Orlando the Marmalade Cat

Orlando the Marmalade Cat by Kathleen Hale

Orlando the Marmalade Cat is definitely Aldeburgh's most famous visitor (sorry, Plumdog): in 1952 he brought his wife Grace and their kittens to stay in 'Owlbarrow' [Aldeburgh], where they stayed on the beached ship the Iona, now no longer in existence.

With a very English leaning towards the bohemian, in the 1920s Hale met Cecil Morris and Arthur Lett Haines in Paris, later frequenting their Benton End community with the likes of Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling, Benton End later becoming the East Anglian school of painting. Both Cecil Morris and Arthur Lett Haines had a huge impact on Hale’s life, both appearing in the backgrounds of the Orlando books. Their world can be explored in A Lesson of Art and Life by Hugh St. Clair (hardback £30.00).

Orlando was born during one of Hale’s own adventures through Italy with her husband. The train they were travelling on had pulled into a country station, allowing them to observe a volumous woman manning a lemonade stand calling for ‘Orlando!’ before a small boy with hair the colour of marmalade emerged from beneath the table.

Kathleen Hales books have been treasured by children and now grown-ups since they were first published.  Only two of the many titles are still in print: A Seaside Holiday (hardback, £20.00) and A Camping Holiday (paperback, £7.99).

We have purchased the merchandising rights from Kathleen Hale's publishers Frederick Warne at Penguin, and can offer an exclusive range of Orlando-iana:

We have two prints from the Aldeburgh / Owlbarrow Seaside Holiday book.  


The first is an image of the front cover, shown above, depicting Orlando and his wife Grace in front of the Iona.  £12.50 (61cm x 41cm)

We also stock a china mug with this image: £12.50



  The second image depicts the beach scene of Owlbarrow, in which all the principal sights of Aldeburgh can be seen in      one view.  A charming impossibility.  The humans portrayed in the scene are real characters, either known to Kathleen Hale, or well-known residents of Aldeburgh.  Kathleen Hale's husband is floating in the sea to the left of the picture.  £20.00 (16 x 24 inches)


We also stock wooden jigsaw puzzles of this image.

A china mug (£12.50)

Exclusive to The Aldeburgh Bookshop, Postcards 60p each




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