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Kathleen Hale Index


Orlando The Marmalade Cat

Orlando is a gorgeous marmalade cat with gooseberry-green eyes. Orlando, his wife Grace (a tabby cat) and their three children – snow-white Blanche, tortoiseshell Pansy and little black Tinkle – frolicked through some nineteen tales between the late 1930s and early 1970s, including a 360 degree 'peep-show' book.

Kathleen Hale was a British author-illustrator, born in Scotland in 1898. She was a freelance artist before publishing the first of her ‘Orlando’ books, Orlando the Marmalade Cat: A Camping Holiday, in 1938.


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Orlando Goes To The Moon

For those who haven't previously had the opportunity to read any 'Orlando – The Marmalade Cat' stories (like me before embarking on writing this article), it shouldn't dissuade you from starting with any title in this series.

In 'Orlando Goes to the Moon', the beginning of the book gives you all the introduction you need to become acquainted with the characters involved. It tells us that Orlando is 'striped and the colour of marmalade, with eyes of a beautiful gooseberry green'. It also introduces 'his dear wife Grace' who is a 'tabby with a little stub nose like a tiny ripe apricot'. They have 'three kittens – tortoiseshell Pansy, Snow-white Blanche and little coal-black Tinkle'.

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Orlando - A Camping Holiday

Following her marriage in 1926 and the subsequent birth of her children, Kathleen Hale began to invent stories to relate to the children which were all about her marmalade cat, Orlando. In 1938 her first book of Orlando's adventures, Orlando the Marmalade Cat - A Camping Holiday, was published by Country Life and it became an immediate success. The story introduces the reader to Orlando and also to his family, wife Grace and the kittens Blanche, Pansy & Tinkle and is loosely based around Kathleen Hale's own family camping trips to Norfolk.