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Over the Rainbow, and many, many miles East of nowhere, lies the Magical Land of Oz. A magnificent empire created in the mind of an American man named Lyman Frank Baum, who wrote a Wonderful and Marvelous book about it. And like wildfire in the wheatfield, the spellbinding tale of the Wizard of Oz spread from town, to city, to nation. And even to the hearts of millions all over the world.
- "you are not courageous if not afraid when facing danger. For true courage is facing danger when you are afraid! "
- ―Lyman Frank Baum R.I.P
- "...I believe that Dreams, day Dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing and dancing about, are likely to lead to the betterment of the World. The imaginative Dreaming child will one day become the imaginative Dreaming man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization and keep humanity young at Heart..."
- ―Lyman Frank Baum. R.I.P
- "I think God was foolish when he gave us hearts, as hearts can make us so unhappy. "
- ―Lyman Frank Baum R.I.P
THE ROYAL HISTORIAN OF OZ
- "Never give into despair, for behind every gloomy cloud, there is a bright Rainbow..."
- ―Lyman Frank Baum R.I.P
L. Frank Baum (15 May 1856 – 6 May 1919) was an American stage performer, actor, poet and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator W. W. Denslow, of one of the most popular books ever written in American children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, better known today as simply The Wizard of Oz. He named himself Royal Historian of Oz and wrote thirteen sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a plethora of other works, and made numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and screen.
Baum would become an iconic figure in story telling. He is responsible for giving a very special gift of spellbinding magic and comort to millions of people from all over the world. Decades later people still could not forget nor resist from falling under his spell and in love with his fictional creations of Wicked Witches, magic shoes and flying Monkeys. An entrancing phenomenon, even over one hundred years after his Death. Baum is a legend in literature, and best known as the man who wrote and told the very first American Fairytale; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz of 1900.
Baum's childhood and early life
Frank was born in Chittenango, New York, into a devout Methodist family of German (father's side) and Scots-Irish (mother's side) origin, the seventh of nine children born to Cynthia Stanton and Benjamin Ward Baum, only five of whom survived into adulthood. He was named "Lyman" after his father's brother, but always disliked this name, and preferred to go by "Frank". His mother, Cynthia Stanton, was a direct descendant of Thomas Stanton, one of the four Founders of what is now Stonington, Connecticut.
Benjamin Baum was a wealthy businessman, who had made his fortune in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. Frank grew up on his parents' expansive estate, Rose Lawn, which he always remembered fondly as a sort of paradise. As a young child Frank was tutored at home with his siblings, but at the age of 12 he was sent to study at Peekskill Military Academy. Frank was a sickly child given to daydreaming, and his parents may have thought he needed toughening up. But after two utterly miserable years at the military academy, he was allowed to return home. Frank Joslyn Baum claimed that this was following an incident described as a heart attack, though there is no contemporary evidence of this.
Frank started writing at an early age, perhaps due to an early fascination with printing. His father bought him a cheap printing press, and Frank used it to produce The Rose Lawn Home Journal with the help of his younger brother, Harry Clay Baum, with whom he had always been close. The brothers published several issues of the journal and included advertisements they may have sold. By the time he was 17, Baum had established a second amateur journal, The Stamp Collector, printed an 11-page pamphlet called Baum's Complete Stamp Dealers' Directory, and started a stamp dealership with his friends.
At about the same time Frank embarked upon his lifetime infatuation with the theater, a devotion which would repeatedly lead him to failure and near-bankruptcy. His first such failure occurred when a local theatrical company duped him into replenishing their stock of costumes, with the promise of leading roles that never came his way. Disillusioned, Baum left the theatre—temporarily—and went to work as a clerk in his brother-in-law's dry goods company in Syracuse. At one point, he found another clerk locked in a store room dead, an apparent suicide. This incident appears to have inspired his locked room story, "The Suicide of Kiaros.
