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.
She currently serves as website manager for The Beatrix Potter Society
Betsy supplies a projector, screen and laptop. 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: 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!"
Audience member, Leesburg (FL) Public Library "Enjoyed the presentation really interesting. Betsy's presentation was delightful!"