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Beatrix Potter

Born during the Victorian era to wealthy and well-connected parents, Beatrix Potter led a largely solitary childhood. To make up for the lack of company she began to sketch and make up stories about her pets, and she was encouraged in her art by her parents, and family friend John Everett Millais.

Encouraged by the reception her ‘picture-letters’ received from their young recipients, Beatrix Potter turned her hand to writing and illustrating her own children’s books. She struggled initially to find a publisher, and privately printed her first two books ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ (1901) and ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’ (1902), experimenting with new colour printing processes and managing every aspect of the books’ production. Publishers Frederick Warne & Co. were so impressed they decided to take a chance on the budding author, now 36 years old.

Norman Warne, Beatrix Potter’s publisher, was determined to make a success of their first book and developed a good working relationship with Miss Potter.  Warne insisted that the plates for the Warne editions of Peter Rabbit would still be in colour. For her part Potter insisted that the book remain small so that it would be easy for children to hold. By the end of the first year, 28,000 copies had been printed and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit books remain in print to this day, a phenomenon of children’s literature.

Beatrix Potter First Editions

First Edition Beatrix Potter books are not always easy to spot, many having ‘issue points’ or variations that can have considerable bearing on their value. If in doubt please contact one of our experts for more information. The author also experimented with ‘deluxe versions’ of many of her books, either to binding designs by Beatrix Potter or bound in art fabric from her grandfather’s factory, which are highly collectable when in very good condition.

The last of her works to be published was ‘The Tale of the Faithful Dove’, published posthumously by Warne in 1955 in a limited edition of 100 copies only.

Find Beatrix Potter First Edition Children's Books available at Shapero below.

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  • [Four Pirate Peter Rabbit books].

    [POTTER, Beatrix].
    Original price $485.00 - Original price $485.00
    Original price $485.00
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    $485.00 - $485.00
    Current price $485.00

    1) Peter Rabbit Painting Book.Charles E. Graham & Co., New York, circa 1925 (pencil gift inscription to upper free endpaper). 4to (325 x 220 m...

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    Original price $485.00 - Original price $485.00
    Original price $485.00
    $485.00
    $485.00 - $485.00
    Current price $485.00
  • The Pie and the Patty-Pan.

    POTTER, Beatrix.
    Original price $743.00 - Original price $743.00
    Original price $0.00
    $743.00
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    Current price $743.00

    A very good first edition, in larger format than the usual Beatrix Potter titles (this was changed in 1930, when it was reissued to The Tale of th...

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    Original price $743.00 - Original price $743.00
    Original price $0.00
    $743.00
    $743.00 - $743.00
    Current price $743.00
  • The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse.

    POTTER, Beatrix.
    Original price $5,487.00 - Original price $5,487.00
    Original price $0.00
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    Current price $5,487.00

    The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse was published with the boards in either blue or brown but neither has priority over the other.First or second printin...

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    Original price $5,487.00 - Original price $5,487.00
    Original price $0.00
    $5,487.00
    $5,487.00 - $5,487.00
    Current price $5,487.00
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit

    POTTER, Beatrix; SENDAK, Maurice.
    Original price $1,485.00 - Original price $1,485.00
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    Current price $1,485.00

    Maurice Sendak meets Beatrix Potter. An excellent production reproducing 34 of the original 41 plain illustrations from the edition of The Tale of ...

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    Original price $1,485.00 - Original price $1,485.00
    Original price $0.00
    $1,485.00
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    Current price $1,485.00
  • The Tale of the Faithful Dove.

    POTTER, Beatrix.
    Original price $581.00 - Original price $581.00
    Original price $0.00
    $581.00
    $581.00 - $581.00
    Current price $581.00

    One of 100 numbered copies. The first separate edition of a story originally penned in 1907 for the Warne children, rediscovered in 1918 by Fruing ...

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    Original price $581.00 - Original price $581.00
    Original price $0.00
    $581.00
    $581.00 - $581.00
    Current price $581.00
  • The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse.

    POTTER, Beatrix.
    Original price $969.00 - Original price $969.00
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    $969.00
    $969.00 - $969.00
    Current price $969.00

    This was published with the boards in either blue or cream but neither has priority over the other. First edition, first or second printing; 16mo;...

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    Original price $969.00 - Original price $969.00
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    $969.00
    $969.00 - $969.00
    Current price $969.00
  • The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.

    POTTER, Beatrix.
    Original price $3,228.00 - Original price $3,228.00
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    Current price $3,228.00

    Inscribed by Annie Maria Harris nee Armitt. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: 'Mary Mackenzie from Mrs. Stanford Harris, Rydal Cottage, August...

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    Original price $3,228.00 - Original price $3,228.00
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    $3,228.00 - $3,228.00
    Current price $3,228.00
  • The Tailor of Gloucester.

    POTTER, Beatrix.
    Original price $2,453.00 - Original price $2,453.00
    Original price $0.00
    $2,453.00
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    Current price $2,453.00

    An exceptional copy of the author's favourite 'little book'. An exceptional copy of the first Warne edition of The Tailor of Gloucester, of which t...

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    Original price $2,453.00 - Original price $2,453.00
    Original price $0.00
    $2,453.00
    $2,453.00 - $2,453.00
    Current price $2,453.00
  • The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes.

    POTTER, Beatrix.
    Original price $1,614.00 - Original price $1,614.00
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    Current price $1,614.00

    A near fine example. The story of Timmy and Goody Tiptoes is the only Beatrix Potter story apparently set in North America - although this is impli...

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    Original price $1,614.00 - Original price $1,614.00
    Original price $0.00
    $1,614.00
    $1,614.00 - $1,614.00
    Current price $1,614.00