At the age of 20, Baum took on a new vocation: the breeding of fancy poultry, which was a national craze at the time. He specialized in raising a particular breed of fowl, the Hamburg chicken. In 1880 he established a monthly trade journal, The Poultry Record, and in 1886, when Baum was 30 years old, his first book was published: The Book of the Hamburgs.
Yet Baum could never stay away from the stage long. He continued to take roles in plays, performing under the stage names of Louis F. Baum and George Brooks.
In 1880, his father built him a theatre in Richburg, New York, and Baum set about writing plays and gathering a company to act in them. The Maid of Arran, a melodrama with songs based on William Black's novel A Princess of Thule, proved a modest success. Baum not only wrote the play but composed songs for it (making it a prototypical musical, as its songs relate to the narrative), and acted in the leading role. His aunt, Katharine Gray, played his character's aunt. She was the founder of Syracuse Oratory School, and Baum advertised his services in her catalog to teach theatre, including stage business, playwriting, directing, and translating (French, German, and Italian), revision, and operettas, though he was not employed to do so. On November 9, 1882, Baum married Maud Gage, a daughter of Matilda Joslyn Gage, a famous women's suffrage activist. While Baum was touring with The Maid of Arran, the theatre in Richburg caught fire during a production of Baum's ironically-titled parlor drama, Matches, and destroyed not only the theatre, but the only known copies of many of Baum's scripts, including Matches, as well as costumes and props.
The South Dakota years
In July 1888, Baum and his wife moved to Aberdeen, Dakota Territory, where he opened a store, "Baum's Bazaar". His habit of giving out wares on credit led to the eventual bankrupting of the store, so Baum turned to editing a local newspaper, The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, where he wrote a column, Our Landlady. Baum's description of Kansas in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is based on his experiences in drought-ridden South Dakota. During much of this time, Matilda Joslyn Gage was living in the Baum household.
Baum Becomes A Successful Childrens' Author
After Baum's newspaper failed in 1891, he, Maud and their four sons moved to Chicago, where Baum took a job reporting for the Evening Post. For several years he edited The Show Window, a magazine focused on window displays in stores. The major department stores created elaborate Christmas time fantasies, using clockwork mechanism that made people and animals appear to move.
In 1897 he wrote and published Mother Goose in Prose, a collection of Mother Goose rhymes written as prose stories, and illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. Mother Goose was a moderate success, and allowed Baum to quit his door-to-door job.
In 1899 Baum partnered with illustrator W. W. Denslow, to publish Father Goose, His Book, a collection of nonsense poetry. The book was a success, becoming the best-selling children's book of the year.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
- "No matter how gray or dreary our homes are, we people of flesh and blood rather live there than any other place may it be more beautiful. For home is where the heart is, and there is no place like it!"
- ―Lyman Frank Baum R.I.P
"Folk lore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to childish hearts than all other human creations. Yet the old-time fairy tale, having served for generations, may now be classed as "historical" in the children's library; for the time has come for a series of newer "wonder tales" in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible, gory and blood-curdling incident devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder-tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident. Having this thought in mind, the story of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was written solely to pleasure children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the tragic heart-aches and nightmares are left out."
L. Frank Baum -
Chicago, April, 1900.
In circa 1899-1900, Baum and Denslow (with whom he shared the copyright) published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to much critical and financial acclaim. The book was the best-selling children's book for two years after its initial publication. Baum went on to write thirteen other novels based on the places and people of the Land of Oz.
Two years after Wizard's publication, Baum and Denslow teamed up with composer Paul Tietjens and director Julian Mitchell to produce a musical stage version of the book under Fred R. Hamlin. This stage version, the first to use the shortened title "The Wizard of Oz", opened in Chicago in 1902, then ran on Broadway for 293 stage nights from January to October 1903. It returned to Broadway in 1904, where it played from March to May and again from November to December. It successfully toured the United States with much of the same cast, as was done in those days, until 1911, and then became available for amateur use. The stage version starred David C. Montgomery and Fred Stone as the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow respectively, which shot the pair to instant fame. The stage version differed quite a bit from the book, and was aimed primarily at adults. Toto was replaced with Imogene the Cow; Tryxie Tryfle (a waitress) and Pastoria (a streetcar operator) were added as fellow cyclone victims. The Wicked Witch of the West was eliminated entirely in the script, over which Baum had little control or influence. Jokes in the script, mostly written by Glen MacDonough, called for explicit references to President Theodore Roosevelt, Senator Mark Hanna, and oil magnate John D. Rockefeller.
