Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Early Baum

I've already shown Mother Goose in Prose, L. Frank Baum's first published children's book, and Father Goose His Book, Baum's first success. Here's another early title, A New Wonderland. This was the first children's book written by Baum, before Mother Goose in Prose, but it didn't get published until after The Wonderful Wizard. It's more or less a collection of short stories, loosely tied together by taking place in the same magical land. These may well be some of the stories Baum's mother-in-law, Matilda Gage, heard him telling the children, and advised him to write down.

The book was originally named Adventures in Phunniland, but that was changed for publication. In 1903, Bobbs Merrill reprinted this title as The Magical Monarch of Mo. This is another example of the re-packaging Baum titles went through over the years. Oddly enough, each edition of the book has some illustrations that do not appear in the other.

I was surprised to find my copy of A New Wonderland at a local antique shop. It took a moment to register when I saw it, as it was so completely unexpected. I can't say it was a steal, as the seller apparently knew what he had, but I was glad to find a copy - it's a difficult book. I haven't heard of any artwork surviving from this title.

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