Read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Online

Authors: Lyman Frank Baum

Tags: #Fantasy fiction, #Fantasy, #Fiction, #General, #Classics, #Criticism, #Literature - Classics, #Literary Criticism, #Juvenile Fiction, #Fantasy & Magic, #Children's Books, #Children: Grades 4-6, #Oz (Imaginary place), #Cowardly Lion (Fictitious character), #Ages 4-8 Fiction, #Gale; Dorothy (Fictitious character), #Wizard of Oz (Fictitious character), #Scarecrow (Fictitious character : Baum), #Voyages; Imaginary, #Scarecrow (Fictitious character: Baum), #Tin Woodman (Fictitious character)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

BOOK: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Table of Contents
From the Pages of
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
“You are welcome, most noble Sorceress, to the land of Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the wicked Witch of the East, and for setting our people free from bondage.” (page 22)
While Dorothy was looking earnestly into the queer, painted face of the Scarecrow, she was surprised to see one of the eyes slowly wink at her. She thought she must have been mistaken, at first, for none of the scarecrows in Kansas ever wink. (page 35)
“No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.” (page 42)
“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman; “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” (page 55)
“If you don’t mind, I’ll go with you,” said the Lion, “for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage.” (page 63)
They now came upon more and more of the big scarlet poppies, and fewer and fewer of the other flowers; and soon they found themselves in the midst of a great meadow of poppies. Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers he sleeps on and on forever. (pages 78-80)
“You killed the Witch of the East and you wear the silver shoes, which bear a powerful charm. There is now but one Wicked Witch left in all this land, and when you can tell me she is dead I will send you back to Kansas—but not before.” (pages 108-109)
This made Dorothy so very angry that she picked up the bucket of water that stood near and dashed it over the Witch, wetting her from head to foot. (page 127)
As the Monkey King finished his story Dorothy looked down and saw the green, shining walls of the Emerald City before them. She wondered at the rapid flight of the Monkeys, but was glad the journey was over. (page 144)
“I am Oz, the Great and Terrible,” said the little man, in a trembling voice, “but don’t strike me—please don’t!—and I’ll do anything you want me to.” (page 150)
“Can’t you give me brains?” asked the Scarecrow.
“You don’t need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn’t know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.” (page 154)
“But I don’t want to live here,” cried Dorothy. “I want to go to Kansas, and live with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.” (page 174)
Dorothy said nothing. Oz had not kept the promise he made her, but he had done his best, so she forgave him. As he said, he was a good man, even if he was a bad Wizard. (page 182)
When they were all quite presentable they followed the soldier girl into a big room where the Witch Glinda sat upon a throne of rubies.
(page 207)
Dorothy now took Toto up solemnly in her arms, and having said one last good-bye she clapped the heels of her shoes together three times, saying, “Take me home to Aunt Em!” (page 211)

Published by Barnes & Noble Books
122 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
was first published in 1900.
Published in 2005 by Barnes & Noble Classics with new Introduction,
Notes, Biography, Chronology, Inspired By, Comments & Questions,
and For Further Reading.
Introduction, Notes, and For Further Reading
Copyright © 2005 by J. T. Barbarese.
Note on L. Frank Baum, The World of L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
, Inspired by
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
and Comments & Questions
Copyright © 2005 by Barnes & Noble, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in
any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,including photocopy, recording,
or any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior
written permission of the publisher.
Barnes & Noble Classics and the Barnes & Noble Classics
colophon are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
ISBN-13: 978-1-59308-221-5 ISBN-10: 1-59308-221-5
eISBN : 978-1-411-43355-7
LC Control Number 2005920760
Produced and published in conjunction with:
Fine Creative Media, Inc.
