Peter Rabbit Returns in Newly Found Potter Tale

'The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots' was written in 1914
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 26, 2016 7:17 AM CST
Peter Rabbit Returns in Newly Found Potter Tale
A Beatrix Potter illustration is displayed at Bonhams auction house in London on Nov. 4, 2008.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Peter Rabbit is back, in a previously unpublished story by children's author Beatrix Potter. "The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots" was tracked down by publisher Jo Hanks after she found a reference to the manuscript in a book about the author, the AP reports. Potter had written to her publisher about the story of "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life." The feline tale, which Reuters notes was written in 1914, features an older version of Peter Rabbit, Potter's best-known creation. Hanks discovered manuscripts of the story in the Victoria and Albert Museum's Potter archive.

Generations of children have grown up with Potter's tales of animal characters, including Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and hedgehog Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. "The [new] tale really is the best of Beatrix Potter," Hanks says in a statement, per Reuters. "It has double identities, colorful villains, and a number of favorite characters from other tales [including Mr. Tod, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Ribby, and Tabitha Twitchit]." So why was the story never published? Hanks tells Reuters that life—including Potter's marriage and farming business, as well as WWII—simply got in the way. Penguin Random House will publish the tale later this year, the 150th anniversary of Potter's birth, the AP notes. Quentin Blake will provide illustrations. (More Beatrix Potter stories.)

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