Beatrix Potter and The Art of Topophilia

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Beatrix Potter and The Art of Topophilia

Beatrix Potter, the children’s author, and illustrator of over thirty books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit, is known for her elegantly dressed anthropomorphic animals and charming stories set in the British countryside. Discovering Potter’s obsession with place, we find she looks with dismay at industrialization’s erosion of British landscapes and rural life and uses her books not only to represent natural spaces in their most idealized form but also to engender a profound emotional attachment to those spaces--a kind of topophilia--in her readership. Her storybook renderings of the English countryside and way of life, challenge monolithic Victorian narratives of progress and development by inviting readers to inhabit a natural world defined by diurnal rhythms. Reading Potter's writings and artwork through a topophilic lens, we see that her goal is not merely to provide an escape from the constant encroachment of industrialized modernity on nature, but rather to send her readers back into the real world with a heightened sensitivity to the intrinsic value of natural spaces and an increased commitment to preserving them.


Type of resource text
Date created May 15, 2023
Publication date December 31, 2023; December 12, 2023


Author Beall, Cher


Subject Beatrix Potter, Topophilia, preservation, art
Genre Text
Genre Thesis

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User agrees that, where applicable, content will not be used to identify or to otherwise infringe the privacy or confidentiality rights of individuals. Content distributed via the Stanford Digital Repository may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY).

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Beall, C. (2023). Beatrix Potter and The Art of Topophilia. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at


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