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Kathleen Hale

Sue Lawley's castaway is children's author Kathleen Hale.

The castaway this week in Desert Island Discs is the writer and illustrator Kathleen Hale. Mainly renowned for that hero of children's literature - Orlando, the Marmalade Cat - and now 96 years old, she'll be talking to Sue Lawley about the excitement and glamour of her bohemian girlhood after the First World War. As secretary to the painter Augustus John, she lived a turbulent but fascinating life at the heart of artistic London.

Marriage and motherhood introduced stability into her life, but boredom with the children's books then on offer led her to create Orlando - the cat who went on to star in 18 beautifully-illustrated and charmingly-written books - considered by many to be the epitome of good children's literature.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: La Sardana De Les Monges by La Principal De Perelada
Book: A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu by Marcel Proust
Luxury: A gilabra (cloak of gold)

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40 minutes

Music Played

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  • Gertrude Lawrence


    • HMV.
  • Lecuona Cuban Boys

    Rumba Azul

  • Scott Joplin

    Maple Leaf Rag

    • The Scott Joplin Collection.
    • Deja Vu.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • La Principal De Perelada

      La Sardana De Les Monges

      • HMV.
  • Anton Karas

    The Cafe Mozart Waltz

    • Decca.
  • Chiraz


    • Parlophone.
  • James Galway

    Annie's Song

    Orchestra: The National Philharmonic Orchestra

    • Annie's Song And Other Galway Favorites.
    • RCA.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 - Fugue in C major

    Soloist: Glenn Gould

    • The Well Tempered Clavier.
    • CBS Masterworks.
  • Book Choice

    • A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu - Marcel Proust

  • Luxury Choice

    • A djellaba, a robe made of gold cloth


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Kathleen Hale


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