Actress and Beatrix Potter fan Emma Thompson writes new Peter Rabbit story

The Westmorland Gazette: Emma Thompson Emma Thompson

AN OSCAR-winning actress has penned a new book inspired by one of the Lake District’s most treasured authors.

Emma Thompson, star of Christmas box office smash Saving Mr Banks, has joined forces with illustrator Eleanor Taylor and Beatrix Potter publisher Frederick Warne to release ‘The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit.’

The mischievous fluffy-tailed character first ventured into Mr McGregor’s garden in 1902 in Beatrix Potter’s first novel.

Now he will now join forces with Benjamin Bunny in a race to save their turkey friend from meeting an unsavoury Christmas end.

Thompson is a long time admirer of Beatrix Potter's tales and last year wrote The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the original story.

The inspiration for the tale came partly from Beatrix’s original stories, but also from a visit to Coniston’s Yew Tree Farm.

In a four-minute video posted online the actress wanders through the lush greenery of the farm and explains the inspiration behind the book.

Ian Stephens, Cumbria Tourism’s managing director, said the book would ensure ‘new generations have the opportunity to get to know Peter and his friends’.

‘’Beatrix Potter was known for a number of things as a writer of children's stories, a benefactor to the National Trust and as a Lakeland farmer,” he said.

“She loved this area and it inspired her stories, which are still as popular as ever.”

View the video online at: www.youtube. com/watch?v= THSEWtET5cQ &feature=youtube

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