London: Jonathan Cape, 1972. 1st Edition. Quarto, publisher's illustrated coated paper-covered boards, illustrated endpapers.
First edition of the final volume in British author-illustrator Kathleen Hale’s Orlando series, in which the feline hero visiting his cousins, the Water Cats, in France. In the early 1930s, Hale began extemporaneously telling feline tales to entertain her children at bedtime (she later wrote that she was bored with Babar and Beatrix Potter). Soon she began writing down her stories alongside sketches of the family cat, Orlando, whom her son was particularly devoted to. Impressed with the work, a friend of Hale’s took the manuscripts to editor Noel Carrington of Country Life. After their publication (as A Camping Holiday and A Trip Abroad), Hale taught herself lithography, drawing on Plastocowell plates and working with the London printer W. R. Royle and Sons to reduce costs for future installments in the series. Her unique anthropomorphic four-color illustrations set a new standard for children’s books of the postwar era, and made her a household name in children’s literature. Illustrated in full-color. No dust jacket, as issued. British bookseller's typed letter signed to an American collector (name blacked out with marker) laid in. Fine. Item #5657