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L Frank Baum’s Pseudonyms: Suzanne Metcalf and Annabel

When The Baum is not
The Baum
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!

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New Wizard of Oz Book Category: “Wild and Homeless” Books

Oz-Man Tales The Yellow Hen, Ozma and the Little Wizard (sold), Denslow’s ABC Book, and Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz 1st Edition/2nd Printing

New: Wild & Homeless Books

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.

You can find my Wild & Homeless books here. Some available at the time listed below. Have fun!

Vintage TIN WOODMAN OF OZ Book 12 Color Plates L Frank Baum John R Neill 1923

1927 Reilly & Lee Original LAND OF OZ Coloring Contest Wizard of Oz MAP

DOROTHY and THE WIZARD IN OZ Baum 1st Edn/2nd Print L Frank Baum 1911 Fair

W W Denslow FAIRBANKS HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES 1916 Fairy Soap Advertising Booklet

SCALAWAGONS OF Oz w/ Dust Jacket John R Neill Reilly & Lee Wizard of Oz Book

DENSLOW’S A B C Book ABC Dillingham Picture Book 1st Edn 1903 Wizard of Oz ANNABEL Book L Frank Baum (Suzanne Metcalf) 1912 Reading Copy

Wizard of Oz Stageplay Fred Stone “Putting the Scarecrow Together” Original Postcard 1906

DENSLOW’S Scarecrow and the Tin-man Wizard of Oz Illustrator Denslow Book

Sale: OZ-MAN TALES: THE YELLOW HEN L Frank Baum John R Neill Oz Book 1920 Fair

WIZARD OF OZ Redbook’s Picture of the Month MGM Movie Article Sept 1939

OZMA & the LITTLE WIZARD Wizard of Oz Jell-O Jello 1932 L Frank Baum Book

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz Interview Leroy, Fleming, Judy Magazine

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The White City or The Emerald City? The 1893 Columbian Exposition and The Wizard of Oz

The 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago was sometimes called “The White City” and is said to have inspired the Emerald City of Oz in the 1899 collaboration between L Frank Baum and W W Denslow. Denslow left San Francisco to document the Chicago fair for local newspapers, and visited it frequently. Baum also moved to Chicago in anticipation of the Expo and certainly visited as well. Indeed, the domes of the White City, shown below, do bear a strong resemblance to components of Denslow’s Emerald City in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Emerald City of Oz White City of 1893 Denslow
The temporary buildings were mostly destroyed after the Expo, and Denslow had vanity photos taken of himself in the ruins. They were published in the Inland Printer in 1895. Thanks to Peter Hanff for the image below of a sporty Denslow lounging. 1893 Chicago Expo White City Denslow Inland Printer 1895

This wasn’t the last connection between W W Denslow and the 1893 Expo. He revisited it almost 20 years later, in one of the scenes in Fairbank’s Juvenile History of the United States, a 1911 advertising booklet for Fairy soap!Fairbank's Juvenile History of the United States Denslow 1893 Expo

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Special W W Denslow Issue of the Baum Bugle!

Artist W W Denslow. Note “Roycroft” carved into the cabinet to his left.

Oct 2015 Update: The Denslow Bugle issue is out; it’s beautiful, and I have a limited number of extra copies available for $15 plus shipping. You can purchase it here.   It is no longer available with Club membership as when I wrote the blog, below.

Are you a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club? I hope so, because if so, you’ll receive the special W. W. Denslow issue of the Baum Bugle magazine due out shortly! Denslow was co-creator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book with L Frank Baum, and he’s my favorite real-life Oz character. So I’m helping Bugle editor Craig Noble create and edit this special issue, on the 100-year anniversary of Denslow’s death in 1915.

While Denslow only illustrated a few of Baum’s books, he was a hugely prolific artist. This special issue will include two articles that I’ve written on Denslow and the Roycrofters (including a Roycroft checklist), and also will describe some newly discovered trade cards drawn by Denslow. Others will write about how Denslow’s artistic style developed, his Billy Bounce comic strip, his postcards, his personal archive, Denslow Island, and more. You’ll even get a peek at Oz Club members who proudly wear Denslow hippocampus tattoos!

To make sure you get this Ozsome issue (which will have some color pages for better display of Den’s art), make sure you join the Oz Club soon, here! It’s only $25 per year and will bring you together with a great group of people who foster Oz education and activities. Plus, you get the Bugle and 20% off books published by the Club.

Are you a Denslow fan already? Some of us would like to sponsor a memorial Denslow stone on the “Appian Way” walkway at the Roycroft campus in East Aurora, New York. If we get enough contributions, we can get a larger stone and have it engraved with his hippocampus symbol! Denslow deserves this recognition at the place where he contributed so much to the success of Roycrofters’ hand-crafted books. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me here.   Photos and description by Wonderful Books of Oz, copyright protected through the DMCA act of 1998.

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In Memoriam: Artisans of Oz and Roycroft

Denslow Soldier with Green Whiskers
 Soldier with Green Whiskers
Art by W W Denslow

In Memoriam

      Let’s take a moment to thank those artisans who brought us the wonder of Oz and the beauty of Roycroft:

Lotta Faust (d. 1910)
W W Denslow (d. 1915)

Elbert & Alice Hubbard (d. 1915)
L Frank Baum (d. 1919)
John R Neill (d. 1943)

Alexis Fournier (d. 1948)
Jack Snow (d. 1956)
Fred Stone (d. 1959)
Dard Hunter (d. 1966)
Judy Garland (d. 1969)
Ruth Plumly Thompson (d. 1976)
Dick Martin (d. 1990)
Rob Roy MacVeigh (d. 1992)
Eloise McGraw (d. 2000)
Leonid Vladimirsky (d. 2015)
Photos and description by Wonderful Books of Oz, copyright protected through the DMCA act of 1998. Please contact me for permission to use photos or text.