Following on from yesterday's books post, and as a postscript to this one from 2013, Linda Lear's biography of Beatrix Potter gives another telling detail to the background to The Tailor of Gloucester, the book which was always its author's favourite.
When Beatrix was working on the book "she frequently visited the South Kensington Museum [now the V&A] refining the illustrations. She made the happy discovery that she could ask the curator to display some of the eighteenth-century costumes in the collection in any empty office where the light was better. 'I have been looking at them for a long time in an inconvenient dark corner of the goldsmith's court, but had no idea they could be taken out of the case.' Her status as the author of Peter Rabbit* was such that an assistant was subtly assigned to see that Miss Potter had whatever she needed from the collection [my italics]. The first things she asked for were the beautifully embroidered dresses, coats and waistcoats that were later to become the hallmark of The Tailor of Gloucester."
*The Tailor was published in 1903, a year after Peter Rabbit became - even in its first few months in print - a runaway bestseller. Miss Potter's reputation was made.