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

A Spectacular First Edition of the “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 and first state of one of the two plates. 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 second state, without 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 C, with the publisher’s imprint at foot of spine in plain, unserifed type, stamped in red rather than green, and with the “C” of Co.” encircling the “o”).. “The 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. There is some very minor rubbing to the corners and the upper spine extremities. The bottom of the spine has been professionally and almost invisibly strengthened. This is a remarkable copy, in near fine condition. Housed in a dark green cloth clamshell case. Provenance: Bradley Martin with the bookplate of Mildred Greenhill on the front paste-down.

“[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 #02846

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