Ouida, born Maria Louis Ramé in Suffolk (1839-1908), Bury St. Edmunds, adopted her pseudonym from her childhood mispronunciation of her birth name. She enjoyed a successful career as a prolific writer, penning over forty books, but she died in Lucca, Italy without money or wealth. With the exception of her most popular book, A Dog of Flanders (1872), her legacy as an author has since fallen into some level of obscurity.
The first British edition of A Dog of Flanders, which is a collection of shorter works, was published in London by Chapman & Hall. It was introduced in America by J. B. Lippincott that same year under the title of another story in the collection, "A Leaf in the Storm." The British edition features four illustrations by Enrico Mazzanti of Florence, a cartoonist who went on to illustrate the first edition of Pinocchio. The edition's ornamental drop caps and elaborate page ornaments are absent in both the authorized continental Tauchnitz copyright edition and the American Lippincott edition, the latter of which was typeset in two-columns and had the story placed third after "A Provence Rose" and "A Leaf in the Storm."
By 1908, the year of Ouida's death, diplomat and animal rights activist, Masujiro Honda, discovered the book and worked to produce a Japanese translation of it. A few years later, by 1912, Korean historian, poet and activist, Choe Nam-soen saw that it was translated to Korean. Since then it has been seen as a classic work of children's literature in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, and its popularity as part of that revival extends to Russia and Ukraine. It has seen many adaptations including English-language film versions in 1935, 1959, and 1999 and a popular animated television series in Japan in 1975. More recently, Batist Vermeulen ('Tist'), erected a statue celebrating the work and its heroes, "Nello and Patrasche," which can be seen in front of Antwerp Cathedral.
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