Beginning with the success of the stage version, most subsequent versions of the story, including newer editions of the novel, have been titled "The Wizard of Oz", rather than using the full, original title.
Following early film treatments in 1910 and 1925, Metro Goldwyn Mayer made the story into the now classic movie The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. A completely new Tony Award winning Broadway musical based on African-American musical styles, The Wiz was staged in 1975 with Stephanie Mills as Dorothy. It was the basis for a 1978 film by the same title starring Diana Ross as an adult Dorothy. The Wizard of Oz continues to inspire new versions such as Disney's 1985 Return to Oz, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and a variety of animated productions. One of today's most successful Broadway shows, Wicked, provides a backstory to the two Oz witches used in the classic MGM film. Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West author Gregory Maguire chose to honor L. Frank Baum by naming his main character Elphaba — a phonetic take on Baum's initials.
Later life and work
With the success of Wizard on page and stage, Baum and Denslow hoped lightning would strike a third time and in 1901 published Dot and Tot of Merryland. The book was one of Baum's weakest, and its failure further strained his faltering relationship with Denslow. It would be their last collaboration.
Several times during the development of the Oz series, Baum declared that he had written his last Oz book and devoted himself to other works of fantasy fiction based in other magical lands, including The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and Queen Zixi of Ix. However, persuaded by popular demand, letters from children, and the failure of his new books, he returned to the series each time. All of his novels have fallen into public domain in most jurisdictions, and many are available through Project Gutenberg.
Because of his lifelong love of theatre, he often financed elaborate musicals, often to his financial detriment. One of Baum's worst financial endeavors was his The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays (1908), which combined a slideshow, film, and live actors with a lecture by Baum as if he were giving a travelogue to Oz. However, Baum ran into trouble and could not pay his debts to the company who produced the films. He did not get back to a stable financial situation for several years, after he sold the royalty rights to many of his earlier works, including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This resulted in the M.A. Donahue Company publishing cheap editions of his early works with advertising that purported that Baum's newer output was inferior to the less expensive books they were releasing. Baum had shrewdly transferred most of his property, except for his clothing, his library (mostly of children's books, such as the fairy tales of Andrew Lang, whose portrait he kept in his study), and his typewriter, into Maud's name, as she handled the finances, anyway, and thus lost much less than he could have.
His final Oz book, Glinda of Oz was published a year after his death in 1920 but the Oz series was continued long after his death by other authors, notably Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote an additional nineteen Oz books.
Baum made use of several pseudonyms for some of his other, non-Oz books. They include:
- Edith Van Dyne (the Aunt Jane's Nieces series and other books)
- Laura Bancroft (The Twinkle Tales, Policeman Bluejay)
- Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald (the Sam Steele books)
- Floyd Akers (The Boy Fortune Hunters series, continuing the Sam Steele series)
- Suzanne Metcalf (Annabel)
- Schuyler Staunton (The Fate of a Crown, Daughters of Destiny)
- John Estes Cooke (Tamawaca Folks)
Baum also anonymously wrote The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile.
Baum continued theatrical work with Harry Marston Haldeman's men's social group, The Uplifters, for which he wrote several plays for various celebrations. He also wrote the group's parodic by-laws. The group, which also included Will Rogers, was proud to have had Baum as a member and posthumously revived many of his works despite their ephemeral intent. Prior to that, his last produced play was The Tik-Tok Man of Oz (based on Ozma of Oz and the basis for Tik-Tok of Oz), a modest success in Hollywood that producer Oliver Morosco decided did not do well enough to take to Broadway. Morosco, incidentally, quickly turned to film production, as would Baum.
