Who Was "Opal Whiteley?

Opal, age 18 fishing at Crater Lake

 

In 1915 Opal was the most popular teenager in Oregon!

She was a magnetic teacher & youth leader

Blending science and faith in lectures to thousands of kids

 Everyone thought she would be a great teacher or scientist

Instead, she became Oregon's most Controversial Author.
 
 

In 1920 her childhood diary, "Opal, the Journal of an Understanding Heart" was

The Number Two Best-Seller in the World- read by Presidents and Kings.

At the young age of 22 Opal Whiteley was a major international success!
 
 

Her story of an orphaned and abused child growing up in the Oregon woods

Took the literary world by storm. To readers, Opal seemed magical!

But, with the same speed as she rose ... Opal fell from the public's favor.
 
 

Just a year later her book was out of print and Opal was accused of fraud,

And lying about her family. It was charged she had written her diary as a

Teenager, not a child. Disgraced, Opal went to India & Europe to prove her story.

Opal never returned to Oregon and never found the family she searched for.
 
 

For decades Opal Whiteley's beautiful writings about nature, God and children

gathered dust - while she was committed to an English mental hospital.

She died there in 1992 - locked away for almost Fifty years.

Opal Whiteley's work and writings were Forgotten.
 

Finally, Opal's book caught the attention of best selling writer Benjamin Hoff,

Author of the "Tao of Pooh".   Hoff spent years researching Opal's life.

Much of her diary was found to be True - but that is not the Whole Story ...

Enjoy the Haunting Mystery of "Princess Opal Whiteley".

Opal in Boston, age 22  1920


To this day there is controversy - "What Happened to Opal?"

\Different people see her Differently - like the Opal Gemstone.

Was Opal a Mystic or was she Mad?  A Princess or a Fraud?

Those Questions - and Others Remain Unanswered ...

  If you are interested in Education, the Environment, the Mind

Or, simply like a good Mystery, then explore the

Inspiring and Tragic Mystery of "Princess" Opal Whiteley.


Want to Know More? Read Steve McQuiddy's Popular Article

Steve has done a really good article on Opal. It's a bit dated, written in 1997. We know a lot more about her today, but this is still an excellent, balanced article of Opal
and the controversy of her best-selling diary by a respected Lane County author. It was also published in the Lane County Historian.


See Opal's Picture Book, done by Stephen Williamson and the UofO

Enjoy Dozens of Rare Photos of Opal and the People and Places she writes about - With Links to the Diary!



Read Opal Whiteley NEWS and More Fascinating Research about Opal




Send Us Your E-mail