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Revealed: The Quentin Blake-designed cover for rediscovered Beatrix Potter tale

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The Tale of Peter RabbitThe Tale of Squirrel NutkinThe Tale of Mrs Tiggy-WinkleThe Tale of Jemima Puddle-DuckThe Tale of Pigling Bland

 

The cover has been revealed for Beatrix Potter’s story The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, which was recently rediscovered over 100 years after it was originally written.

The cover is designed by Quentin Blake, well known for his designs of Roald Dahl’s children’s books.

“It seemed almost incredible when, early in 2015, I was sent the manuscript of a story by Beatrix Potter; one which had lain unpublished for a hundred years and which, with the exception of a single drawing, she had never illustrated,” Blake said.

“I liked the story immediately – it’s full of incident and mischief and character – and I was fascinated to think that I was being asked to draw pictures for it. I have a strange feeling that it might have been waiting for me.”

The manuscript of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots was rediscovered two years ago when Jo Hanks, a publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, came across a reference to the tale in an out-of-print literary history about Potter from the early 1970s.

Further investigation at the V&A archive at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where much of Potter’s archive is kept, revealed three manuscripts, handwritten in children’s school notebooks, rough sketches of Kitty-in-Boots and his arch-villain Mr Tod, as well as a dummy book with some of the typeset manuscript laid out.

Potter’s letters revealed that she intended to finish the book, but “interruptions began”, including the start of World War I, marriage, sheep farming, and illness.

Penguin Random House will be distributing The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, 150 years after Potter’s birth and just over a century after she penned the tale about the mischievous kitten.

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