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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Who Was Beatrix Potter? by Ellen Handler Spitz

Today I am pleased to introduce to you Ms. Ellen Handler Spitz.  Author of Inside Picture Books (Yale University Press, 1999), Ms. Spitz currently holds the Honors College Professorship of Visual Arts at University of Maryland.  She is, as you can see, a smart cookie.  She is also a Beatrix Potter fan.  Indeed, amongst her other accomplishments, she reviewed Alexander Grinstein’s The Remarkable Beatrix Potter for “The International Journal of Psychoanalysis”.

It is with great pleasure that we are hosting Ms. Spitz’s recent piece “Who Was Beatrix Potter?” (not to be confused with the Grosset & Dunlap title of the same name) in honor of the upcoming 2016 sesquicentennial of Beatrix Potter.  It is will be added to the Study Guide for teachers when Philadelphia’s Enchantment Theatre presents its own production of “Peter Rabbit Tales.”

Due to the limitations of this blog, the font may strike some of you as small.  Those of you who have difficulty reading the piece may find the full PDF available for viewing at a larger scale here.



About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Great piece. Brava, Ellen!

  2. What a beautiful spread. I’ve always gotten a kick out of Diana Wynne Jones’ descriptions of Potter in her book of talks, Reflections on the Magic of Writing. Life in the Lake District must have been something else!