Tuesday, May 15, 2012

L. Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz

L. Frank Baum
It is the birthday of author L. Frank Baum (1856), whose delightful children's story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), has enchanted youngsters and adults for generations. Baum's book was immediately successful, and over the years he wrote 13 sequels. Though he often vowed he had written is last Oz book as he turned to other fantasies, he returned to the wonderful land of Oz. Baum was a sickly child and turned early to writing stories and plays, and to publishing. He produced a local newspaper as a child and magazines devoted to stamp collecting and raising poultry. Baum and his wife Maud moved to the Dakota Territory in 1888, where he operated a store that went bankrupt. He edited the local paper, The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer. He moved to Chicago in 1891, worked as a reporter and wrote a collection of Mother Goose stories written in prose. That was followed by Father Goose, His Book (1899). He moved to California in started a movie production company that failed in a year. Baum wrote numerous children's fantasy books, short stories and plays. He also wrote novels under pseudonyms, including Edith VanDyne (Aunt Jane series), Floyd Akers (Boy Fortune Hunter series), Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, Suzanne Metcalf  and Laura Bancroft.

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