In celebration of Women's History Month, this Curation is dedicated to retelling the remarkable legacy of Rupert Bear's creator - Mary Tourtel. Although best known for creating one of Britain's favourite bears, Tourtel's life tells a story of extraordinary female accomplishment, independence and exploration during the late 19th and early 20th century. It is a story that begins and ends in Canterbury, and is testimony to the pioneering creativity the city has inspired.
The Curation is based on The Beaney's Rupert Bear Centenary Exhibition, which has sadly been unable to open due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, we hope this Curation will offer a glimpse into the inspiring beginnings of Rupert and the woman who brought him to life.
Childhood in Canterbury
The Caldwell family outside their home at 5 Palace Street, Canterbury.
Walter Scott (active 1831–1853)
Oil on canvas
H 61 x W 50.8 cm
Canterbury Museums and Galleries
Herbert Tourtel's Diary
Mary Tourtel's Early stories
The first Rupert Story - Little Lost Bear
The Little Lost Bear
The Adventures of Rupert, The Little Lost Bear
Rupert Little Bear Library
Rupert and the Monster, Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd.
'De Avonturen van Bruintje Beer' by Algemeen Handelsblad
Mary's Final Years
Mary Tourtel Plaque outside the Ivy Lane hotel, Canterbury