When Beatrix was six her brother Bertram was born. Although he was much younger the children shared a passionate interest in the natural world. They kept many pets, often collected on their country visits. They were encouraged to study and draw animals and plants and from an early sketchbook we can see that Beatrix showed a talent for drawing. Throughout her childhood and teens she painted and drew constantly, developing meticulous skill at observing and recording the world around her. Although Bertram went away to school, Beatrix was educated at home by a series of governesses. The last of these was Annie Carter who became a great friend. After she left to get married to Edwin Moore, Beatrix kept up with Annie and her growing family of children, visiting them often and writing to the children when she was away from London.
In the 1890s she submitted a series of drawings of clothed rabbits to a greetings card manufacturer. To her delight they agreed to buy the drawings and asked for more. Later, she decided to try to get a children's story published. She borrowed back from the Moore children some of the illustrated letters she had sent them and wrote up one which she had written to Noel Moore in 1893. This letter told the story of four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter. Having made it up into a little book she sent it off to several publishers. Everyone turned it down, although Frederick Warne said they liked her work. She determined to publish the story herself and the privately printed edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit was duly produced in 1901. By this time Warne had changed their minds and offered to publish the book if Beatrix would illustrate it in color. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in October 1902 and it was an instant success, selling 28,000 copies by Christmas. More little books followed in quick succession.
As the series grew Beatrix's relationship with her editor, Norman Warne, also developed and in 1905 they became engaged to be married. Tragically only five weeks later Norman died suddenly of pernicious anemia and Beatrix was left with only her work for comfort. Fortunately she had recently used her royalties and a small legacy to buy a little farm in the Lake District and she devoted much energy to making it into a home for herself. In 1913 she married a local lawyer, William Heelis. They settled down in Sawrey and Beatrix devoted more and more time to farming. When she died in 1943 she was able to leave 4000 acres and 15 farms to the National Trust.