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

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cowardly Lion of Oz

The Cowardly Lion of Oz was published in 1923. With characters like Bob Up and Notta Bit More, not to mention Mustafa who "must have a" lion, Ruth Plumly Thompson kept the tradition of puns in the Oz books alive. This is particularly true in her character and place names!

The books were now credited to Thompson, but the covers always had an additional credit for L Frank Baum. It's interesting to see how John R. Neill dealt with the amount of information he was required to place on each Oz book cover.

I think the color plate on the right is a particularly humorous picture of the Lion - for a coward, he looks amazingly fierce! The photo below shows two first printings, one in jacket and one without. From the previous title, Kabumpo, through the end of the series, the copies shown are in first state dust jackets - some showing more wear and tear than others!


Anonymous said...

I have a later edition of this book, with a dust-jacket featuring an illustration signed by Dick Martin -- the Cowardly Lion, with Notta Bit More the clown and Bob Up at either side. A Dirk headshot of the Cowardly Lion is on the spine of the dust-jacket, while the spine of the actual book features John R. Neill's version.

I bought this edition new at a bookstore, probably in the early 1970s, but it may have been lying in a warehouse since the 50s. The suggested list price printed on the dust-jacket is $3.50. The list of Oz books on the back inside flap of the dustjacket only goes up to "The Hidden Valley of Oz".

Also, the publisher listed on the title page is the Copp Clark Co. Limited of Toronto, while Reilly and Lee are listed on the dust-jacket spine, book spine and copyright page.

Bill Campbell said...

I know there were some books published in the early 1960's that were printed with the Copp, Clark name by mistake - I think they're pretty uncommon.