L. Frank Baum

L. Frank Baum (Lyman Frank Baum) (bôm), 1856–1919, American journalist, playwright, and author of children's stories, b. Chittenango, N.Y. He and his family moved to South Dakota in 1888, where he ran a newspaper, and to Chicago in 1891, where he worked as a journalist. At various times, he also worked as an actor, playwright, shop owner, and salesman. His first children's book, Mother Goose in Prose (1897), was followed by Father Goose: His Book (1899), which was an immediate best seller. In 1900 he published his most famous work, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a story about a little girl carried by a tornado to the magical land of Oz. Baum's dramatization of the book was produced in 1902; the story was made into a popular motion picture in 1938. Although he wrote more than 70 children's books, Baum's fame rests largely on The Wizard and his 13 other stories of Oz, including Ozma of Oz (1907) and The Scarecrow of Oz (1915), all of which emphasize practicality, self-reliance, tolerance, egalitarianism, and other attributes regarded as American virtues.

See M. P. Hearn, ed., The Annotated Wizard of Oz (1973, upd. ed. 2000); biographies by K. M. Rogers (2002) and R. Loncraine (2009); E. I. Schwartz, Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story (2009).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

L. Frank Baum: Selected full-text books and articles

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz By L. Frank Baum; John R. Neill Books of Wonder; William Morrow, 1990
FREE! The Magic of Oz By L. Frank Baum; John R. Neill Reilly & Lee, 1919
FREE! The Tin Woodman of Oz By L. Frank Baum; John R. Neill The Reilly & Lee, 1918
FREE! The Patchwork Girl of Oz By L. Frank Baum; John R. Neill Reilly & Lee, 1913
FREE! Ozma of Oz By L. Frank Baum; John R. Neill Scholastic Book Service, 1907
FREE! The Enchanted Island of Yew By L. Frank Baum The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1903
Our Landlady By L. Frank Baum; Nancy Tystad Koupal University of Nebraska Press, 1996
Contours of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the Eighth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts By Michele K. Langford Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "The Glass around the Jewels: Baum's Ambivalent Vision" begins on p. 89
The Fantasy Tradition in American Literature: From Irving to Le Guin By Brian Attebery Indiana University Press, 1980
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Oz"
Trickster in the Land of Dreams By Zeese Papanikolas University of Nebraska Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "The Road to Oz"
Intersections: Fantasy and Science Fiction By George E. Slusser; Eric S. Rabkin Southern Illinois University Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of L. Frank Baum begins on p. 13
Political Mythology and Popular Fiction By Ernest J. Yanarella; Lee Sigelman Greenwood Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Democracy and Community In American Children's Literature"
Shapers of the Great Debate on Native Americans--Land, Spirit, and Power: A Biographical Dictionary By Bruce E. Johansen Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) and Other Advocates of Genocide" begins on p. 192
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