L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz: A Biography

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St. Martin's Publishing Group, Apr 1, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
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Since it was first introduced over a hundred years ago in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum's world of Oz has become one of the most enduring and beloved creations in children's literature. It has influenced numerous prominent writers and intellectuals, and become a lasting part of the culture itself.

L. Frank Baum was born in 1856 in upstate New York, the seventh child of a very successful barrel-maker and later oil producer. However, Baum's own career path was a rocky one. Beginning as an actor, Baum tried working as a traveling salesman, the editor of a small town newspaper and the publisher of a trade journal on retailing, failing to distinguish himself in any occupation. His careers either failed to provide a sufficient living for his beloved wife Maud and their children or were so exhausting as to be debilitating. In the 1890's, L. Frank Baum took the advice of his mother-in-law, suffragist leader Matilda Gage, and turned his attention to trying to sell the stories he'd been telling to his sons and their friends. After a few children's books published with varying success, he published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900 and it quickly became a bestseller and has remained so ever since.

In this first full-length adult biography of Baum, Rogers discusses some of the aspects that made his work unique and has likely contributed to Oz's long-lasting appeal, including Baum's early support of feminism and how it was reflected in his characters, his interest in Theosophy and how it took form in his books, and the celebration in his stories of traditional American values. Grounding his imaginative creations, particularly in his fourteen Oz books, in the reality of his day, Katharine M. Rogers explores the fascinating life and influences of America's greatest writer for children.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

This is a matter of fact but warmly sympathetic literary biography - that is, discussing both the author and his major works - of L. Frank Baum, best known for writing the Wizard of Oz. I haven't read ... Read full review

L. Frank Baum, creator of Oz: [a biography]

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

It is not unknown for young readers enchanted by the tales of L. Frank Baum's Oz to carry with them throughout their lives the desire to move to that magical country. Baum authored not only The Wizard ... Read full review


Creator of Oz one Early Life Actor Playwright Oil Salesman 18561888
Creator of Oz two Frontier Storekeeper and Newspaper Editor 18881891
Creator of Oz three Becoming a Writer in Chicago 18911900
Creator of Oz four The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 18991900
Creator of Oz five Successful Author 19011903
Creator of Oz six Reilly Brittons Star Author 19041907
Creator of Oz seven Royal Historian of Oz 19071910
Creator of Oz eight A New Life in California 19091914
Creator of Oz nine A Writer to the End 19141919
Creator of Oz ten Baums Achievement The World He Created
Creator of Oz NOTES
Creator of Oz INDEX

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About the author (2007)

Katharine M. Rogers helped establish women's studies programs at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center. She has published five books and edited four anthologies of 18th- and 19th-century literature. She is married with three grown children, and lives in Maryland.

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