100 Years Later,
Beatrix Potter’s Tale Of A Fanciful Feline To Be Published
At long-lost Beatrix Potter book, The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, is set to be released this fall, 150 years after the beloved author’s birth.
The tale about a sharply dressed feline has “all the hallmarks of Potter’s best works,” editor Jo Hanks, who stumbled upon the story, says in an interview with Penguin U.K., which will publish the book.
At the time Potter was writing Kitty-in-Boots in 1914, she told her publisher that the story was centered on “a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life.”
Hanks says she “stumbled on an out-of-print collection of her writings” and saw that reference to the story in a letter from Potter to her publisher.
This led her to the publisher’s archive, where she says she found “three manuscripts, two handwritten in children’s school notebooks and one typeset and laid out in a dummy book; one rough colour sketch of Kitty-in-Boots and
a pencil rough of our favourite arch-villain, Mr Tod.”
The original Kitty in Boots,
which Beatrix Potter illustrated herself.
The tale features a favorite Potter character — Peter Rabbit — “albeit older, slower and portlier,” Hanks says. Potter told her publisher in letters that the story went unfinished because of “interruptions” — including the start of World War I and her marriage.
And because Potter finished only one drawing for the book, it will be illustrated by Quentin Blake, who is best-known for his art in many of Roald Dahl’s books.
Quentin Blake’s Kitty in Boots.
“Quentin revels in rebellious characters and humorous stories with spiky edge to them; he’s brought anarchic energy to the character of Kitty and embellished her already endearingly flawed character with his trademark wit and charm,” Hanks says. The news about Blake’s illustration has delighted many Potter fans. Others are more skeptical about the pairing.
Here’s an excerpt from the story released by Penguin, with a cliffhanger ending:
“Once upon a time there was a serious, well-behaved young black cat.
“It belonged to a kind old lady who assured me that no other cat could compare with Kitty.“She lived in constant fear that Kitty might be stolen — ‘I hear there is a shocking fashion for black cat-skin muffs; wherever is Kitty gone to? Kitty! Kitty!’
“She called it ‘Kitty’, but Kitty called herself ‘Miss Catherine St. Quintin’
“Cheesebox called her ‘Q’, and Winkiepeeps called her ‘Squintums’. They were very common cats. The old lady would have been shocked had she known of the acquaintance.
“And she would have been painfully surprised had she ever seen Miss Kitty in a gentleman’s Norfolk jacket, and little fur-lined boots. “Now most cats love the moonlight and staying out at nights; it was curious how willingly Miss Kitty went to bed. And although the wash-house where she slept — locked in — was always very clean, upon some mornings Kitty was let out with a black chin. And on other mornings her tail seemed thicker, and she scratched.
“It puzzled me. It was a long time before I guessed there were in fact two black cats!”
You’ll have to wait until the book is published in September to find out what happens next.
credits: quentin blake, beatrix potter, penguin press, express newspapers, getty images, npr
my friend/great mother of 5 active young children
is at it again –
the following quote was her post
yesterday on Facebook
and i think she’s great:
“Wishing I had a fairy godmother…
Or maybe just a cleaning lady (or man).
Kids are gross.
Nobody warns how gross they can be.
Do you know what words I uttered today? –
” Who peed in the toothbrush rinse cup”?
Honestly …. The struggle is real.”
her friend replied –
“i like that, but remember that time your twins peed in the cat litter?”
‘ i’d rather go by bus.” – prince charles
my subaru tribe
has come through once again.
after dropping my car off for service
they offered me a ride home
on their courtesy shuttle
i was happy to hop on the bus.
the three of us
happy driver carl
quiet student tim
from the university music school
bus mates through circumstance.
we struck up a conversation
i asked tim what he planned to do
after music school
he said everyone asks him that
i told him not to worry
about what people say
he’d find a way
to use what he loves
to do something he loves.
my own school, life, career
had taken many
unexpected and interesting turns
i always landed
exactly where i was meant to be.
carl said he knew someone
connected to my old career in advertising
how he liked driving the bus
how he still gets lost sometimes
how he enjoys meeting people
how the street we were driving on
has three different names.
i talked about
working with kinders
how they are so open to music
how they think i’m a good singer
how i still get lost a lot.
tim told us
how he loves subarus too
how writing music
makes him feel
what it was like moving here
from the east coast
how he still gets lost.
i was home.
‘you’ve really made me feel better.
i somehow feel like i’ll find my way and there’s hope for me after all.’
carl asked if i needed a ride back
i almost wished i did
it was a good 3 mile trip.
“you can find poetry in your everyday life, your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what’s in your heart.”
– carol ann duffy
image credits: google.com, subaru motors
possibly my family holiday photo
i had my taxes done yesterday
by a woman
who has done them
for over 10 years.
we talked about
all that has happened since we last met.
this time however,
when finishing up
she casually asked:
‘for some reason the i.r,s, shows that you have 25 children
and i can’ t get it to delete. any life changes since last year?’
‘nothing of that magnitude, really,
at least not that i’m aware of.
but maybe that’s what all that commotion is in the lobby?’
we always enjoy our time together
but this really kicked it up a notch.
same time next year?
bureaucracy has more than a few quirks
and i so appreciate her
for helping me to navigate through the crazy system
and somehow try to make some sense of it.
my 25, could make this
the best year of deductions ever!
‘we’ll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because,
as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.
– dave barry
image credit: edinphoto.org
Would You Live in an Antarctic Penguin Post Office?
Applications soar at post office in Port Lockroy, Antarctica
Job location: A soccer field-sized island in Port Lockroy, Antarctica.
Job duties: Process 700,000 pieces of mail, teach 18,000 cruise ship visitors and monitor 2,000 stinky penguins in less-than-ideal conditions.
Sound like a dream job? If so, you’re not the only one—officials at the U.K. Antarctic Heritage Trust say that they’ve received over 1,500 applications for a job at the “Penguin Post Office,” up from just 82 last year.
The BBC reports that the post office on Goudier Island has “comfortable” living conditions, but the lodgings aren’t exactly hotel-quality. With no power grid, heat or hot water, limited communications and 24-hour daylight, applicants must be willing to withstand harsh Antarctic conditions to apply. In return, they will receive a $1700 per month stipend and spend the summer as the stewards of the island’s thousands of gentoo penguins.
For over a decade, the island has been home to a wildlife study aimed at collecting environmental data about how humans impact penguin populations. But though the island is popular with cruise ship visitors, it’s carefully regulated to protect the penguins, and the entire eastern half of the tiny island is off-limits even to post office protectors.
When this year’s four winning applicants take possession of the island from November through March, they’ll take their place alongside the 4,000 scientists who study in Antarctica throughout the summer.
credits: smithsonian.com, eric blakemore, bbc, pbs