322 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Michael J. Fine, President and Publisher
Printed in the United States of America
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
L. Frank Baum
When Lyman Frank Baum asked Maud Gage to marry him in 1882, the girl’s mother, a pioneering feminist, fiercely opposed the union. She apparently had good reason: The privileged son of a wealthy oilman, Baum led an itinerant life, uncertain of his future career; at the time, he was acting in a touring theatrical production funded by his father. Maud nevertheless went through with the marriage and found her husband to be a passionate, hardworking dreamer. Like his contemporary Mark Twain, Baum would reach the height of literary success only to have its fruits foiled by ill-timed and often fanciful investments.
If character was destiny for Baum, then early aspirations foretold a future in literature. Born in Chittenango, New York, in 1856, Frank spent his childhood on the Baum family estate, where he was given a printing press and created a family newspaper, the
Rose Lawn Home Journal
, with his brother. Despite a congenital heart ailment, Baum was quite active as a young man. He began writing professional newspaper articles, plays, poetry, and even a primer on breeding Hamburg chickens in the years following the American Civil War.
When his father and older brother died in 1887, the family’s fortunes declined, and Baum and his wife moved to Aberdeen in the Dakota Territory, where Maud’s brothers and sisters were living. Baum started a general store, Baum’s Bazaar, where local children gathered for candy and the imaginative stories Baum told for their entertainment. But their generous extensions of credit to drought-plagued ranchers and farmers forced the couple out of business in 1890. An ill-timed foray into newspaper editing and other publishing ventures left them bankrupt and poised for another move, this time to Chicago. To make ends meet, Frank worked as a reporter and, with good success, as a traveling salesman for the glassware company Pitkin and Brooks.
Although Baum’s four sons had long enjoyed their father’s fantastical stories, Baum did not publish his tales until
Mother Goose in Prose
appeared in 1897. Its success inspired
Father Goose, His Book
(1899), which was the best-selling children’s book of the year. But it was the story of a farm girl named Dorothy, first told to his sons and neighborhood children in 1898, that became an instant success and would endure as a perpetual classic. Published as
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
in 1900, with illustrations by William Wallace Denslow, Baum’s tale flew out of stores and, when it was staged in 1902, sold out theaters from New York to Chicago.
Thrilled by the novel’s reception, Baum wrote many sequels to the Oz story and enjoyed considerable financial success. But he also wanted to expand his repertoire beyond stories about Oz. His other books, some published under pen names, include
Queen Zixi of Ix
The Fate of a Crown
(1905), and the teen series Aunt Jane’s Nieces (1906 through 1915). While these works enjoyed a healthy readership, failed business choices and his audience’s insatiable thirst for more Oz stories, kept him writing sequels until his death.
Always the devoted family man, Baum spent his final years living a quiet life in California. The grounds of his house (named Ozcot) were lush with Baum’s prize-winning flowers, which he cultivated until heart and gallbladder problems seriously threatened his health. Frank Baum died of a heart attack on May 6, 1919.
The World of L. Frank Baum and
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Lyman Frank Baum is born on May 15 in Chittenango, New York, to Cynthia Stanton Baum and Benjamin Ward Baum. Having made a sizable fortune in oil and other busi ness ventures, Benjamin is able to raise his family of nine children in comfort.
The American Civil War begins. Benjamin’s prospects con tinue to improve, allowing him to purchase a country man sion outside Syracuse, New York; called Rose Lawn, it has grounds large enough for young Frank to keep a flock of bantam chickens. Frank is a frail child, having been born with a heart ailment that will plague him into adulthood.
The Civil War ends on April 9, and President Lincoln is as sassinated five days later.
Lewis Carroll’s
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
is pub lished. Baum will later be compared to Carroll because they both wrote about a young female protagonist.
Frank is sent to Peekskill Military Academy; he loathes the school’s exacting discipline and schedule. Louisa May Al cott’s
Little Women
is published.
Frank’s ill health allows him to leave Peekskill Military Academy.
Early interests in writing and journalism lead Frank to cre ate a household newspaper, the
Rose Lawn Home Journal
Jules Verne’s
Around the World in Eighty Days
is published.
Mark Twain’s
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
is published.
Baum begins writing professional journal articles and be comes involved in the theater.
