Angela Mault, Executive Director, Creative Arts Center, Chatham, MA (January 2021) Beatrix Potter: Artist The illustrated zoom talk is visually beautiful, with lovely images of Beatrix Potter's life and times. Betsy Bray presents a comprehensive story of Beatrix’s growth as an artist starting at an early age and continuing through years of creativity and storytelling. Her painting and drawings support the informative narrative and leave us with a new appreciation of Beatrix Potter, writer, artist and conservationist. Thank you for sharing your expertise. January 2021
Tatanya Flannery, Reference Librarian, Weston (MA) Public Library (January 2021) Beatrix Potter: The Woman Behind The Rabbit Betsy Bray’s Zoom presentation, "Beatrix Potter: The Woman behind the Rabbit" gives viewers a lively overview of the life and legacy of cherished children’s book author Beatrix Potter. Using captivating photos, Betsy shares insights into Potter’s early years, shaped by a love of animals and the natural world, her growth as an artist and writer and her later years as a farmer and land conservationist. I recommend this virtual program without reservation.
Rebecca, Storrs Library,Programming & Collection Development Librarian, Longmeadow, MA Thank you again for such a lovely program yesterday. The audience really seemed to enjoy it. I appreciate you sharing your passion and expertise on Beatrix Potter with the Storrs Library community.Betsy Bray presented a delightful biography of the life of Beatrix Potter with photographs and illustrations connecting Potter's history with contemporary updates for context. Bray covered Potter's personal and family life along with her artistic developments and love of nature. A wide variety of beautiful photographs were shared of Potter, her family, landscapes of places from her life, pets, her journals and sketchbooks, and books from which she drew inspiration. We enjoyed a journey through Potter's life from her young sketches to storytelling with friends to publishing, as well as the now iconic Hill Top house and her Herdwick sheep. March 2021.
Beatrix Potter: The Woman Behind the Rabbit
Raised by wealthy parents in mid-Victorian London, Beatrix Potter became a multi-faceted woman whose life and work remains a source of inspiration and interest today. Against many odds, she developed a successful career as a writer and illustrator of children’s books that are still highly popular worldwide, and have been translated in many different languages. She achieved financial independence and owned property during an era in which women had few educational options, lacked legal rights, and were barred from most participating in professions. She used her earnings to purchase and preserve substantial tracts of land and 17th Century farm buildings in the English Lake District, eventually leaving them to the National Trust. Beatrix Potter was clearly a force to be reckoned with, a “woman ahead of her time” in many ways.
Betsy Bray offers presentations on the various roles played by Beatrix Potter over the 77 years of her life, from young adulthood as author and illustrator of 23 children’s books, to her later life as Lake District sheep farmer, land conservationist, and community activist.
Betsy is uniquely qualified to offer these presentations:
She was elected the first overseas Trustee of the London-based Beatrix Potter Society and has been a Member of the Society since 1984.
She has spoken at a number of the Society’s International Study Conferences and given illustrated talks to various groups in the US, UK, Africa and Australia.
She gave a series of lectures on transatlantic voyage on the Queen Mary 2.
She has studied Beatrix Potter.
Betsy has a Zoom license and happy to set up the call for your group. . Her talks are geared towards adults and last about 45 minutes followed by a question and answer period.
Fees are available on request.
What people said: Sandra Hutchinson, Glens Falls, NY "I have had the privilege of attending two of Betsy’s programs about the life and legacy of Beatrix Potter, as well as learning from her about Beatrix while traveling in England’s Lake District. Betsy’s knowledge of Beatrix Potter is vast, and she presents her program with humor and insight. Betsy also shares a wealth of images during her program, including photos of sites connected to Beatrix that are not ordinarily open to public view. Betsy’s program on Beatrix Potter at the historic Wiawaka Center for Women, in Lake George, New York during the summer of 2019 drew the largest attendance ever for a Wiawaka lecture, and a most enthusiastic crowd!" Karen Johnson, Balmain Library, Sydney, Australia "Betsy Bray generously gave her time and wisdom at Balmain and Leichhardt Libraries in Sydney, Australia, with her stories about Beatrix Potter and her fine feathered and furry friends. Betsy graciously spoke both to adults and children. The sessions were very well received and appreciated by big and small ... including those without fur and feathers!"
Cher Collins Westfield (MA) Athenaeum "Betsy presented a delightful and very informative talk about The Beatrix Potter You Never Knew. It was well attended and the feedback we've gotten has been wonderful. She is very knowledgeable about all things Beatrix and very pleasant to work with. And she's a former librarian!"