A cyclone hits the plains of Kansas, plucking up the house where orphan Dorothy and her little dog Toto live with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. The house is whirled high into the air, and lands, with Dorothy and Toto, in the magical land of Oz. To return home, Dorothy must find the Great Wizard of Oz, destroy the Wicked Witch of the West, and travel even further, to the powerful Good Witch of the South. Fortunately, Dorothy finds new friends and loyal companions, a Scarecrow without a brain, a Tin Woodman without a heart and a Cowardly Lion, to accompany her on her quest to the Emerald City and beyond.
L. Frank Baum tried his hand at numerous ventures, from poultry farmer to theatre impresario, yet it was only when he began to write children’s stories that he found success. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900, and has since become one of the most popular children’s books of all time, inspiring many sequels and the beloved MGM film of 1939.
I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas.’ ‘That is because you have no brains,’ answered the girl. ‘…There is no place like home.’
It is the quintessential American fable, a story of striving, self-determination and optimism. Dorothy is the personification of youthful enterprise and resourcefulness: a girl in a strange land who finds her way home and establishes true friendships in the process. It is also a powerful story of illusion and showmanship: the Wizard is not a real magician, but a showman who spreads happiness through benign deception. This figure could well represent Baum himself and his belief in the redemptive power of the imagination.
Above all, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a spellbinding story filled with excitement. The land of Oz is beautiful, with its happy Munchkins and dazzling Emerald City, but there are also Winged Monkeys, witches, wolves and deadly poppy fields which poison the unwary. This Folio Society edition contains 25 enchanting images, including 7 double-page spreads and 10 full-page pictures. Award-winning artist Sara Ogilvie has captured all the book’s colour and charm, from the slinking, shame-faced Lion to the terrifying Kalidahs. Green-washed duotone images represent the Emerald City, and a double-page map shows the topography of Oz. In a fascinating new introduction, Harvard professor Maria Tatar explains why we, like Dorothy, are drawn to Oz time and again.