The Baum Histories

As often as I will refer to the books and stories written by L.Frank Baum as “histories” I do understand that they were not, strictly speaking historic accounts. It would be more accurate to say that Baum wrote historic fiction. The events depicted in his books mostly happened the way they are described. Mostly the characters in the books match the people as they were at the time. That historic events, economics systems, geography, legal minutiae and religious practices aren’t consistent from book to book isn’t surprising. Baum got his stories primarily from conversations and correspondence with Dorothy Gale, Oscar Diggs and Bill Weedles. Often he only had an outline of the events from which to build his manuscripts. If he didn’t get all the details he had to work around them or make them up. He was lucky if he was able to check his facts before the books were delivered to his publishers. Baum wrote to entertain children so he kept the stories simple. He wrote for a living, and not being a great money manager, he needed to write a lot. His Oz histories are only a portion of his work.

Until we have access to the books, magazines and other publications available in Oz itself Baum’s books are our best introduction to the people and places of that kingdom. Light as they are on matters of trade and harvest seasons they bursting with the flavor of life in Oz in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Besides the Oz books I’ve included other Baum novels that have a bearing on the history of Oz. All are available in e-texts via a variety of website. I’ve included a current link to the text in each entry.

A New Wonderland
Illustrated by Frank Ver Beck
Published 1899 by RH Russell
Reprinted as
The Magical Monarch of Mo
in 1903 by RH Russell

The first of Baum’s histories did not feature or even mention Oz. A New Wonderland, Being the First Account Ever Printed of the Beautiful Valley, and the Wonderful Adventures of Its Inhabitants (as the book was original titled) was Baum’s first attempt at a children’s novel and he took greater liberties with his available material than he would with later books. In the 1899 first edition Mo is called Phunniland rather than its proper name.The book is primarily a series of short stories all describing absurd events and adventures of the Royal Family of Mo. In 1903, after the success of Wizard the book was reissued as The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People and all the Phunniland names correctly restored as Mo.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Illustrated by W. W. Denslow
Published 1900 by George M. Hill
The story of young Dorothy Gale’s first adventures in Oz . After a tornado sweeps up her house on Earth and deposits it in Oz (and on the Wicked Witch of the East) Dorothy sets out for the Emerald City to see if the Wizard can help her get back home. On her journey she makes companions of the Scarecrow, Nick Chopper the Tin Woodman and the so-called Cowardly Lion. The group stays together through many adventures. Before leaving Oz Dorothy significantly changes the political landscape of the country.

Dot and Tot of Merryland
Illustrated by W.W. Denslow
Published 1901 by George M. Hill
This book describes the adventures of the boy Tot, the girl Dot and their adventures in Merryland. The children visit valleys of Clowns, Candy, Storks and Babies, revolting Toys and Cats; ending in the Valley of Lost Things.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Illustrated by Mary Cowles Clark
Published 1902 by Bowen Merrill
This is Baum’s biography of NeClaus from his life as an orphan in the Forest of Burzee, through his education by the Immortals of the Forest, his settlement in the Laughing Valley, his growth as a maker and giver of toys, his conflict with the Awgwas and his being granted the Mantle of Immortality.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Stage script with songs
Music by Paul Tietjens
Written 1901. Unpublished.
The Wizard of Oz
Stage script with jokes by Glen MacDonough and songs by Baum and Tietiens.
Written 1902.
Baum wrote the script for a musical loosely based on the Wizard of Oz book. The production opened in 1902 in Chicago and moved to Broadway in 1903. The production continued, on tour or in New York until 1909. The script was recently transcribed and made available via the New York Public Library.

The Enchanted Island of Yew
Illustrated by Fanny Y. Cory
Published 1903 by Bobbs-Merrill
This is story of Prince Marvel, a bored fairy turned human boy for a year. He spends that year traveling and civilizing the wild island of Yew; besting Wul-Takim the King of Thieves, defeating the Royal Dragon of King Terribus, dividing the High Ki of Twi, exposing the fraud Kwytoffle and, finally, confronting the Red Rogue of Dawna.

Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz
A weekly comic illustrated by Walt McDougal
Serialized 1904-1905
This series told of the adventures of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Woggle-Bug, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Sawhorse and the Gump in the United States. At the same time W.W. Denslow produced Denslow’s Scarecrow and the Tin-Man as a rival strip. It featured the adventures of Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Lion in United States. Both strips have been collected in an oversized hardback edition bearing the title of Baum’s strip.

The Marvelous Land of Oz
Illustrated byJohn R. Neill
Published 1904 by Reilly & Britton
Tip, a young boy escapes from his guardian, the witch Mombi. He uses the Powder of Life, stolen from Mombi, to bring Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse to life. They meet up with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Woggle-Bug; get caught up in General Jinjur’s revolution and finally help restore the monarchy to Oz.

Queen Zixi of Ix
Illustrated by Frederick Richardson
Serialized 1904 in St. Nicholas magazine
Published 1905 in book form by The Century Company
The King of Noland has died without an heir. By obscure law his successor is to be the 47th person passing through the Eastern Gate at sunrise. That honor falls on the boy Bud, an orphan coming to work for his aunt. At the same time  fairies of Burzee give a wishing cloak to Fluff, Bud’s sister. The cloak grants one wish and then must be given away for the next wearer to have a wish. Zixi, the Witch Queen of neighboring Ix, covets the cloak and attempts various machinations to possess it.

John Dough and the Cherub
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1906 by Reilly & Britton
John Dough, a giant gingerbread man is accidentally baked to life when a magic potion is included in his ingredients. Ali Dubh, owner of the magic potion, hunts John with the intention of eating him and thus consuming the potion as well. John rides a flying machine to the island of Phreex where he picks up Chick the Cherub as a companion. The two use the flying machine to visit other islands and to escape the pursuit of Ali Dubh.

