Sold: The Magic of Oz 1961 Russian Translation Rare Moscow Published, L Frank Baum (Not Volkov)

Original price was: $85.00.Current price is: $55.00.

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Here is an early Russian to English translation of The Magic of Oz, published in 1961 by the State Test-Book Publishing House in Leningrad. 120 pages with an English to Russian glossary in the back. By “Frank Baum”, “retold for the 6th form of the eight-year school by G. Magidson-Stepanova”. This little book in paper wraps is just 5″x8″, and was published in Leningrad. Unusual in that this is L Frank Baum’s version of Oz, not the usual Soviet block Volkov version of Oz. It does have small black and white illustrations throughout and an attractive wraparound cover of the Emerald City.

About this book from the 2008 Bloomsbury auction catalog (possibly written by consulting expert Michael Patrick Hearn): “This Russian textbook was used in the classroom to help Soviet boys and girls learn English. It is a fairly accurate but abridged retelling of The Wizard of Oz and The Magic of Oz as a single story and remarkably free of propaganda. Aleksandr Volkov took more liberties with the original story in the first Russian translation of The Wizard of Oz in 1939. However, in presenting the two stories as one continuous narrative, Glinda the Good becomes Ozma in this schoolbook. She invites Dorothy to come back to the Emerald City for her birthday party. Also, some of the secondary adventures such as Trot and Cap’n Bill ‘s quest in The Magic of Oz were dropped. The footnotes and glossary at the end explain English words and phrases in Russian. The illustrator N. A. Noskovich was a survivor of the Gulag. She lived in the Tomsk camp in the 1930s.”

With substantial wear to paper spine, cover corner folds, and age toning but generally very good inside with no writing or tears.