The Princess of Persia

There are a few internet sites which state this volume was published in the 1940s (e.g. Princetown University Library). However, Bear Alley have it down as 1938 and this makes more sense. In the preface to The Princess of Persia, Flo Lancaster says, ‘The Oojah Stories appeared daily in the Press for seventeen years’. Working backwards, this makes the date closer to the first appearance of the Great Oojah in the Daily Sketch in 1919. I assume the original stories of Uncle Oojah’s Travels appeared in the Daily Sketch in The Oojah Paper, which ran in various formats from 8 October 1921 until  November 1929 on Saturdays. The illustrations are from Thomas Maybank who died in 1929, so clearly the story was written prior to his demise.

The illustrations are great and the story is good but you will have to look long and hard to find a copy of this book in good condition or in any condition at all. Jerrywangle and Snooker have to work to gain the confidence of the Princess who has been sent away to Baghdad where the Great Oojah and his friends are visiting the Sultan. After some amateur hairdressing, futuristic portrait art, a magically induced storm of cats and some flowers, the pair finally make friends with the Princess who reveals that her false cousin, Fatima, is trying to undermine her position in Persia. The friends travel back to Persia and lock horns with the local spies who are working for the scheming Fatima. It all ends well as usual and there is even some suggestion that Jerrywangle is heir apparent to the title of ‘The Great Oojah’ although there is no evidence, subsequently, he ever achieved this lofty position.