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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 21:53 GMT
Potter manuscript fails to sell
The manuscript was written because Potter thought Peter was too good
An illustrated manuscript by children's author Beatrix Potter has failed to sell at a London auction - despite expectations it would fetch more than 200,000.

The Story Of A Fierce Bad Rabbit has been in the hands of the Warne family - her publishers and the family of her deceased fiance - for 93 years.

It comprises watercolour illustrations and text mounted on linen.

Birthday present

It was written especially for Harold Warne's daughter as a sixth birthday present as Beatrix Potter felt Peter Rabbit was always depicted as being too good.

A spokeswoman for Sotheby's, the auction house which held the sale, said: "It was unsold, but the sale process continues. Things don't sell every day and it is possible that it could be bought straight after the auction by a private buyer."

Peter Rabbit is the best-selling children's classic book in the world, with sales of over $10m in the US alone. The books are published in more than 30 languages, including Lithuanian, Greek and Thai.

More than 80 million books are thought to be in circulation around the world.

See also:

23 Aug 98 | Entertainment
Peter Rabbit plagued by bootlegs
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