In 1914, having moved to Hollywood years earlier, Baum started his own film production company, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, which came as an outgrowth of the Uplifters. He served as its president, and principal producer and screenwriter. The rest of the board consisted of Louis F. Gottschalk, Harry Marston Haldeman, and Clarence R. Rundel. The films were directed by J. Farrell MacDonald, with casts that included Violet MacMillan, Vivian Reed, Mildred Harris, Juanita Hansen, Pierre Couderc, Mai Welles, Louise Emmons, J. Charles Haydon, and early appearances by Harold Lloyd and Hal Roach. Richard Rosson appeared in one of the films, whose younger brother Harold Rosson photographed The Wizard of Oz (1939). After little success probing the unrealized children's film market, Baum came clean about who wrote The Last Egyptian and made a film of it (portions of which are included in Decasia), but the Oz name had, for the time being, become box office poison and even a name change to Dramatic Feature Films and transfer of ownership to Frank Joslyn Baum did not help. Unlike with The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, Baum invested none of his own money in the venture, but the stress probably took its toll on its health.
Baum & Women's Suffrage
Sally Roesch Wagner of The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation has published a pamphlet titled The Wonderful Mother of Oz describing how Matilda's radical feminist politics were sympathetically channelled by Baum into his Oz books. Much of the politics in the Republican Aberdeen Pioneer dealt with trying to convince the populace to vote for women's suffrage. Baum was the secretary of Aberdeen's Woman's Suffrage Club. When Susan B. Anthony visited Aberdeen, she stayed with the Baums. Nancy Tystad Koupal notes an apparent loss of interest in editorializing after Aberdeen failed to pass the bill for women's enfranchisement.
Some of Baum's contacts with suffragettes of his day seem to have inspired much of his second Oz story, The Marvelous Land of Oz. In this story, General Jinjur leads the girls and women of the Emerald City in a revolt by knitting needles, take over, and make the men do the household chores. His updating of Lysistrata reflects a bemused attitude.
American Indian Genocide
During the events leading up to the Wounded Knee Massacre, Baum wrote an editorial for the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer upon the death of Sioux Chief Sitting Bull stating:
- The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are.
After the Massacre he wrote a second editorial repeating his earlier opinion and criticizing the government for not taking even harsher measures. This second editorial ran on January 3, 1891 and made further call for genocide as follows:
- The peculiar policy of the government in employing so weak and vacillating a person as General Miles to look after the uneasy Indians, has resulted in a terrible loss of blood to our soldiers, and a battle which, at best, is a disgrace to the war department. There has been plenty of time for prompt and decisive measures, the employment of which would have prevented this disaster. The PIONEER has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination [sic] of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one or more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies safety for our settlers an the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past. An eastern contemporary, with a grain of wisdom in its wit, says that 'when the whites win a fight, it is a victory, and when the Indians win it, it is a massacre." 
These two short editorials continue to haunt his legacy. Matilda Joslyn Gage, a white feminist who was later adopted into the Mohawk nation, was living with Baum at the time of the Wounded Knee massacre, and none of the Baum family letters or journals of the time suggest any home strife as a result of this writing. In 2006, descendants of Baum apologized to the Sioux nation for any hurt their ancestor had caused.
These editorials are the only known occasion on which Baum expressed such direct views, though less hostile remarks in some other writing used racist vocabulary or stereotyping typical of the day. His overall writing is remarkably inclusive and his characters diverse. For example, aside from vocabulary no one would use today, he did acknowledge many Americans of non-European ancestry in The Woggle Bug Book to an extent unheard of in other 1905 children's publications. The short story, "The Enchanted Buffalo", which purports to be a Native American fable, speaks respectfully of tribal peoples.
Political imagery in The Wizard of Oz
Although numerous political references to the "Wizard" appeared early in the 20th century, it was in a scholarly article in 1964 (Littlefield 1964) that there appeared the first full-fledged interpretation of the novel as an extended political allegory of the politics and characters of the 1890s. Special attention was paid to the Populist metaphors and debates over silver and gold. As a staunch Republican and avid supporter of Women's Suffrage, Baum personally did not support the political ideals of either the Populist movement of 1890-92 or the Bryanite-silver crusade of 1896-1900. He published a poem in support of William McKinley.
