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jemima puddle duck sculpture

The top 5 best-loved characters from Beatrix Potter books

“What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood?”

Helen Beatrix Potter is one of the most beloved children's writers of the modern era, and her widely-read books have been capturing the imagination of readers of all ages since the early-1900s. 

A writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist; she has created some of literature’s most memorable characters. Inspired by the landscape and wildlife of the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, she is best known for her twenty-three children’s tales, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.

A great number of sculptures and water features from the Robert James Workshop range are influenced by the English writer’s exquisite hand-drawn illustrations, and the beauty of her work can be found in each piece. 

From the pages of Beatrix Potter’s famous books, to the natural surroundings of your garden, each character embodies a sense of nostalgia and magic.

Without further ado, let us take you on a whimsical literary tour and explore some of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved creations.

1. Peter Rabbit 

Where else could we start? Peter Rabbit, our blue-jacketed adventurer with a taste for mischief and radishes. When he’s not squeezing under Mr. McGregor's garden gate, and diving into the bountiful vegetable patches within, he’s indulging in his natural curiosity of the world around him.

Brave, quick-witted—and more than a little disobedient—young Peter won’t think twice about using his smarts to outfox his enemies. 

Interestingly, Beatrix Potter really did have a rabbit named Peter; a Belgian buck who the writer would spend hours observing, illustrating….and taking for walks on a leash.

peter rabbit sculpture

2. Jemima Puddle-Duck

Another classic creation inspired by real events. Jemima was a duck who lived on Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm and her namesake is at the heart of the much-loved Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck

Described as a very silly duck, Jemima doesn’t want much from life—except to be able to lay her eggs in peace, away from those pesky humans. On her mission to find the perfect spot, however, she meets a cunning fox who just happens to have roast duck on the menu. If it wasn’t for a helpful sheepdog, things could’ve come to an unlucky end for poor Jemima!

3. Mr. Jeremy Fisher

“I have lost my rod and basket; but it does not much matter, for I am sure I should never have dared to go fishing again!”

The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher is one of Beatrix Potter’s most beloved works. At the centre of the story, Jeremy Fisher, a cheerful yet accident-prone amphibian lives in a rather damp house on the edge of the pond.

Nothing goes quite right for our froggy hero, as his fishing adventures meet calamity after calamity—and things don’t get much better for Jeremy when he comes across an insatiably hungry trout...

mr jeremy fisher water feature

4. Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle 

You won’t be surprised to learn that Beatrix Potter had a hedgehog called Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle—and she used her cherished pet as the inspiration behind her illustrations. The character of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is actually based on a washerwoman named Kitty MacDonald, who was employed by the Potter family at their Scottish Highlands holiday home.

With friendly, twinkling eyes, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is a kind old soul who makes it her business to clean and press the clothes of all the other animals—generously delivering them once she’s done!

5. Squirrel Nutkin

Beatrix Potter’s most famous red bushy-tailed creation is best known for his boldness and lack of manners. He lives with his brother Twinkleberry in the woodlands on the edge of the lake—along with his many cousins—and is forever getting into scrapes and episodes of misadventure.

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin plots our hero’s brush with Old Brown owl. Having finally grown tired of his impertinence, the sassy rodent is lucky to flee with only his tail missing!

squirrel nutkin sculpture

Posted on March 8th 2022

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