When you were a kid, you probably spent time with Peter Rabbit, his mother, Josephine Rabbit, and his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.
These beloved bunnies all appear in the now-iconic children’s books by English author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Published between 1902 and 1912, they follow the adventures of the blue-jacketed Peter and his family, along with several other friends and creatures.
Most memorably, these adorable tales also include sweet, delicately colored illustrations that thousands of children and adults have come to know over the decades.
And although life, and literature with it, has changed a lot since 1902, the stories of this rabbit family have endured and charmed generations of readers.
There have even been some new Peter Rabbit books published in 2013 and 2014, showing just how popular they’ve remained like the Richard Scarry books, which recently underwent some slight modern renovations.
However, what most people don’t realize is that Peter Rabbit, for all the fantasy of the books, is actually based in very real life!
You may not remember, but Peter Rabbit has a cousin named Benjamin Bunny and Benjamin, it turns out, actually existed.
Read on to meet the real inspiration!