`Peter Rabbit` author’s 161-year-old recipe book up for sale

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2012, 08:42 AM IST

London: A rare collection of famous English Author Beatrix Potter’s possessions, including a never-seen-before recipe book, is set to be put up for auction.

The children’s author, whose famous creations included ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit,’ compiled the collection with her solicitor husband William Hellis, the Daily Mail reported.
The recipes, which are believed to have been handed down over generations, include sponge cake, roast turkey and curry.

The 161-year-old hidden gem was discovered among a trove of Beatrix Potter ephemera, which is due to go on sale at Mullock’s showroom in Ludlow, Shropshire, on Thursday.
Enthusiasts are set to flock to the auction where the collection is expected to sell for several hundred pounds.

The recipe book includes hand-written entries believed to originate from Beatrix Potter herself.

She married William Hellis in 1913 and settled in Lancashire, but also spent many summers in the Lake District.
The earliest entry is from 1851 and the book was updated over many years.

Potter died in 1943 aged 77.

Many of her possessions were sold off at a sale in 1954 and it is thought that is where these items came from.

Other items in the sale include legal documents relating to the Heelis family, financial ledgers, a notebook and a New Testament in Gaelic bearing the name “AJ Heelis.”

“These form an intriguing insight into the daily life of one of the world’s most loved children’s authors,” Richard Westwood-Brookes, from the auction house, said.

As far as the recipes are concerned, Westwood-Brookes said that they are clearly the family recipes that had been handed down throughout the generations of William Heelis’s family.

“They therefore came with him into the home he set up with Beatrix Potter,” he said.
“It is an intriguing thought that she might well have used this very book to make ginger bread and marmalade and a whole host of other items for the family larder.

“The books have clearly been compiled by various members of the Heelis family over the years, but some sections do seem to be in a hand which resembles that of Beatrix Potter herself. While we cannot conclusively prove this, further research may prove that these humble books have a considerable literary significance,” he added.

ANI

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