Since 1964 many scholars, economists and historians have expanded on Littlefield's interpretation, pointing to multiple similarities between the characters (especially as depicted in Denslow's illustrations) and stock figures from editorial cartoons of the period. Littlefield himself wrote the New York Times letters to the editor section spelling out that his theory had no basis in fact, but was developed simply as a tool to help bored summer school students remember their history lesson.
Baum's newspaper had addressed politics in the 1890s, and Denslow was an editorial cartoonist as well as an illustrator of children's books. A series of political references are included in the 1902 stage version, such as references by name to the President and a powerful senator, and to John D. Rockefeller for providing the oil needed by the Tin Woodman. Scholars have found few political references in Baum's Oz books after 1902.
When Baum himself was asked whether his stories had hidden meanings, he always replied that they were written to please children and generate an income for his family.
Fans of the Oz books dismiss any political interpretation, and argue that Baum and Denslow had no interest in promoting any kind of political agenda.
Originally a Methodist, Baum joined the Episcopal Church in Aberdeen in order to participate in community theatricals. Later, he and his wife, encouraged by Matilda Joslyn Gage, dabbled in theosophy, in 1897. Baum's beliefs are often reflected in his writing, and although, the only mention of a church in his Oz books is the porcelain one which the Cowardly Lion breaks in the Dainty China Country in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Cap'n Bill mentions being thankful to God in The Magic of Oz, and Baum references God as The Supreme Master, in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, and The Supreme Maker in Policeman Bluejay (aka. Babes in Birdland) The Baums also sent their older sons to "Ethical Culture Sunday School" in Chicago, which taught morality but not religion.
- When Baum was writing The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, he once missed a typographical error which noted a woman's "roughish smile" instead of a "roguish smile." Legend has it, he was describing a bride at her wedding, and her husband was so irate that he challenged Baum to a gun duel. The two men were to stand back to back on one street, come around the corner, face each other, and shoot. Allegedly, Baum heard guns go off during the corner turn and started to run, and a man stopped him and said "you fool, the other guy's running!" Nancy Tystad Koupal accessed all microfilms of the Pioneer and found only one instance of "roughish smile." The woman described was, in fact, an actor in a community theatre production that Baum had inadvertently wandered in on. However, Baum adapts the legend in Aunt Jane's Nieces on Vacation. In that book, a typographical error describes Molly Sizer as having a "roughish smile," and her brother Bill Sizer sets out to give Arthur Weldon a beating in retaliation. This evolves into a comical duel.
- Baum was left handed, and gave the trait to his character Ojo in The Patchwork Girl of Oz. Ojo believes himself to be unlucky because of his left-handedness, but ultimately becomes known as Ojo the Lucky.
- When the wardrobe department of MGM began to buy costumes for the 1939 movie version of The Wizard of Oz, they purchased second hand clothes from rummage sales around Hollywood. Actor Frank Morgan, who played the Wizard, was given one such second-hand overcoat to wear, and he happened to notice that the lining of the coat had a label saying, "Property of L. Frank Baum". In early publicity for the movie, MGM emphasized that this was a true story. Soon after the movie was released, the coat was taken to Baum's wife, who confirmed that it had been his (see ). Michael Patrick Hearn stated in his keynote address before the 2000 International Wizard of Oz Club convention that this story is believed by Baum's descendants, as well as Margaret Hamilton, to be a concoction of MGM's marketing department. The whereabouts of any such coat are unknown, and fakery would not be difficult.
