The Politically Correct Beatrix Potter

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I’ve been reading all of Beatrix Potter’s many “tales” with my daughter, and was surprised to see in one of the books from our local library that the original text had been changed and an illustration had been excluded!

In The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, the original text, which I remember well, reads: “When old Mr. Bunny had driven the cat into the greenhouse, he locked the door. Then he came back to the basket and took out his son Benjamin by the ears, and whipped him with the little switch.”

In the 1991 Ottenheimer Publishers edition from our local library, the text reads [my emphasis]: “When old Mr. Bunny had driven the cat into the green-house, he locked the door. Then he came back to the basket and took out his son Benjamin by the ears, and spanked him with the little switch.”

The politically correct editors of 1991 had no trouble with Benjamin being pulled out by his ears, but they did change “whipped” to “spanked.” They also dropped the accompanying illustration of Mr. Bunny whipping Peter Rabbit, while in the background Benjamin Bunny is holding his backside and crying:

 Then he took out his nephew Peter

Then he took out his nephew Peter