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She and her younger brother Walter Bertram (1872–1918) grew up with few friends outside their large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature, and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertram had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. In their school room, Beatrix and Bertram kept a variety of small pets, mice, rabbits, a hedgehog and some bats, along with collections of butterflies and other insects which they drew and studied.
With the proceeds from the books and a legacy from an aunt, in 1905 Potter bought Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey, a village in the Lake District, which at that time was in Lancashire. Over the following decades, she purchased additional farms to preserve the unique hill country landscape. In 1913, at the age of 47, she married William Heelis, a respected local solicitor from Hawkshead.
Potter wrote about 30 books; the best known being her 24 children’s tales. She died of pneumonia and heart disease on 22 December 1943 at her home in Near Sawrey at age 77, leaving almost all her property to the National Trust.
She is credited with preserving much of the land that now constitutes the Lake District National Park. Potter’s books continue to sell throughout the world in many languages with her stories being retold in song, film, ballet, and animation, and her life depicted in a feature film and television film.