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

Monday, May 18, 2009

General Jinjur

This illustration from The Marvelous Land of Oz has always been one of my favorites. I would love to see the original if it still exists!

Here we see General Jinjur and her army of revolting girls (typical Baum pun!) conquering the Emerald City. Their glee is unmistakable as they set off to pry all the emeralds loose from their settings, and the chaos of the moment is nicely captured (including one poor girl in the far background who seems to have been flipped over with her feet in the air!) This drawing made me feel I had a real sense of what the Emerald City looked like, with the gate tower and the double stair, and the cluster of houses inside the city wall.

I've always liked General Jinjur. L. Frank Baum created an interesting mix of chorus girl and women's rights advocate in this character. She was clearly designed for presentation on the stage, and Baum shows his eye for theatrical dressing in his description of the multicolored uniform for Jinjur's army. I was always disappointed that she was only shown in one color plate in the book. A similarly gaudy dress is seen in Mary Louise and the Liberty Girls, for the patriotic Liberty Girls organization.

Although Jinjur is a satire, her avowed goal of setting a woman on the throne of the Emerald City does happen - except the new ruler is Ozma rather than herself. Her few appearances in later books show that she maintains her independent spirit, even if she's never the Queen she intended to be.

No comments: