Book, 'The Little Duke Richard the Fearless'; Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901); 1900;...


Book, 'The Little Duke Richard the Fearless'


Charlotte Yonge (1823-1901)

Maker Role


About this object

This book was given to Blanche Margaret Ruddock as a birthday gift from her aunt Blanche (also known as Blannie). On the front page is an inscription which reads: “B. Margaret Ruddock, a present from Aunt Blanche on her 11th birthday 1901.”

‘The Little Duke Richard the Fearless’ was the first of Charlotte Yonge’s historical tales for children, and it was originally published as a serial in her magazine ‘The Monthly Packet’ in 1851. It tells the story of Richard Duke of Normandy, the great grandfather of William the Conqueror. At the beginning of the story, Richard is an eight-year-old boy who succeeds to the dukedom when his father is murdered. Richard’s overlord, King Louis, takes him to the French court where his life seems to be in danger. Eventually Richard is rescued by his faithful squire and returns to Normandy.

Charlotte Yonge was one of the most prolific and successful writers of the Victorian era. In her lifetime she published well over 100 books in several genres including history, biography, adult fiction, and children's historical fiction. Yonge was also distantly connected with the Lush family. She was a cousin of Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, the first bishop of Melanesia. (1) Blannie’s father, Vicesimus Lush, was an Anglican minister who served in the Auckland and Waikato regions and was involved with the Melanesian Mission. Blannie and her younger sister, Annette, both volunteered as missionaries to Melanesia, Blannie in 1878 and Annette 1880. (2)

It is believed that Ewelme Cottage has the largest single collection of Charlotte Yonge's works in the southern hemisphere. Yonge was also the editor of the magazine, 'The Monthly Packet'. After her travels to Norfolk Island with the Melanesian Mission, Annette contributed and article entitled "Trip to Norfolk Island" which was printed in the Monthly Packet during August 1881. According to her father, Annette received a cheque for £2.17.0 from the publisher and this was "the first money she has ever earned." (3)

(1) Peter J. Lineham, ‘Missions and missionaries – overseas mission,’ Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,
(2) Thames Advertiser, ‘Untitled,’ 4 April 1878, p. 2; New Zealand Herald, ‘The New Church at Norfolk Island,’ 17 November 1880, p. 5
(3) Alison Drummond (ed.), 'The Thames Journals of Vicesimus Lush 1868-82,' 1875, p. 244.

For more information about the Lush family and Ewelme Cottage, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Medium and Materials



19 x 13 x 2cm

Date Made


Place Made

London, England

Place Made

New York, United States of America


MacMillan and Co. (estab. 1843)

Publication Date


Publication Place

London, England

Publication Place

New York, United States of America

Credit Line

Collection of Ewelme Cottage, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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