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

Sunday, August 9, 2009


In 1897, Rand McNally published an edition of The Evolution of Dodd with a W. W. Denslow cover. This book is a rather moralizing chastisement on the state of public education of the time, particularly in rural areas. It's interesting to see how some problems (ratio of students to teacher, etc.) never seem to change! The copy I'm showing is worn, and bears traces of a library label on the spine, but with any luck I'll run across a better copy some day.

These Rand McNally titles can prove to be surprisingly elusive, and the variations that exist for some of the covers can add to the difficulties. In the case of this title, there is a later edition which uses Denslow's lettering on the cover and spine but no image.

This title is very similar to another published in 1897, The Romance of a Child. I've shown that book before, but here it is again for the sake of comparison. The fabric and ink colors, as well as the layout of the spine are the same, and the imagery of the figures on the spine are very closely related. I can't help wondering if Denslow was working on both of these at the same time!


Bell-Snickle said...

Is "The Romance of a Child" a Children's book?

(Hmm, I feel like I asked you this before but I can't find the other post...)

Bill Campbell said...

Actually it's the author's reminiscences of his childhood - chances are most children would find it pretty dull!

Bell-Snickle said...

LOL, too true I'm sure! Well at least that beautiful binding looks good on the shelf. :-)