- A very popular myth about the origin of the name "Oz" is that it was inspired by the labels on the author's filing cabinet: A-N, O-Z. Less popular is the myth that it stood for the abbreviation for "ounce". Still another story is that Baum, as an admirer of Charles Dickens, took his nickname, "Boz" and dropped the "B" for "Baum". However, according to the () International Wizard of Oz Club, L. Frank Baum's widow, Maud, once wrote to writer Jack Snow on this subject and stated that it was just a name that Frank had created out of his own mind. Snow himself had postulated (in a posthumously published unused introduction to The Shaggy Man of Oz) that the name came from children's "ohhs" and "ahhs" when Baum told the stories aloud.
- John Ritter portrayed Baum in a 1990 made for TV movie, The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story. The film was largely fiction, but retained some of the basic details of Baum's life such as his the many failures of his adult life before Oz and a few of the elements that inspired the books. Interestingly, it takes the duel story and turns Baum into a hero, with only the other guy running, something that was never part of the legend.
- In an an earlier fictional dramatization, the 1970 Death Valley Days episode "The Wizard of Aberdeen" Conlan Carter played Baum. In this version of the story, Baum faces another reluctant duelist. Both men shoot into the air until, their bullets run out.
Please see: List of Oz books
- Mother Goose in Prose (prose retellings of Mother Goose rhymes, 1897)
- By the Candelabra's Glare (poetry, 1898)
- Father Goose, His Book (nonsense poetry,1899)
- The Army Alphabet (poetry, 1900)
- The Navy Alphabet (poetry, 1900)
- The Songs of Father Goose (Father Goose, set to music by Alberta N. Hall, 1900)
- Dot and Tot of Merryland (fantasy, 1901)
- American Fairy Tales (fantasy, 1901)
- The Master Key: An Electric Fairy Tale (fantasy, 1901)
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1902)
- The Magical Monarch of Mo (fantasy, 1903) (Originally published in 1900 as A New Wonderland)
- The Enchanted Island of Yew (fantasy, 1903)
- Queen Zixi of Ix (fantasy, 1905)
- John Dough and the Cherub (fantasy, 1906)
- Father Goose's Year Book: Quaint Quacks and Feathered Shafts for Mature Children (nonsense poetry for adults, 1907)
- The Daring Twins: A Story for Young Folk (novel, 1911) [reprinted in 2006 as The Secret of the Lost Fortune]
- The Sea Fairies (fantasy, 1911)
- Sky Island (fantasy, 1912)
- Phoebe Daring: A Story for Young Folk (novel, 1912)
- Our Married Life (novel, 1912) [lost]
- Johnson (novel, 1912) [lost]
- The Mystery of Bonita (novel, 1914) [lost]
- Molly Oodle (novel, 1915) [lost]
Plays and adaptations
Michael Patrick Hearn has identified forty-two titles of stage plays associated with Baum, some probably redundant or reflective of alternate draughts, many for works that Baum may never have actually started. Listed below are those either known to have been performed (such as the lost plays of his youth) or that exist in at least fragmentary or treatment form.
- The Mackrummins (lost play, 1882)
- The Maid of Arran (play, 1882)
- Matches (lost play, 1882)
- Kilmourne, or O'Connor's Dream (lost? play opened 4 April 1883)
- The Queen of Killarney (lost? play, 1883)
- The Wizard of Oz (stage adaptation, 1902)
- The Maid of Athens: A College Fantasy (play treatment, 1903; with Emerson Hough)
- The King of Gee-Whiz (play treatment, February 1905, with Emerson Hough)
- The Woggle-Bug (musical, 1905; music by Frederic Chapin, based on The Marvelous Land of Oz)
- Mortal for an Hour or The Fairy Prince or Prince Marvel (play, 1908)
- Peter and Paul (musical drama; music by Arthur Pryor; unproduced, uncompleted?)
