Saturday 10 December 2016

Dame Helen Mirren to narrate rediscovered Beatrix Potter story

Published 24/05/2016 | 18:21

Dame Helen Mirren will narrate a Beatrix Potter story
Dame Helen Mirren will narrate a Beatrix Potter story

Dame Helen Mirren will lend her voice to some of Beatrix Potter's most famous characters as she narrates a story rediscovered after 100 years.

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The Tale Of Kitty-In-Boots will be Dame Helen's first audiobook recording and introduce fans to "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life" defeating villains.

The manuscript was discovered two years ago by Jo Hanks, publisher at Penguin Random House Children's, when she stumbled across an out-of-print literary history about Potter, which referenced a letter that Potter had sent her publisher back in 1914 mentioning the new tale.

A trip to the V&A archive found three unedited manuscripts, two in children's school notebooks and one typed, along with a rough sketch of Kitty-in-Boots and villain Mr Tod.

Miss Kitty and her crime-fighting alter-ego have lain unpublished for over 100 years, but Dame Helen will soon be bringing them to life alongside favourites including Mr Tod, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Ribby and even an "older, slower and portlier" Peter Rabbit.

Dame Helen, a Royal Shakespeare Company veteran, has some of the world's highest acting accolades to her name including an Oscar, Bafta and Olivier award and four Emmys.

The audiobook will be released on the same day as a new book, The Tale Of Kitty-In-Boots And Other Stories, illustrated by Quentin Blake, on September 1.

Narrators for the five other stories are yet to be announced.

This year celebrates Potter's 150th birthday. The book will be published by Frederick Warne & Co., her original publisher.

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