I gladly embrace the term “Ouidaite” to describe myself as an American Ouida fan because I am faithfully Pro-Ouida. I firmly concur with many of her core literary and philosophical tenets including her aestheticism, her humanism, her humanitarianism, and many of her views on the preservation of cultural heritage sites, nature, and animal rights. I believe the origin of the term “Pro-Ouidaite” lies with its appearance in Elizabeth Lee’s Ouida: A Memoir (1914). The first of several biographies devoted to the author, in Lee’s account the label is first employed to describe the camp of individuals who retained their support for Ouida in Florence subsequent to the infamous controversy that erupted over the publication of the novel Friendship in 1878 as her roman à clef (Lee 94). Nevertheless, at present, I have adopted the term to situate my own fanaticism with Ouida and her works.
Okay, so it is appropriate at this time to introduce my personal top five Ouida novels. I have already listed the top five according to Goodreads in the Reading Challenges. My personal list represents a substantial departure from the popular choice.