Frank L Baum

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Florence Kasumba as the Wicked Witch of the East in NBC’s “Emerald City” 

“NBC has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order for “Emerald City,” a reimagining of the classic Frank L. Baum books that have inspired everything from “The Wizard Of Oz” to “Wicked.”

Based on the 14-book series that first created the Land of Oz, “Emerald City” is described as a dramatic and modern retelling of the tales that include lethal warriors, competing kingdoms, and the infamous wizard as we’ve never seen him before.” via shadowandact  


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Princess Langwidere from Ozma of Oz, ills. by J R Neill.

Now I must explain to you that the Princess Langwidere had thirty heads—as many as there are days in the month. But of course she could only wear one of them at a time, because she had but one neck. These heads were kept in what she called her “cabinet,” which was a beautiful dressing-room that lay just between Langwidere’s sleeping-chamber and the mirrored sitting-room. Each head was in a separate cupboard lined with velvet… .

When the Princess got out of her crystal bed in the morning she went to her cabinet, opened one of the velvet-lined cupboards, and took the head it contained from its golden shelf. Then, by the aid of the mirror inside the open door, she put on the head—as neat and straight as could be—and afterward called her maids to robe her for the day. She always wore a simple white costume, that suited all the heads. For, being able to change her face whenever she liked, the Princess had no interest in wearing a variety of gowns, as have other ladies who are compelled to wear the same face constantly.

Twinkle and Chubbins: Their Astonishing Adventures in Nature Fairyland. Laura Bancroft (Frank L Baum). Illustrated by Maginel Wright Enright. Chicago: Reilly & Britton. (1911). First edition. Original dust jacket.

“In the middle of the room sat a woodchuck whose hair was grizzled with old age. He wore big spectacles upon his nose, and a round knitted cap, with a tassel dangling from the top, on his head. His only garment was an old and faded dressing-gown.”

Prince Mud-Turtle. Laura Bancroft (Frank L Baum). Chicago: Reilly & Britton (1906). Illustrated in color by Maginel Wright Enright. First edition. 

Title in the Twinkle Tale Series, this is a wonderful fantasy written by Baum under his Bancroft pseudonym. Twinkle finds a turtle that can speak only on Saturdays because he is a fairy prince who has been transformed by an evil Corrugated Giant.

We weren’t born yesterday. We are from [New York]. But we are also from somewhere else. We are from Oz, from the Looking-Glass Land, from Narnia, and from Middle Earth. If with part of ourselves we are men and women of the world and share the sad unbeliefs of the world, with a deeper part still, the part where our best dreams come from, it is as if we were indeed born yesterday, or almost yesterday, because we are also all of us children still.
—  Frederick Buechne