Monday, February 8, 2016
Guns, class war and a transvestite cat: what a new Beatrix Potter story reveals about the author
A Beatrix Potter story written more than 100 years ago is to be published for the first time, introducing a brand new character: Kitty in Boots.
The tale, of a gun-toting cat who leads a double life, was found near-complete in an exercise book – and shows Beatrix Potter at her darkest, says Gaby Wood
Doppelgängers and transvestites, guns and gangsters, secret lives: these are not the first things that come to mind when considering the work of Beatrix Potter. Yet the creator of Peter Rabbit and Hunca-Munca once wrote a story that featured all of them. The Tale of Kitty in Boots was written just before the outbreak of the First World War but never published in Potter’s lifetime. Over 100 years later, Penguin Random House will finally release what they describe as Potter’s “24th Tale” – a book that may turn everything we think we know about her on its head.
By Gary Wood