As if writing scores of books, plays and comics under his own name wasn’t enough, L Frank Baum also wrote books under a number of pseudonyms. These included Floyd Akers (Boy Fortune Hunters series), Edith Van Dyne (Aunt Jane’s Nieces and Mary Louise), Laura Bancroft (Twinkle Tales) and a few others. Find a comprehensive list of these books here.
One of Baum’s lesser known pseudonyms was Suzanne Metcalf. “Metcalf” wrote one book: “Annabel: A Novel for Young Folk.” This 1906 foray into kid’s non-fantasy lit was re-issued in 1912, with the thought of creating a new series and much-needed income for Baum. While the second edition (shown at top right) was more visually attractive than the first (shown at bottom), no sequels were ever published. Both editions are more difficult to find than many of Baum’s other books. (Note the differing spellings of “Suzanne/Susanne” on the front covers.)
Despite its name, Annabel has both a male and female main character and also introduces Mary Louise, a character named after Baum’s favorite sibling.The publisher’s catalog says Annabel “breathes the purest thoughts and impulses of a girl blossoming into womanhood and her gentle influence on the life of a struggling boy”. Well, apparently pure thoughts didn’t sell much better 100 years ago than they do today!
Right now, I have a well-loved 2nd edition in my Wild & Homeless Books category (reading copy). Also check out other interesting Wizard of Oz and Roycroft items under New Listings. And don’t forget the ever-expanding Sale Items!
“Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”
This fabulous quote by Virginia Woolf inspired me to create a new category at Wonderful Books of Oz: Wild & Homeless Books. These Oziana items have special qualities, like being early, rare, or having fabulous illustrations, but they have more than the usual faults–their previous owner may have been a wild child! Now they’re priced nicely and are only looking for a good, non-judgmental home. Some examples of the types of books included are shown in the photo.