- The Pipes O' Pan (play, 1909, with George Scarborough) (only the first act was ever completed)
- The Clock Shop (c. 1910; unproduced)
- The Pea-Green Poodle (c. 1910; unproduced)
- The Girl from Oz (c. 1912; unproduced)
- The Tik-Tok Man of Oz (stage adaptation, 1913)
- King Bud of Noland, or The Magic Cloak (musical play, 1913; music by Louis F. Gottschalk, revised as the scenario to the film, The Magic Cloak of Oz)
- Stagecraft, or, The Adventures of a Strictly Moral Man (musical play, 1914; music by Louis F. Gottschalk)
- The Uplift of Lucifer, or Raising Hell: An Allegorical Squazosh (musical play, music by Louis F. Gottschalk, 1915)
- The Uplifters' Minstrels (musical play, 1916; music by Byron Gay)
- Snow White (c. 1916; with Maxfield Parrish; unproduced)
- The Orpheus Road Show: A Paraphrastic Compendium of Mirth (musical play, 1917; music by Louis F. Gottschalk)
- "They Played a New Hamlet" (28 April 1895)
- "A Cold Day on the Railroad" (26 May 1895)
- "Who Called 'Perry'?" (19 January 1896)
- "Yesterday at the Exposition" (2 February 1896)
- "My Ruby Wedding Ring" (12 October 1896)
- "The Man with the Red Shirt" (c.1897, told to Matilda Jewell Gage, who wrote it down in 1905)
- "How Scroggs Won the Reward" (5 May 1897)
- "The Extravagance of Dan" (18 May 1897)
- "The Return of Dick Weemins" (July 1897)
- "The Suicide of Kiaros" (September 1897)
- "A Shadow Cast Before" (December 1897)
- "The Mating Day" (September 1898)
- "Aunt Hulda's Good Time" (26 October 1899)
- "The Loveridge Burglary" (January 1900)
- "The Bad Man" (February 1901)
- "The King Who Changed His Mind" (1901)
- "The Runaway Shadows or A Trick of Jack Frost" (5 May 1901)
- "The Strange Adventures of an Easter Egg" (29 March 1902)
- "The Ryl of the Lilies" (12 April 1903)
- "Chrome Yellow" (1904) [unpublished; held in The Baum Papers at Syracuse University]
- "Mr. Rumple's Chill" (1904) [lost]
- "Bess of the Movies" (1904) [lost]
- "The Diamondback" (1904) [first page missing]
- "A Kidnapped Santa Claus" (December 1904)
- "The Woggle-Bug Book: The Unique Adventures of the Woggle-Bug" (12 January 1905)
- "Prologue" to Animal Fairy Tales (January 1905)
- "The Story of Jaglon" (January 1905)
- "The Stuffed Alligator" (February 1905)
- "The Discontented Gopher" (March 1905)
- "The Forest Oracle" (April 1905)
- "The Enchanted Buffalo" (May 1905)
- "The Pea-Green Poodle" (June 1905)
- "Nelebel's Fairyland" (June 1905)
- "The Jolly Giraffe of Jomb" (July 1905)
- "Jack Burgitt's Honor" (1 August 1905)
- "The Troubles of Pop Wombat" (August 1905)
- "The Transformation of Bayal the Porcupine" (September 1905)
- "The Tiger's Eye: A Jungle Fairy Tale" (1905)
- "Mr. Woodchuck" (1906)
- "Bandit Jim Crow" (1906)
- "Prairie-Dog Town" (1906)
- "Prince Mud-Turtle" (1906)
- "Twinkle's Enchantment" (1906)
- "Sugar-Loaf Mountain" (1906)
- "The Yellow Ryl" (1906)
- "The Witchcraft of Mary-Marie" (1908)
- "A Short, Short Oz Story" (1909)
- "The Man-Fairy" (December 1910)
- "Juggerjook" (December 1910)
- "The Tramp and the Baby" (October 1911)
- "Bessie's Fairy Tale" (December 1911)
- "Aunt 'Phroney's Boy" (December 1912)
- "The Littlest Giant: An Oz Story" (1918)
- As Edith Van Dyne:
- Aunt Jane's Nieces (1906)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces Abroad (1907)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces at Millville (1908)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work (1906)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces in Society (1910)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces and Uncle John (1911)
- The Flying Girl (1911)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces on Vacation (1912)
- The Flying Girl and Her Chum (1912)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces on the Ranch (1913)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces Out West (1914)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces in the Red Cross (1915, revised and republished in 1918)
