The Right Sort of Woman

To mark the 100th anniversary of the advent of female suffrage in the UK, the Beatrix Potter properties in the Lake District will be celebrating Beatrix’s influential position as a strong – and female – member of the Cumbrian community.

Featuring her original artwork, handwritten letters and personal items, the Beatrix Potter Gallery will showcase the exhibition, ‘The Right Sort of Woman’, which uncovers a lesser-known side to the well-loved children’s author. Visitors can discover why an upper middle class London lady fell in love with the simplicity, homeliness and rugged beauty of the Lake District and how she whole-heartedly embraced the difficulties life there dictated. Amongst other items, on display are original letters which help to explain her role in setting up district nursing and her position of influence as a local businesswoman and landlord.

With preservation of the Lake District always at the forefront of her mind, Beatrix not only had the opportunity but also the means to bring the landscape and its unique culture to a ‘splendid reality’. Her wealth and influence allowed her to sidestep convention and, supported by her friend and National Trust founder, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, she assumed the role of land agent, managed farms and oversaw a variety of business ventures, but also acted as an advocate and fundraiser, believing the National Trust to be ‘the only salvation for the Lake District.’ To her great satisfaction she was able, through the success of her books, to protect huge areas of the Lakes and, thanks to the continued support of our visitors and members, we continue to enjoy her legacy to this day.

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