Linda Lear has always been intrigued by how the lives of artists and writers have been influenced by the natural world. She discovered quite by accident that before Beatrix Potter began her legendary series of ‘little books’ for children she had been an avid student of natural history. A professor of environmental history and author of the prize-winning biography Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, Lear is an enthusiastic horticulturalist and collector of botanical art. She and her husband live in Bethesda, Maryland. Linda Lear’s latest title, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature is published by Penguin.