ in the UK is up for auction on Monday 3 October.

In the letter, dated November 27th 1929 – the year the book went on sale in America - she says "It is so personal that I did not want it to get about on sale". The letter is signed Beatrix Heelis and addressed Castle Cottage, Sawrey, Ambleside.

It is accompanied by a First Edition of The Fairy Caravan and is estimated to make between £1,500 and £2,000.

Also included in the sale is a signed volume by Beatrix Potter, ‘The Tale of Johnny Town Mouse’ with a dedication - 'For Robin Crossley from Mrs Heelis (Beatrix Potter) Hill Top Farm, Sawrey, September 12th 1923, In remembrance of Tom Kitten's house'. The estimate for is £1,500-£2,000.

Monies raised from both lots will go to local charity ‘Jo's Appeal’, set up in memory of the popular Evening Mail journalist Jo Davies.

Expert David Brookes from 1818 Auctioneers, near Milnthorpe, who are tasked with selling the items said:

“With this year being the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter we are really pleased to have two special lots up for sale that chart some of her local connections and her publishing history. Like ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, ‘The Fairy Caravan’ was written by the author for her friends and her own entertainment, and not necessarily for publication. Whilst Beatrix was happy to see it published in America the letter makes it very clear that she didn’t want it on sale here.”

The Fairy Caravan was eventually reprinted and released in Britain in 1952. The 225 page long story follows the adventures of Tuppenny, a young guinea pig who runs away from home to join a travelling circus. Beautifully illustrated by the author, with watercolour and black and white ink drawings, the story is set in Potter's favourite landscape - the Lake District. Its original dialect delighted an American audience, who loved her tales of the English countryside.

Anyone interested in viewing the items at 1818 Auctioneers J36 (of the M6) Saleroom can do so on Friday 30 September 2-4pm, Saturday 1 October 10am-1pm and from 8.30am on the morning of the sale.

Lot details: 495

ENDS

Thursday, 29th of September 2016

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