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

Monday, June 16, 2008

Novels for Adults

L. Frank Baum wrote several novels for adults, all under various pseudonyms. His first, in 1905, was The Fate of A Crown, under the name Schuyler Staunton, followed by Daughters of Destiny (1906) using the same nom-de-plume. The Last Egyptian (1908) was published anonymously. These are fun escapist stories set in exotic locales. I would suppose they were published under false names to protect Baum's reputation as a children's author.

The Fate of a Crown deals with revolution and romance in Brazil, Daughters of Destiny deals with intrigue and romance in the Middle East, and The Last Egyptian deals with robbery and romance along the Nile. These stories are very enjoyable, with some interesting plot twists. Having just re-read The Fate of a Crown, I'm struck again by Baum's ability to create strong female characters, and his tendency to use women in a far less passive role than many other writers of the time.
Tamawaca Folks (1907) was a different sort of book - this time a satire on Baum's friends and neighbors in Macatawa, Michigan. The Baum family had a summer cottage there called The Sign of the Goose (bought with the earnings from Father Goose, His Book). For this title Baum used the name John Estes Cooke. I don't have a copy of this book yet, but hope to eventually add one to the collection.

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