- Mary Louise (1916)
- Mary Louise in the Country (1916)
- Mary Louise Solves a Mystery (1916)
- Mary Louise and the Liberty Girls (1918)
- Mary Louise Adopts a Soldier (1919) (largely ghostwritten based on a fragment by Baum; subsequent books in the series are by Emma Speed Sampson)
- As Floyd Akers:
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in Alaska [originally published as Sam Steele's Adventures on Land and Sea by "Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald"] (1906)
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in Panama [originally published as Sam Steele's Adventures in Panama by "Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald"] (1907)
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in Egypt (1908)
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in China (1909) (reprinted in 2006 as The Scream of the Sacred Ape)
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in Yucatan (1910)
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in the South Seas (1911)
- As Schuyler Staunton:
- As John Estes Cooke:
- As Suzanne Metcalf:
- As Laura Bancroft:
- The Twinkle Tales (1906) (collected as Twinkle and Chubbins, though Chubbins is not in all the stories)
- Policeman Bluejay (1907) (also known as Babes in Birdland, it was published under Baum's name shortly before his death)
- Baum's Complete Stamp Dealer's Directory (1873)
- The Book of the Hamburgs (poultry guide, 1886)
- Our Landlady (newspaper stories, 1890-1891)
- The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors (trade publication, 1900)
- "The Real 'Mr. Dooley'" (article, 1900)
- "Fairy Tales on Stage" (article, 1905)
- "Modern Fairy Tales" (article, 1909)
- L. Frank Baum's Juvenile Speaker: Readings and Recitations in Prose and Verse, Humorous and Otherwise (also known as Baum's Own Book for Children) (collection of revised work, 1910)
- Baum, Frank Joslyn & MacFall, Russell P. (1961) To Please a Child. Chicago: Reilly & Lee Co.
- Ferrara, Susan. The Family of the Wizard: The Baums of Syracuse. Xlibris Corporation, 1999. ISBN 0-7388-1317-6
- Ford, Alla T. The High-Jinks of L. Frank Baum. Hong Kong: Ford Press, 1969.
- Ford, Alla T. The Musical Fantasies of L. Frank Baum. Lake Worth, Florida: Ford Press, 1969.
- Gardner, Martin and Russel B. Nye. The Wizard of Oz and Who He Was. Michigan State University Press, 1957. Revised 1994.
- Hearn, Michael Patrick. The Annotated Wizard of Oz. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1973. Revised 2000. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.
- Hearn, Michael Patrick. The Critical Heritage Edition of the Wizard of Oz. New York: Schocken, 1986.
- Koupal, Nancy Tystad. Baum's Road to Oz: The Dakota Years. South Dakota State Historical Society, 2000.
- Koupal, Nancy Tystad. Our Landlady. University of Nebraska Press, 1986.
- Littlefield, Henry. "The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism." American Quarterly. v. 16, 3, Spring 1964, 47-58. online version
- Riley, Michael O. (1997) Oz and Beyond: The Fantasy World of L. Frank Baum. University of Kansas Press ISBN 0-7006-0832-X
- Rogers, Katharine M. (2002) L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz. St. Martin's Press ISBN 0-312-30174-X
- Wagner, Sally Roesch. The Wonderful Mother of Oz. Fayetteville, NY: The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, 2003.
- Exhaustive list of books about Oz, L. Frank Baum and the MGM movie
- International Wizard of Oz Club
- Wonderful Wizard of Oz Website
- The Ozmatron of Oz, Search Engine and Oz Resources
- The Lyman Frank Baum Works Archive
- Lyman Frank Baum at ClassicAuthors.net
-  An Online Library of Literature
-  More on the story about L. Frank Baum's coat
- The Wonderful Website of Oz - text of Baum's books and links to related sites
- L. Frank Baum: discusses Baum's works, Oz and others
- Page by Page Books Includes entire collection of Oz series free on-line
- L. Frank Baum's Photo & Gravesite