With high hopes for a stage career, he begins acting with the Union Square Theatre in Manhattan.
Benjamin Baum funds a theater company for Frank, who writes his first play,
The Maid of Arran
. The production, with Frank in the lead role, enjoys some critical and com mercial success during its two-year run. Baum marries Maud Gage.
Baum and Maud have a child, Frank Joslyn. Robert Louis Stevenson’s
Treasure Island
is published.
Mismanagement and probable embezzlement by a book keeper cause the theater company to fold. Mark Twain’s
Ad ventures of Huckleberry Finn
Baum sells Baum’s Castorine, an axle grease, for his family’s oil company.
Baum writes his first book,
The Book of Hamburgs
, on the breeding and care of Hamburg chickens. Baum’s second son, Robert, is born.
Benjamin Baum and his oldest son die. With the loss of the two competent Baum businessmen, the family’s income is greatly reduced. Frank and Maud Baum move to Aberdeen in the Dakota Territory, where they start a general store.
Baum’s third son, Harry, is born. Baum’s store fails. Baum takes over as temporary editor of the
Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer
, for which he writes articles and columns.
Baum’s fourth son, Kenneth, is born. Almost penniless, Baum moves to Chicago, where he becomes a reporter for the
Evening Post
Unable to support his family on the scant wages of a re porter, Baum also works as a traveling salesman for the chi naware company Pitkin and Brooks.
The enormous World’s Columbian Exposition comes to Chicago. The United States experiences an economic de pression.
Rudyard Kipling’s
The Jungle Book
is published.
Baum’s first children’s story,
Mother Goose in Prose
, is pub lished, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish. Forced by ill health to give up selling, Baum founds
Show Window
, a journal on window trimming. The writer Opie Read intro duces Baum to William Denslow, who will later illustrate books by Baum.
Father Goose, His Book
, with illustrations by Denslow, is published by George M. Hill company. Its success—it sells more copies than any other children’s book this year—encourages Baum to continue writing. With extra money on hand, he buys a summerhouse in Macatawa Park, Michi gan, that he names the Sign of the Goose.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
, with illustrations by Denslow, is published to resounding success. It has been in print ever since.
Dot and Tot of Merryland
, with illustrations by Denslow, is published.
The Wizard of Oz
is produced as a musical in Chicago and is sensationally popular. Baum splits with his illustrator William Denslow.
The musical of
The Wizard of Oz
opens in New York. Baum tries to branch out by publishing the children’s book
The Enchanted Island of Yew
, but it has little success.
Responding to high demand for another Oz tale, Baum publishes a second novel,
The Marvelous Land of Oz
Queen Zixi of Ix
is published. Determined to write other kinds of works, Baum publishes an adult romance,
The Fate of a Crown
, under the pseudonym Schuyler Staunton.
Baum publishes
Aunt Jane’s Nieces
, the first of a series of ten novels written under the pen name Edith van Dyne.
Ozma of Oz
is published.
Baum publishes
Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz
, in which he first calls himself the “Royal Historian of Oz.” His
American Fairy Tales
Baum tries to end the Oz series with
The Emerald City of Oz
. The Baum family moves to California. Struggling with poor health, Baum oversees the building of a house he calls Ozcot.
Peter and Wendy
, J. M. Barrie’s
Peter Pan
play in novel form, is published.
Because Baum’s non-Oz books are not as successful as his Oz stories and he needs money, he writes
The Patchwork Girl of Oz
Dreams of adapting his tales for film lead Baum to buy a
movie production company; but it fails after producing a handful of films. World War I begins.
Coronary illness and gallbladder surgery lead to a protracted period of bed rest. Despite his failing health, Baum contin ues to write.
Baum has a heart attack on May 5, shortly after
The Magic of Oz
is published. He dies within twenty-four hours.
Baum’s final Oz story,
Glinda of Oz
, is published. Ruth Plumly Thompson takes over as “Royal Historian of Oz.”
MGM releases the classic film
The Wizard of Oz
, starring sixteen-year-old Judy Garland.
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