**CANCELLED** BEATRIX POTTER’S SECRET CODE BREAKER WITH ANDREW P. WILTSHIRE
** THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. WE APOLOGISE FOR ANY DISAPPOINTMENT CAUSED**
Do you know that when only 15, and well before she became the author and artist of world famous animal character stories, Beatrix Potter had invented, her own cipher coded alphabet – then used it between 1881 and 1897 to record over 200 000 words of private thoughts, experiences and observations? Probably not! Enjoy an illustrated talk about the true story of the man who decoded, and published, the private (and forgotten) Journal of Beatrix Potter and so bring to life her Victorian youth before Peter Rabbit!
In this engaging talk, Andrew Wiltshire tells the tale of Leslie Linder, the Essex businessman who took five years to break this code, another four years to decipher her words, and then four more to publish his acclaimed work in 1966. Andrew shows unique photographs to illustrate this code breaking and provides amusing examples of what she wrote (never expecting others to read her jottings.) Additionally, he describes the childhood and careers of Leslie and Enid, his sister, and their roles in an upper-middle class dynasty that was like Beatrix Potter’s family, also in ‘trade’ with servants, and had the enjoyment of a home on a country estate on the outskirts of London.
Andrew lived nearby and, with his parents, was part of the Linder’s social group, receiving copies of their books and personal insights into Leslie’s discoveries. Using their wealth, from this companies work across the world, Leslie and Enid formed the largest collection of Beatrix’s writing, books and drawings of British fauna, flora, and fungi, which were subsequently donated to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Their bequests helped Beatrix to become known as a woman of high intellect and achievement, not just a ‘Bunny Rabbit’ author.
Pair this insightful talk with our interactive Peter Rabbit™ ‘Mischief and Mayhem’ Exhibition. This exhibition tells the story of the creation of Peter Rabbit and includes Beatrix Potter’s original artworks and manuscripts which are rarely exhibited. It also reveals a fresh insight into the innovative way Beatrix Potter developed Peter Rabbit toys and games.
This event is in the past. Please see our current events here