The huge popularity of Bob the Street Cat is only the latest manifestation of affection for ginger felines - Orlando was just as popular some 60 years ago, and Kathleen Hale's delightful tales of his adventures and general day-to-day life, with the support of his lovely wife Grace (tortoiseshell/tabby with curiously red/pink ears) remain well worth reading, with the delightful illustrations by the author herself.
Kathleen Hale OBE (1898–2000) was a British artist, illustrator, and children's author, best remembered for her series of books about Orlando the Marmalade Cat. In 1917, Kathleen moved to London from her home in Manchester to make a life for herself as an artist, and worked for some time as Augustus John's secretary whilst developing a wide circle of friends in the artistic community, such as Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. During the 1920s she earned a living as an illustrator, accepting commissions for book jackets, posters and illustrations for children's books, as well as selling her own drawings. She also attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts. In Paris in 1923, where she met Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines. In the late 1930s the Orlando series was among the earliest picture books produced using photolithography. In 1941 "Orlando's Evening Out" was the first fictional picture book published as a Puffin.
Our two 1st editions are "The Frisky Housewife" (1956) and "Orlando...buys a cottage" (1963), nos. 13 and 16 in the 19-volume series, both published by Country Life Ltd. Both are in good general condition, with some wear at edges and corners, but no serious damage; the later has laminated boards, the laminate very slightly loose around the spine angles. Bindings are both firm with no loose pages, and all pages are clean and bright. The 'Cottage' endpapers are decorated with pawprints, and the back pastedown and final page have some pale brownish staining, but otherwise these are the only notable interior defects.