J: So we’re about to visit our second National Trust place of the day! C: Woop, woop. C: I have a feeling that this one’s going to be better. C: Not going to be rooms filled with, like, foam triangles and squares with lots of toddlers climbing over it. J: Well, I’d hope not. J: We hope not. C: Unless they’re dressed up like Peter Rabbit. C: That’s weird. J: Mmm, no. J: So, we’ve come to Hill Top, which is Beatrix Potter’s house. J: For anyone who doesn’t know, Beatrix Potter was based in the Lake District. C: [I was going to say] Everyone knows who Beatrix Potter is. J: Yeah, but they might not know where she lived! C: Don’t patronise our audience. J: I am not! C: Yeah. J: You’re very clever people and I’m sure you know who Beatrix Potter is. J: However… C: She lived in the Lakes. J: Yeah. J: Not in a lake, but… C: In the Lake District. J: In the Lake District and Beatrix Potter was actually a pretty huge part of my childhood, because my grandparents, who also lived in the Lake District, had the entire set. C: Of the books? J: Of all the books. J: We actually had replicas; some of them were like–we had five of some of them. C: I think every child – from our generation, I don’t know about the others, but – I think a lot of children have– I remember all my generation had the Beatrix Potter books. J: Oh, yeah. C: I had, like–the one I remember was like Benjamin – J: Bunny. C: Benjamin Bunny, with the side cap, and I scribbled all over it with crayon when I was really, really little and I kind of ruined that one. J: You just thought Benjamin Bunny was like the cool kid. C: Yeah, but then also I really like drinking chamomile tea C: – like, now, every evening, Jessica and I drink chamomile tea – J: Aww, we do! C: And that’s from Peter Rabbit. J: That is! C: When he gets a bad belly from having stuffed his tummy from all the – J: You do get a bad belly from having stuffed your tummy. C: Yeah, and then you have to have your chamomile tea! J: And then I do have to [?] chamomile tea. J: Yep. C: And I used to have all the crockery, as well. J: Same! Same! C: Had the plate and the double-handed little mug thing. J: Oh, my God, yes! C: And inside it had some of the words taken from her books that you can’t get until you’ve finished your cup or whatever it is, or finished eating your bowl. J: Yeah! I even had the knife and fork. J: They were so cute. C: I was saying earlier on when we were driving here, I was like, “Beatrix Potter – I’m really excited because – she was quite an inspirational woman, because she kind of, like, you know–she supported herself, and she illustrated it all on her own, with these very enchanting illustrations. (J: Gorgeous illustrations.) C: Illustrations that everyone must see their beauty, even if it’s not your thing and it’s just really enchanting. J: And she used her money for good, because she bought various places in the Lake District and then donated them to the National Trust. C: Mmhm. Well, the National Trust was formed–I think it was 19…20 something? It might have been earlier, actually – 1905? Early 20th century, basically. J: This time here that I’ve just edited onto the screen. C: Yeah. And it was by – I remember one name – Octavia…Hills, and then a man Ransley, maybe, and someone else. C: I’m probably going to be corrected on all the little bits now! C: But, basically, they were three people who were very much in love with the Lake District, as well as other great places within Britain, and they wanted to protect them from this Industrial Revolution – building and mining and so on – and so they said, “No, we’re going to buy this and it’s a charity and people can join this charity to protect this beautiful country that we live in.” J: Yeah. C: And that’s why we get to enjoy places like the Lake District and Beatrix Potter’s house because Beatrix Potter was someone who really believed in this, and she gave her house and a lot of her land to the National Trust, so that lots of other people could enjoy it for years to come. J: Yes. Like us today! C: So, we’re very thankful for those people. J: Yeah. I’m very excited for what we’re about to go and see. J: In the rain! C: Oh, yeah. J: Run in! [?] J: Oh, my God! J: Beatrix Potter wrote twenty-eight books, which have been translated into over thirty-five different languages. More than a hundred million copies of her books have been sold, and she’s one of the best-selling and most well-loved children’s authors of all time. She was inspired by Hill Top Cottage and its background for many of her drawings. C: Can you hear the chicken? [Dog barks] J: Oh! J: Heard that! C: That’s a dog. [Dog barks again] J: Look, we found a spade! J: Which reminds us of Peter Rabbit, because Mr. McGregor, and Peter Rabbit always getting into his garden. C: And eating all the – J: Eating all his crops. [They laugh] C: A spade any other time would be like, “Yeah, whatever.” C: But a spade at Beatrix Potter’s garden, we’re like, “A spade!” J: [?] C: “Her inspiration! It’s probably THE spade that inspired Peter Rabbit in 1901!” J: …Maybe not. C: Good knowledge there, by the way. J: Very nicely done. Very nicely done, wife. J: Potter was born in 1866 and Beatrix wasn’t actually her first name. J: She was christened Helen after her mother, but was known by her middle name, as it was more unusual. J: After enjoying holidays in the Lake District as a child, in 1905 Beatrix bought Hill Top Farm and greatly enjoyed life running a farm; spending half the year there, and half in London with her parents. J: She came from a well-to-do family and greatly disappointed her mother, by being more interested in drawing, writing, and the countryside than society tea parties and finding a good husband. J: The revenue from her little books allowed her to buy much land in the Lake District, including helping struggling farmers by subsidising them. J: In her will, she left all of her property to the National Trust, which included sixteen farms; many cottages; and over four thousand acres of land. J: Beatrix was fascinated by nature, at a time when women weren’t supposed to be. J: She constantly recorded the world around her in drawings, and was especially interested in fungi. J: She became an accomplished scientific illustrator. J: This is a copy of the letter that started it all: an illustrated letter Potter wrote to the son of her former governess inspired her most famous book: The Tale of Peter Rabbit. J: She later asked to borrow the letter back, and adapted it to create the much-loved tale. J: By the end of its first year in print, it was in so much demand, it had to be re-printed six times. J: As a smart business woman, she recognised the merchandising opportunities offered by her success. J: She designed and produced a Peter Rabbit doll, and gave permission for other items to be made – such as board games, tea sets, wallpaper, and figurines. J: Of everything she wrote, this is my favourite quote. J: I feel the same way when I’m too ill to get out of bed. Thank goodness I have my imagination.
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