- "Then the little golden pot danced with delight- hoppitty hoppitty hop! - on its tiny rosy toes! Wee Willykins had cured all the dollies of their poorly tum-tums, and the little pot was so happy it filled up with sweeties for Wee Willykins and the dollies!"
- —An extract of Beatrix Bloxam's version of The Wizard and the Hopping Pot in The Toadstool Tales
Beatrix Bloxam (1794-1910) was a witch who wrote the infamous Toadstool Tales, a series of children's books featuring sanitised, "purified" adaptations of stories from earlier works, including The Tales of Beedle the Bard .
Beatrix was born in 1794 to a wizard father and his wife. As a child, she listened at a keyhole and heard her aunt tell The Warlock's Hairy Heart to her older cousins, as well as parts of a lurid account involving her uncle Nobby, the local hag, and a sack of Bouncing Bulbs. She was so traumatised by what she heard that she was bedridden for a week. She also suffered from sleepwalking, returning to the keyhole nightly, until her father placed a Sticking Charm on her bedroom door when she went to bed.
Beatrix married at some point. Her maiden name is unknown, as is whether or not she and her husband had any children.
- "...filling the pure minds of our little angels with healthy, happy thoughts, keeping their sweet slumber free of wicked dreams and protecting the precious flower of their innocence."
- —Beatrix Bloxam on her goals as a children's writer
Beatrix's childhood experience motivated her to adapt classic stories into versions which she felt would be more suitable to a young audience. She believed that children are extremely delicate, and that exposure to The Tales of Beedle the Bard harms them, due to what she described as the stories' "unhealthy preoccupation with the most horrid subjects." As such, she reworked several of Beedle's tales, including The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, which became the story of Wee Willykins. However, she was apparently unable to think of a way to tone down The Warlock's Hairy Heart, the story which deeply frightened her as a child, as she never rewrote it. Her work was published in a series of books called The Toadstool Tales, which were universally loathed by children, and were eventually banned because they caused nausea and vomiting (ironically subverting her goal to create suitable tales for children).
The name Beatrix is derived from Viatrix, a feminine form of the Latin male name Viator, meaning "voyager." It may have been chosen in reference to Beatrix Potter, who wrote several classic children's books, including The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The title "Toadstool Tales" may also refer to the fact that, in addition to being an author, Beatrix Potter was a mycologist.
Behind the scenes
- Originally, Bloxam's date of death was given as 1810 on her Chocolate Frog Card; however, when taken with a birth date of 1794, it would have made her only sixteen years old at the time of her death. To further confuse the issue, the picture on her card depicted an elderly lady, hardly a sixteen year-old. The mistake was corrected in the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where she is pictured as a teenage witch. Beatrix's correct dates are listed in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, where her year of death is listed a century later, in 1910.
- The character of Bloxam may have been intended as an over-the-top parody of the many real-life parents and teachers who worried that Harry Potter was traumatising children.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
Notes and references