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Orlebar, Frederica St. John, 1838–1928
More about the Moonfaced Princess : being the reminiscences of Lady Gwendoline Lockhart / by F.St.J. Orlebar, 1888?.
Physical Description:
1 v. (38 leaves) ; 36 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
PZ7.O75 M67 1888+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Frederica St. John Orlebar was the author of a family history, The Orlebar chronicles in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, 1553-1733 (London, 1930), and a children's book, The adventures of her serene limpness, the Moonfaced Princess, dulcet and débonaire (London, 1888). She is a descendent of Mary Orlebar (1730-1821), and a member of the Orlebar family of Hinwick Hall, Bedfordshire.
Bound in plain brown paper wrappers, with title in manuscript on front cover.
Autograph manuscript of a children's story by Frederica St. John Orlebar, written circa 1888, and never published. The caption title originally included a further subtitle, reading, "a sequel to the adventures of the Moonfaced Princess"; this portion of the title has been crossed out. In her preface, Orlebar notes, "this sequel to the story ... was written because the thoughts poured in so thick and fast I could not help putting them down; it was never intended for publication." Writing is in pen and black ink throughout, on the rectos only of each leaf.
The manuscript does not have the same narrative structure as her earlier published book about the Moonfaced Princess--rather, it takes the form of a series of letters or dispatches from those close to the princess, addressed to her relative in England. The manuscript is concerned primarily with relating the spiritual enlightenment of the princess, a simple soul, not given to deep thought and slow of speech. Orlebar repeatedly describes the ways in which the princess's intellectual deficiencies give rise to a greater emotional power. The story emphasizes the value of the princess's innocence, and its powers of persuasion in difficult circumstances. The princess is a character who does not understand evil, and whose simple ways encourage understanding between the Japanese and English, despite their differences.
Orlebar's story and tone are extremely sentimental and fairly maudlin throughout the present manuscript. Her descriptions of Japan and the characterizations of its inhabitants seem to be based largely on portrayals in English popular culture (Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado appeared just three years prior).
Subject Terms:
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction.
Innocence (Psychology) -- Juvenile fiction.
Japan -- In literature.
Japan -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile fiction.
Orlebar, Frederica St. John, 1838-1928. Adventures of her serene limpness, the Moon-faced Princess, dulcet and débonaire.
Princes -- Japan -- Juvenile fiction.
Princesses -- Japan -- Juvenile fiction.
Princesses -- Juvenile fiction.
Juvenile fiction -- Great Britain -- 1888.

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