BAUM, L. Frank (1856-1919). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago: Geo. M. Hill Co., 1900.
4o. 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 extremities, hinges starting). Provenance: Elizabeth Hubbard, daughter of family friends (presentation inscription on front free endpaper); Dick Martin, noted Oz illustrator, author and bibliographer; Bronson Pinchot, actor/comedian (sold Sotheby's New York, 7 December 1994, lot 22).
A FINE PRESENTATION COPY OF BAUM'S MASTERPIECE. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, in the second state binding (Hanff & Greene binding B, with publisher's name in capitals in red at foot of spine). WARMLY INSCRIBED WITH FOUR-LINES OF VERSE on the front free endpaper: "When in this book you take a look My little sweethearth Beth Just think I write the whole of it And yet am yours 'til death-- L. Frank Baum Miss Elizabeth Hubbard of Syracuse."
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 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, and poetical inscriptions were normally reserved for immediate family or close members of family circle. The Hubbards were close family friends in Syracuse, New York. Baum himself was born in the town of Chittenango, a suburb of Syracuse. This copy has a double association having later belonged to noted Oz author/illustrator/bibliographer, Dick Martin.
Blanck, Peter Parley to Penrod, pp. 111-113; Hanff & Greene (1988) I.1; Morgan/Early Children's Books 214.