A new tale written by Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter will be published last this year following its discovery in the Potter archives at the Victoria & Albert Museum (pictured above).
The Tale of Kitty-In-Boots, which apparently tells the story of a black cat that leads a double life, was found two years ago by Penguin Random House Children’s publisher Jo Hanks. Its publication forms part of the celebrations surrounding the 150th anniversary of Ms Potter’s birth.
The story, which Ms Hanks unearthed in three separate manuscripts in the archive, was sent to Ms Potter’s publisher in 1914 and Ms Hanks told the BBC that Ms Potter had “fully intended” to publish it but, thanks to interruptions including World War I, her marriage and illness, she never went back to it.
Ms Hanks told the BBC that “the tale really is the best of Beatrix Potter”.
“It has double identities, colourful villains and a number of favourite characters from other tales. And, most excitingly, our treasured, mischievous Peter Rabbit makes an appearance – albeit older, slower and portlier!”
Artist Quentin Blake has been asked to illustrate the new book.
The V&A holds the world’s largest collection of Beatrix Potter’s drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs and related materials. For more, see www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/beatrix-potter-collections/.
• The most complete woolly mammoth ever found is the star attraction at a new exhibition opening at the Natural History Museum tomorrow. Lyuba – a one month old mammoth – was found by a reindeer herder in Siberia in 2007 and was named after the reindeer herder’s wife. Thought to be 42,000-years-old, the young mammoth was thought to be healthy when it died and still has remnants of its mother’s milk in its stomach. It is the first time the mammoth – normally housed at the Shemanovsky Museum-Exhibition Complex in Salekhard, Russia, is being shown in Western Europe. Mammoths: Ice Age Giants will also feature life-sized models and skeletons of mammoths. Runs until 7th September. Admission charge applies. For more, see www.nhm.ac.uk.
• The German naval ship FGS Niedersachsen will take part in the Ceremony of the Constable’s Dues at the Tower of London tomorrow, having saluted the Tower with a gun salute yesterday – the first time a gun salute has taken place in honour of the ceremony in 40 years. The ceremony dates back to the 24th century and while past offerings have included barrels of rum, oysters, cockles and mussels, this year the Tower’s constable, General the Lord Dannatt, will be presented with a barrel of wine. The ceremony will see the ship’s Commander Kurt Leonards led his crew to the Tower’s West Gate where they will be challenged by the axe wielding Yeoman Gaoler before marching on to Tower Green to “present the dues” or deliver the wine, to the Constable. The ceremony takes place at noon. For more on the Tower, see www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/.
• A new exhibition about ancient lives in Egypt and Sudan has kicks off at the British Museum today. Ancient lives, new discoveries will reveal new research about one of the museum’s most popular collections – that of ancient Egyptian and Sudanese mummies – and uses state-of-the-art technology to take you inside the mummy cases and bring you face-to-face with eight people who lived in the Nile Valley thousands of years ago. The selected mummies come from a period spanning 4,000 years, from the Predynastic period to the Christian era, and come from sites in both Egypt and Sudan. They include an adult male from Thebes mummified about 600 BC and a female singer called Tamut who lived in Thebes around 900 BC. The museum received its first mummy in 1756 and hasn’t unwrapped any of them relying on increasingly advanced technologies to see inside. The exhibition runs until 30th November. Admission charge applies. For more, see www.britishmuseum.org.
• On Now – The World of Rupert Potter: Photographs of Beatrix, Millais and Friends. The amateur photography of Rupert Potter, father of children’s author Beatrix Potter, is on show in his exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The display features selected works from the gallery’s extensive collection of his works including two new acquisitions which show Beatrix Potter on holidays both before and after her publishing success. Other photos depict the sitters and paintings of artist Sir John Everett Millais, who was a friend of Rupert Potter’s. The free exhibition runs until 16th November in Room 28. For more, see www.npg.org.uk.
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