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The collection of five letters with typed responses were sent to James Alec Hanley, a professor of agriculture, who advised Beatrix Potter Heelis (1866-1943) on the management of her farmland in the Lake District.

They also reveal insights into her hospitality and in one letter she wrote: “I shall be pleased to offer such [eating] as available, mainly lettuces!.”

The correspondence from 1942-45 were consigned by direct descent from the Hanley family and sold at £10,000 (£12,400 with buyer’s premium) at Dawson’s Auctioneers of Maidenhead on February 24. The collection will stay in the UK and was bought by an undisclosed buyer in London.

Potter wrote from when she was a girl until just a few days before she died in 1943, and although many were destroyed or lost, several thousand of her letters are now known about.

She would often write for the amusement and entertainment of family and friends, the most valuable letters being those she wrote for children that included little sketches of the characters who featured in her stories.