Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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Blown Away

Beatrix Potter Beatrix PotterBeatrix Potter







8.  Beatrix Potter, author/illustrator.
The Story of a Fierce, Bad Rabbit.
London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1906.

One of Potter's most aggressive characters appears in a story for very young children. It was written at the request of Louie Warne, the little daughter of Potter's publisher, who wanted a story about a really naughty rabbit because Peter was much too good. The fierce bad rabbit takes away a carrot from a gentle rabbit, but does not enjoy his ill-gotten gains. While sitting on a bench munching the carrot, his tail is blown off by a hunter who mistook it for a bird.

Is the violence excessive? Potter probably assumed that readers would recognize the comically dreadful punishment for the bunny bully as in the spirit of Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwelpeter, then widely imitated in England and America. (Image Credits)