Ozma of Oz  
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1907 by Reilly & Britton
Dorothy’s second visit to Oz was made less directly than her first. While on route to Australia with her Uncle Henry, Dorothy and Billina the Yellow Hen are swept overboard. They land in Ev, rescue Tik-Tok from a well and encounter Ozma and her entourage. Ozma is on her way to rescue the Royal family of Ev from captivity by the Nome King.

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1908 by Reilly & Britton
Dorothy’s third visit to Oz begins in California when she, her cat Eureka, her cousin Zeb and his horse Jim are dropped into an underground world by an earthquake. They are captured by the Mangaboos and sentenced to death but the lucky appearance of the Wizard in his hot air balloon puts off the execution. The group journeys through a variety of dangerous realms before being rescued by Ozma.

The Road to Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1909 by Reilly & Britton
Dorothy’s fourth visit to Oz begins when she, Toto and the Shaggy Man get lost on an enchanted road. During their travels they pick up Polychrome and Button-Bright as companions, some of them are transformed, they escape being eaten and finally sail across the Deadly Desert in time for Ozma’s birthday party.

The Emerald City of Oz  
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1910 by Reilly & Britton
To escape bank foreclosure and poor health, Dorothy brings her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em to Oz to live. While she is showing them some of the sights of their new home, the Nome King allies himself with the Phanfasms, Grollywogs and Whimsies and attempts an invasion by digging a tunnel to the Emerald City.

The Sea Fairies
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1911 by Reilly & Britton
This book introduced the friends Mayre “Trot” Griffiths and Cap’n Bill Wheedles the peg-legged sailor. Trot’s wish to meet a mermaid is granted. The meeting leads to Trot and Cap’n Bill being transformed into merbeings and having adventures in the undersea realms before returning to dry land.

Sky Island
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1912 by Reilly & Britton
An encounter with Button Bright and his magic umbrella results in Trot and Cap’n traveling to Sky Island. On the Blue side of the island they face the tyrannical Boolooroo and his daughters, the six snub-nosed princesses. On the Pink side they Polychrome arrives in time to prevent them from being lawfully thrown off the island. Trot, after become ruler of both sides of the island, manages to get Sky Island’s inhabitants to behave more sensibly.

The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1913 by Reilly & Britton
Ojo’s Uncle Nunckie has been transformed into a statue. With the aid of Scraps (the Patchwork Girl), Bungle (the Glass Cat) and the Woozy, Ojo sets out to collect the ingredients necessary to return his uncle to his human state.

Tik-Tok of Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1914 by Reilly & Britton
Betsy Bobbin and Hank, her mule, are shipwrecked in the Rose Kingdom. There they encounter the Shaggy Man who is on a quest to rescue his brother from the Nome King. WIth Ozga, the newly budded Rose Princess in tow, they set out for the Nome Kingdom. Along the way they are joined by Pollychrome, Tik Tok and the wandering Army of Oogaboo.

The Scarecrow of Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1915 by Reilly & Britton
A storm deposits Trot and Cap’n Bill in a fairyland. With the help of an Ork they travel to Mo where they are joined by Button Bright. From there they set out for Oz. They arrive in the small kingdom of Jinxland, ruled by the nasty King Krewl. With the aid of the Scarecrow they follow the King’s plot to freeze a princess’ heart.

Rinkitink in Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1916 by Reilly & Britton
The armies of Regos and Coregos invade the island of Pingaree and carry off its inhabitants to be slave. Prince Inga, Bilbil the goat and King Rinkitink of Gilgad are the only survivors. With a trio of magic pearls in hand they set out to rescue the captive Pingarees. Their quest eventually leads to the Nome Kingdom, where, with a little help from Dorothy and the Wizard they free the last of Prince Inga’s subjects.

The Lost Princess of Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1917 by Reilly & Britton
Ozma goes missing, stolen, along with the Magic Picture and Glinda’s Magic Book by the wizard, Ugu. Four search parties scour the four countries of Oz searching for her. Cayke the Cookie Cook and the Frogman are introduced in this book.

The Tin Woodman of Oz   
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1918 by Reilly & Lee
Woot the Wanderer, after hearing Nick’s history, comments that the heart given to him by the Wizard may have made him kind, but it did not make him loving—if it had been he would have returned to Nimmie Amee. This prompts Nick to seek her out. Woot and the Scarecrow join him on his quest. Along the way they rescue Polychrome from a giantess, unenchant a messenger boy and discover the Tin Soldier, rusted in the same forest where Dorothy had found Nick on her first trip to Oz.

The Magic of Oz  
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1919 by Reilly & Lee
Kiki Aru learns a Word of transformation, teams up with Ruggedo, the former Nome King, and disguised as Li-Mon-Eags, they set out to raise an army of animals to conquer Oz. Simultaneously, Emerald City and the Royal Court prepare to celebrate Ozma’s birthday.

Glinda of Oz
Illustrated by John R. Neill
Published 1920 by Reilly & Lee
Dorothy and Ozma attempt to stop a war between the Skeezers and the Flatheads in an obscure corner of the Gilikin country and end up trapped on the submerged island of the Skeezers.

4 Responses to The Baum Histories

  1. Pingback: Your Questions About Wizard Of Oz Books

  2. I just finished reading Evan Schwartz’ “Finding Oz”, a biogtaphy of L. Frank Baum—everybody who admires OZ should read it. That’s how I was brought to your website. So many things I didn’t know about the history of the U. S. are encompassed in this biography, plus insights into howthe Oz books were written and why and much detail about Theosophy and the Vedas, etc. Read it.

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