Illustration of the Beatrix Potter character Mrs. Tiggy-winkle (a hedgehog wearing a pink dress and a white apron, holding an iron) in an interior setting.
Mrs. Tiggy Winkle is a children's book character that was first featured in Beatrix Potter's 1905 The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle. This illustration of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle appears near the beginning of the book.
The tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle is about a young girl named Lucie. Lucie having lost some handkerchiefs and a pinafore goes looking for them. She stumbles across some linen near a tree and eventually comes to a door. Behind the door she finds a stout hedgehog dressed as a human who launders all sorts of textiles. After becoming friendly and having tea, the pair heads back down the path Lucie came up. When Lucie turns to thank Mrs. Tiggy Winkle she finds but a small normal unclothed hedgehog. The narrators suggests that perhaps Lucie had only dreamed it though the narrators hints at knowing Mrs. Tiggy Winkle and reaffirms the fact that Lucie has her linens back - and clean.
The story itself is thought to have first been written in 1902 and is a fictionalized tale of a young girl named Lucie Carr. Mrs. Tiggy Winkle herself was actually the name of Potter's pet hedgehog and the character was a combination of her beloved pet and a washwoman named Kitty McDonald. The character and story has been popular since it was first published from Frederick Warne & Co - having been the basis for a slew of merchandise and adaptations
Beatrix Potter is best known for her children's books - most of which depict a friendly anthropomorphic animal. In her private education in Victorian England, Potter was taught heavily in science and became very fond of taxonomy, creating a number of fungal illustrations. These scientific illustrations provided her with a basis of color and realism found in the illustrations of her stories. Although in her time her research was largely disregarded, re-readings have allowed her work to become considered serious research that is still used as a reference today. Potter was born in 1866 and lived 77 years, dying of illness in 1943. She would continue to write and illustrate throughout her life and in her later years became very interested in sheep farming and 'showing'