Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Let's talk about: The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle

The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is a delightful little story about a little girl named Lucie that loses  three pocket handkerchiefs and a pinafore. 
She goes about questioning some of the animals but no one has seen them. 
She then makes her way up a hill and finds a door, behind which she hears singing. 
Inside she finds Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and her lost items. 
 Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle has found Lucie's lost items and has laundered them for her. 
With a twinkle in her eye she talks to Lucie as she works. 
(I wish I was that excited and happy about doing laundry!)
Lucie watches as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle works on clothing for many of the little animals in the area and then they sit together for a cup of tea before delivering all of the laundered items to their owners (including an appearance by Peter Rabbit!).
Lucie is then surprised to find that Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was a hedgehog all along. 

The story of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was inspired by Kitty MacDonald, a Scottish washerwoman that worked for the Potter family during their eleven summers in Perthshire.

In 1892 Potter wrote in her journal about Kitty MacDonald:

"Went out with the pony ... to see Kitty MacDonald, our old washerwoman ... Kitty is eighty-three but waken, and delightfully merry ... She is a comical, round little woman, as brown as a berry and wears a multitude of petticoats and a white mutch. Her memory goes back for seventy years, and I really believe she is prepared to enumerate the articles of her first wash in the year '71"

 She used her own pet hedgehog that was actually named Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle as the model.

Of the real Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle she wrote to Mr. Warne:

"Mrs. Tiggy as a model is comical; so long as she can go to sleep on my knee she is delighted, but if she is propped up on end for half an hour, she first begins to yawn pathetically, and then she does bite! Nevertheless, she is a dear person; just like a very fat rather stupid little dog. I think the book will go all right when once started."

And little Lucie was inspired by Potter's friend Lucie Carr. 
The sketches of the path above Little Town, where Lucie lives, are of the Newlands Valley. 
I love to read about how so much of the world around Beatrix Potter went into her books and stories. 
She truly brought that world to life with her books!
 *Have you read Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle? 
*Do you enjoy doing laundry?


Donna said...

I haven't read it but it looks adorable.
And I do enjoy doing laundry! I have a system that makes it easy and not very time-consuming.

cheryl said...

I wish I did. Laundry is my fail every time. I forget things are in the machines. And then we need them before I have them folded or put away. Ughh.
I need a system. You need to share yours!!

The Kings said...

I haven't read it but it sounds so cute like all the Potter books.

cheryl said...

You'll need to read it!