The Emerald City of Oz is the sixth of L. Frank Baum's fourteen Land of Oz books. Originally published on July 20, 1910, it is the story of Dorothy Gale and her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em coming to live in Oz permanently. While they are toured through the Quadling Country, the Nome King is assembling allies for an invasion of Oz. This is the first time in the Oz series that Baum made use of double plots for one of the books.
Baum had intended to cease writing Oz stories with this book, but financial pressures prompted him to write and publish The Patchwork Girl of Oz, with seven other Oz books to follow.
The Emerald City of Oz contains more material on the social organization of Oz than most of the earlier books, and as a consequence has attracted commentary on its Utopian aspects. The "explicitly socialist" economy of Oz has been contrasted to other "fantasy" projections of socialist societies, like Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888) and William Morris's News from Nowhere (1890). How far such analyses and comparisons should be pursued is of course open to debate; as Baum writes of the social structure of Oz in Chapter Three: "I do not suppose such an arrangement would be practical with us." Gregory Maguire, author of the revisionist Oz novels Wicked and Son of a Witch, has written that The Emerald City of Oz "is suffused with an elegiac quality" and compares its tone with that of The Last Battle, the final volume of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.
At the beginning of this story, it is made quite clear that Dorothy, the primary protagonist of many of the previous Oz books, is in the habit of freely speaking of her adventures to her only living relatives, her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Neither of them believes a word of her stories, but consider her a dreamer. She is undeterred, unlike her alter ego in the film Return to Oz, who is much perturbed by her guardians' doubts.
Later, it is revealed that the destruction of their farmhouse by the cyclone in the original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has left Uncle Henry in terrible debt. In order to pay it, he has taken out a mortgage on his farm. If he cannot repay his creditors, they will seize the farm. He is not afraid for himself, but both he and his wife, Aunt Em, fear very much for their niece's future. Dorothy arranges with Princess Ozma to take them to the Land of Oz, where they will be safe. Using the magic belt, a tool captured from the jealous Nome King Roquat, Ozma transports them to her throne room. They are given rooms to live in and luxuries to enjoy, including a vast and complex wardrobe. They meet with many of Dorothy's animal friends, including the Cowardly Lion and Billina the Yellow Hen.
In the underground Nome Kingdom, the desirous Roquat is plotting to seize the Land of Oz. He was greatly embarrassed years ago when Dorothy, Ozma, and their many friends entered his domain and freed the royal family of Ev from imprisonment; as a result, he wants to embarrass them in a similar way. After ordering the expulsion of his General, who will not agree to such an attack, and the death of his Colonel, who also refuses, King Roquat holds counsel with a veteran soldier called Guph. Guph believes that against the many magicians and magicks of Oz (the reputation of which has grown in the telling), the Nome Army has no chance alone. The story continues from here.
Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author of children's books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen novel sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a host of other works (55 novels in total, plus four "lost" novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts, and many miscellaneous writings), and made numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and screen. His works predicted such century-later commonplaces as television, augmented reality, laptop computers (The Master Key) and wireless telephones (Tik-Tok).