Beatrix Potter (Renée Zellweger) is an unmarried, 32 year old woman when she finally finds a publisher willing to publish her stories. With the help of Norman (Ewan McGregor) her books become enormously successful and she becomes one of the most successful children's book authors of all time. Norman proposes and she accepts but society would disapprove (he is a tradesman) and her parents do, so in order to appease them they agree to a secret engagement over the summer while she is away on holidays, allowing everyone time to think over the engagement. Norman sickens suddenly and dies while she is gone.
Grief stricken, she buys the house in the country she had intended for them both and goes to live there alone, abandoning the city and her parents. While there she begins buying up the farmland that is being sold off to developers, attempting to preserve both the countryside and the farmers who are being turned off the land. She reconnects with an old childhood friend (also her social inferior), William, who is now a lawyer and he helps her in her mission. Eight years later she marries him. Beatrix eventually donates 4,000 acres of land to the British People.
Thanks Mary C!