Oz and beyond: The Fantasy World of L. Frank Baum


The Land of Oz was just one in a whole continent of fantasy countries whose histories, geographies, and citizens Baum developed. Oz and Beyond provides the first comprehensive analysis of all of Baum's fantasy creations?including a full-scale mythology that foreshadowed Tolkien's Middle Earth in its imaginative detail.

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The Land of Oz was just one in a whole continent of fantasy countries whose histories, geographies, and citizens Baum developed. Oz and Beyond provides the first comprehensive analysis of all of Baum's fantasy creations—including a full-scale mythology that foreshadowed Tolkien's Middle Earth in its imaginative detail.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A most readable guide to that land over the rainbow. Will inspire renewed appreciation for a great writer's magical vision.
The Baum Bugle
Oz fans will feel vindicated as Riley accords Baum proper literary recognition and celebrates his most important achievement.
Yellowback Library
Of interest to both 'old timers' in the Oz field and to those who are just discovering L. Frank Baum.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Baum created Oz in 1900 and wrote 14 Oz novels but sometimes had a less cohesive and consistent idea of Oz than his devoted fans, who faithfully welded together the scraps of information scattered throughout the books. Riley, though a professor of children's literature, is for the most part simply an academically grounded fan. Unlike such critics as Roger Sale (Fairy Tales and After), who saw Baum's faults as clearly as his achievements, Riley sanctifies Baum's (1856-1919) artistic and personal life. Born to a happy and eventually wealthy Syracuse, N.Y., family, Baum grew up with ambitions for a life in theater. Except for the huge success of a stage musical based on (and quite different from) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum's show-business aspirations all ended disastrously. His identity as creator and sustainer of Oz was thrust upon him through economic desperation and reader demand. Riley reads Baum's many other, non-Ozian stories and novels as "drawn together into a single Other-world" with the Oz books, which really just means that Baum's creations are characteristically Baumian. He demonstrates how Baum expanded, distorted and changed Oz through both intention and carelessness, as when, in the fifth book in the series, he "banished natural death from Oz... Oz has become more than a haven from danger; it has become a haven from death itself." But rather than explore the meaning of this shift, Riley simply details the inconsistencies it creates in earlier books. (July)
Library Journal
L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) was a complex visionary who created a distinctly American form of mythologyan enduring and unforgettable other-world that continues to influence American culture and literature. Riley (Castleton State Coll.) here examines Baum's life and richly creative imagination. Evaluating Baum's writing career within the context of his childhood and adult experiences, he amply explores his literary links to such notables as J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In this comprehensive account, he also reviews previous studies of Baum's work and chronologically details significant historical and cultural influences. A literary history examining a rich and varied past, this is a most readable guide to that land over the rainbow, firmly establishing Baum's importance to the history of American children's literature and to the fantasy/folklore tradition. It will inspire renewed appreciation for a great writer's magical vision.Richard K. Burns, MSIS, Hatboro, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700609338
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Prologue: American Arcadia 2
Ch. 1 Charmed Youth and Years of Struggle (1856-1895) 14
Ch. 2 The Discovery of the Other-World (1896-1900) 30
A New Wonderland (The Magical Monarch of Mo) 33
Mother Goose in Prose 38
Father Goose, His Book 40
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 41
Ch. 3 Exploration of the Other-World (1901-1904) 60
Dot and Tot of Merryland 61
American Fairy Tales 70
The Master Key: An Electrical Fairy Tale 73
The Wizard of Oz: Musical Extravaganza 76
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus 78
The Enchanted Island of Yew 86
Queen Zixi of Ix 90
Ch. 4 Further Exploration (1904-1907) 96
The Marvelous Land of Oz 97
The Woggle-Bug 108
Animal Fairy Tales and Other Stories 111
King Rinkitink 113
"Premiere Juvenile Author" 116
John Dough and the Cherub 118
"Laura Bancroft" 124
Ch. 5 Concentration on Oz (1907-1910) 128
Turning Point 132
Ozma of Oz 134
Beginning of the Continent 138
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz 141
The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays 150
The Road to Oz 151
The Emerald City of Oz 160
Ch. 6 Beginning Again (1911-1916) 168
The Sea Fairies and Sky Island 170
Back to Oz 171
The Patchwork Girl of Oz 172
Tik-Tok of Oz 180
The Scarecrow of Oz 194
The Oz Film Manufacturing Company 197
Rinkitink in Oz 199
Ch. 7 Resolution of Conflict (1917-1919) 202
The Lost Princess of Oz 204
The Tin Woodman of Oz 210
The Magic of Oz 218
Glinda of Oz 221
The Last Journey 225
Epilogue: Oz After Baum 230
Appendix A Baum's Description of Oz, 1910 243
Appendix B Baum's Description of Oz, 1918 246
Notes 249
Bibliography 265
Index 281
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