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BAUM, L. Frank (1856-1919). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: Geo. M. Hill Co., 1900.
BAUM, L. Frank (1856-1919). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: Geo. M. Hill Co., 1900.

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BAUM, L. Frank (1856-1919). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: Geo. M. Hill Co., 1900.

4o (212 x 162 mm). Pictorial title-page; 24 color plates, numerous text illustrations by W.W. Denslow. Original pictorial green cloth, blocked in dark green and vermillion, pictorial endpapers (very slight wear to spine ends, some very minor discoloration, otherwise fine). Provenance: Mrs. W.C. Foster, children's book reviewer (presentation inscription on front free endpaper); Agness Greene Foster (bookplate); purchased by Norman Armour, Jr. at Parke-Bernet, 29 March 1955 (where the catalogued described the copy as "believed to be the second presentation copy to appear at public sale in America"). With related correspondence from Arthur Swann of Parke-Bernet to Mr. Armour.

A FINE PRESENTATION COPY OF BAUM'S MASTERPIECE. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, in Hanff & Greene's binding C, with publisher's name in serifed type in red at foot of spine. INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR on the front free endpaper: "To my 'old' friend Mrs. W.C. Foster with kindest regards. L. Frank Baum. Chicago 1901."

Lyman Frank Baum began writing 25 years before The Wizard of Oz was published, when he founded a newspaper in Bradford, Pennsylvania. After leaving the paper, "he went on to manage opera houses, act in the theater, and establish a magazine for window dressers" but the success of The Wizard of Oz "kept him writing Oz books for the rest of his life: and even beyond his life, for after he died in 1919 others were commissioned to write more books about the Wizard" (introduction, Maurice Hungiville, The Wizard of Oz and Who He Was, Gardner and Nye, eds., East Lansing, 1984).

Along with his writing, Baum dabbled in related creative enterprises, such as a never realized Oz amusement park, on Pedloe Island off the coast of California, which he had purchased for this purpose; and a film company, founded in 1914, which produced the first two Oz film versions. (The 1939 landmark film adaptation starring Judy Garland was actually the third cinematic portrayal of Oz.)

PRESENTATION COPIES OF 'THE WIZARD OF OZ' ARE VERY SCARCE.

Blanck, Peter Parley to Penrod, pp. 111-113; Hanff & Greene (1988) I.1; Morgan/Early Children's Books 214.

[Tipped-in:] BAUM. Autograph letter signed ("L. Frank Baum") to Mrs. W.C. Foster, thanking her for her "delightfully entertaining style" of her review, and mentioning other upcoming books. Chicago, 20 January 1901. 4 pages, small 8vo, on his personal stationary, a few creases. An interesting letter in which Baum thanks Foster for her referring to The Wizard of Oz as a "New Wonderland." He also mentions illustrators Maxfield Parrish and W.W. Denslow in connection with his soon to be published Mother Goose in Prose and Dot and Tot of Merryland, respectively.
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