BAUM, L. Frank (1856-1919). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: George M. Hill Co., 1900.
4o. 24 color plates (including title page), numerous text illustrations by W.W. Denslow (first/title plate loose and a little frayed along blank fore-edge). Original pictorial green cloth, blocked in dark green and vermillion, pictorial paste-downs as issued (spine age-toned with a little wear at ends, some minor edgewear, a little soiling; hinges cracked).
FIRST EDITION OF BAUM'S MASTERPIECE, second state text with the following points: no box around ads on page 2, 1st line on page 14 reads "low wail of", p.81 fourth line from bottom spells "pieces" correctly, p. 1st line reads "While the Woodman", colophon in 13 lines with no box, verso title page has copyright, imperfect type on pages 100 and 186. The plate facing p. 34 is in the first state, with the two dark blue blots on the moon, and the plate facing p. 92 is in the second state, without red shading on the horizon. Binding state "c" with publishers imprint in red serifed type with the "o" of "Co." inside the "C".
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).
The earliest copy of The Wizard of Oz came off the press on May 17, 1900, which Baum presented to his sister, Mary Louise Baum Brewster. The book appeared publicly for the first time at a book fair at the Palmer House in Chicago during that July, with the full distribution following in September. "The first edition of The Wizard of Oz has a complex format. It is made up of three separately produced components: the text sheets, the color plates (which include the title page), and the stamped binding case. The publisher apparently ordered a major modification of the text sheets after the first printing. The changes involved repositioning many of the text illustrations and correcting typographical errors. The color plates were also modified after their first printing. In addition, the binding case underwent several changes...the modifications of the three components must have occurred soon after the first printing and before the original stock of text sheets, color plates, and covers was exhausted. Scrambled copies combining first and later states of the three components are often found" (Hanff/Greene, p. 25). Blanck, Peter Parley to Penrod, pp. 111-113; Hanff & Greene (1988) I.2; see Katharine M. Rogers, L. Frank Baum, pp. 73-94.