FIRST EDITION OF THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, “THE FIRST TRULY ENDURING AMERICAN FANTASY”
BAUM, L. Frank. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Chicago and New York: George M. Hill, 1900. Octavo, original pictorial light green cloth. Housed in full pictorial green and red morocco clamshell box.
First edition, second state, of “the first truly enduring American fantasy” (Connolly, 38), illustrated with 24 color plates and numerous in-text illustrations by W.W. Denslow.
"Among the five Baum titles published in 1900, preeminent even then was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The New York Times found it 'bright and joyous' and omnisciently offered, 'It will indeed be strange if there be a normal child who will not enjoy the story.' The first edition was a picturesque novelty with its 24 color plates and many line drawings; Denslow's conceptions of the characters and landscapes contributed immeasurably to the book's popularity" (Fricke, 22). Baum "set out to change children's books and made a lasting contribution to American literature… The Wizard of Oz has entered American folklore. It reflected and has altered the American character" (Hearn, xiii). "Those who read the Oz books are often made what they were not—imaginative, tolerant, alert to wonders, life" (Gore Vidal). This title is bibliographically complicated since the text, color plates and binding were separately produced, and individual books were not assembled in a uniform manner; copies exist with binding, text and plates in various combinations. This copy possesses second state text and plates. Cased in binding B (imprint stamped in red sans serif type). Hanff & Greene, 25-27. Bienvenue, 6. Barron, Fantasy and Horror 5-19. See Blanck, 111-13.
Scattered light foxing and soiling. Title page with expert color restoration to a small abrasion, right margin trimmed (not affecting image). Closed tear to plate facing page 150. Several repairs to verso of plates facing pages 160, 246. Text with a few short, marginal closed tears; small loss to upper corner of page 239. Occasional restorations and repairs to margins and gutters. Cloth with expert restoration, light rubbing and soiling.