Together, bringing memories to life
Our NEW ENHANCED PAPERBACK edition of the acclaimed biography:
Beatrix Potter's Secret Code Breaker
The Tale of Leslie Linder's Luck, Perseverance and Generosity
With even more information and additional photographs, this is ...
'A fascinating story of persistence, intelligence and luck that led us into the secret
world of the creator of Peter Rabbit'
Alan Titchmarsh, MBE VMH DL English Gardener, Broadcaster, Poet and Novelist
Did you know that Beatrix, in 1881, at the tender age of 15, invented her own secret cipher-coded alphabet and that she used it to write an almost lost Journal until she was 30 years old?
This was before she became a world-famous author, illustrator, mycological expert, farmer and major donor to the National Trust.
It took a successful Essex businessman five years to break the code, then eight more to translate and publish over 200,000 words of her thoughts, observations and recollections of her upper middle-class life. His name was Leslie Linder – owner of an international shipping and engineering company, skilled designer of aerial masts for Marconi, literary celebrity, Beatrix Potter Scholar and donor of the world's largest collection of her art, writing and memorabilia to the V&A Museum.
The example of one modest man, with an endeavour and willingness to manually look for the key to a code – without the aid of any Enigma-type code-breaking machinery – should fill us with admiration or, possibly, even amazement. To then use his discovery and abilities to translate and bring to light, in copious paper files, the jottings that Beatrix hid is surely an achievement that may not be repeated, should a similar opportunity ever present itself.
This book contains examples of her cipher alphabet and the coded Journal jottings (often written frankly for she never expected them to be read), where she displays a keen sense of humour in her comments on her home life, family and the artists, celebrities and politicians that she knew. Also, read the detail of some of the events of the late Victorian age that she experienced, and the places that she visited.
Building on our first edition, this enhanced version contains 25,0000 more
words describing previously unknown material, unique photographs and
recollections from new contacts. Amongst them read:
*The discovery that Charles Linder, Leslie's father, 'was happy'. To prove it
he used a coat of arms with a motto, which he should not have done but
he did anyway! It is shown, as is its meaning provided by a Herald of the
Royal College of Arms.
*A more probing look into why Beatrix discontinued writing in her Journal.
*Extracts from the journals of Enid Linder (Leslie's sister) and her Thomas Cook passports, which she
wrote whilst on her Orient Express travel holidays, through Europe, between the World Wars.
*The story of how Linder created his own 'Little Book' (Peter Rabbit's Other Tale) based on Canon
Rawnsley's design for The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and its later ownership by The Beatrix Potter
'This book is a wonderfully well written work' Dame Patricia Routledge DBE, International Actor and Patron of the Beatrix Potter Society
An example of her 'scribble'