The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.; With Pictures by W.W. Denslow.

A First, First, First Edition of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

BAUM, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. With pictures by W.W. Denslow. Chicago: Geo. M. Hill Co., 1900.

First edition, first state of the text, first state of the plates and first state of the binding. With the following points: p. [2], the publisher’s advertisement is enclosed in a box; p. 14, line 1 begins: “low wail on…”; p. 81, the fourth line from bottom has “peices”; p. [227], line 1 begins: “While Tin Woodman…”; and the colophon on the rear pastedown is set in eleven lines and is enclosed in a box, with the initial letter in color; with perfect type in the last line of p. 100 and p. 186. The verso of the title is blank (without the rubber-stamped copyright notice). 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 first state, with red shading on the horizon. Quarto (8 3/8 x 6 7/16 inches; 212 x 163 mm.). 259, [1, blank], [1], [1, blank] pp. Twenty-four inserted color plates, including the title, which is included in pagination.

Original light green cloth pictorially stamped and lettered in red and a darker green (variant A, with the publisher’s imprint at foot of spine in plain, unserifed type, stamped in green, and with the “CO.” set in ordinary fashion, i.e., the “C” of Co.” does not encircle the “o”). “This green spine imprint (variant A) is associated with the earliest dated presentation copies. All later bindings apparently have red imprints” (Greene and Hanff). Color pictorial pastedown endpapers (the front pastedown printed in black and gray and the rear pastedown printed in black and red). Issued without free endpapers. The rear inside hinge has been expertly and almost invisibly repaired and there is some very slight strengthening to lower extremity of the spine. There is a little bit of discoloration to the board edges and some minimal show-through of the boards at the corners. The red and green decoration and lettering on the covers and spine are remarkably bright and unfaded and overall this copy shows extremely well. This is the first time in over thirty years that we have seen a copy of this book with all of the requisite first issue points, text, plates and binding. Housed in a black cloth clamshell case.

“[Over] a century after this book’s first publication, few Americans are unfamiliar with the image of Dorothy being carried by a Kansas cyclone into the magical land of Oz, where she meets the scarecrow, the tin woodman, and the cowardly lion. Their adventures looking for the Emerald City and the wizard have become a permanent part of American popular culture. Baum’s work, originally self-published with striking illustrations by William Warren Denslow, was an immediate success with children; its popularity now is largely based on the 1939 film, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy. In his introduction to the book, Baum argued that ‘the old-time fairy tale, having served for generations, may now be classed as ‘historical’…the time has come for a series of newer ‘wonder tales.’…Modern education includes morality, therefore the modern child needs only entertainment in its wonder-tales.…’ The Wonderful Wizard of Oz lays claim to a place among the turning points in the secularization of American children’s literature” (The New York Public Library’s Books of the Century).

Blanck, Peter Parley to Penrod, pp. 111-113. Greene and Hanff, pp. 25-27. Item #01542

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