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

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lost King of Oz

The Lost King of Oz, from 1924, re-introduces the wicked witch Mombi - last seen in The Marvelous Land of Oz. In this book, Ruth Plumly Thompson attempts to tie up some of the loose ends that L. Frank Baum left floating through the Oz series. I always liked Mombi, and was glad to meet up with her again. Having had her magical powers removed, the old woman became a cook, and developed some rather amazing culinary products and abilities.

I like the cover of this book - the colors are vibrant, and I think it is one of the nicer images of Ozma. She still appears to be a young girl, and has not morphed into the dragon lady that she appears to be in some of the later books!

I know of one illustration surviving from this book - the drawing for the color plate shown on the right. As was usual, the original is drawn in black and white, and the colors were added by the printers when printing the book. Since one drawing survived, perhaps a few others did as well!


Jim Meadows said...

I like The Lost King of Oz for introducing us to King Pastoria, the often-mentioned but never-shown father of Princess Ozma (well, I know he shows up in the 1902 musical, but I've never had the chance to see it).

What struck me about the book in rereading a few years back was Thompson's decision to have Ozma execute Mombi for her crimes, by melting. The action is mostly offstage, handled quickly, and told coldly. It is something L. Frank Baum would never have done, and I believe Thompson took similar steps in at least one other Oz book. I don't know if there's any moral comparison to make between Thompson and Baum here (Baum, after all, in his non-fiction writing as a South Dakota newspaperman, called for the complete extermination of American Indians). But it certainly points out the differences between them in drawing up their fantasy worlds.

Anonymous said...

The fate of of Jay Glegg and Trick Tea in KABUMPO seems pretty callous as well.