Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
A Wizard by Any Name
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was only published under that title for about 2 years. When the publisher, The George M. Hill Co., went bankrupt, the title was bought by Bobbs Merrill. They produced a new edition in 1903, this time titled The New Wizard of Oz. This may have been to show that it was indeed a new edition, or it may have been to separate it from the highly successful 1902
Broadway show, which used characters from the book but did not retain much of the story. It could also have something to do with the fact that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was never quite properly copyrighted - maybe this was a way of fixing that situation. "New" was quickly dropped from the title, and the
story became known as The Wizard of Oz.
Above on the right is a copy of The New Wizard of Oz, not an easy title to come by. On the left is a later printing by the Donohue company in dustjacket, ca 1913.
Minor changes to the titles of Baum books were not uncommon. In some cases, books would be reprinted under new titles, sometimes even with a new psuedonymous name for the author.