Who Wrote The Wizard of Oz? Seriously? You Don’t Know?

What are we teaching people today? L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and a dozen-odd Oz books after it. Then a couple of other folks kept churning them out.

Yeah, I wrote it, beeyotches. Taint Nuthin You Can Do Bout It, Neither.
L. Frank Baum sez: Yeah, I wrote it, beeyotches. Taint Nuthin You Can Do Bout It, Neither.

Baum didn’t have much luck in the newspaper business. He staged a few minorly successful plays. Ran a store called “Baum’s Bizarre”–right into bankruptcy.  He was a reporter for the Saturday Evening Post. He worked at as a traveling salesman. Then he wrote his first modestly successful book: Mother Goose in Prose. He followed it up with Father Goose. Then, in 1900, he published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. And, in doing so, he produced a timeless classic that will give him a literary legacy that last for hundreds of years. Indeed, it’s already made the first 108 years pretty well.

One of the Early Editions of L. Frank Baums The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
One of the Early Editions of L. Frank Baums The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Baum cranked out 13 sequels, such as Ozma of Oz.

Ozma of Oz. I really Enjoyed this books as a kid.
Ozma of Oz. I really Enjoyed this books as a kid.
Though it diverged a fair amount from the plot of the book, I really enjoy the 1939 movie musical version of the Wizard of Oz as well.

 

And his influences continues. In one of my current favorite TV shows, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Wizard of Oz has been repeatedly references, to the point where one of the fake names taken by the Connor family is “Baum”.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz will also make an appearance in the upcoming Brendan Fraser vehicle, Inkeart.

L. Frank was a pretty influential writer. If you haven’t yet, get to know your L. Frank Baum.

 

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