Posts Tagged ‘Frank L. Baum’

The Real Wizard of Oz

Monday, February 22nd, 2010


The Real Wizard of Oz

The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum

by Rebecca Loncraine


The Real Wizard of Oz


When The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written at the turn of the century, it quickly became an icon of American culture. The public and the media were entranced by myths surrounding Baum’s creation. What was the entomology of Oz? What was the meaning of the yellow brick road? Was the Cowardly Lion the leader of the Populist party? Baum himself became a figure of interest: Was he haunted by his world into the characters of his story?


America was itself living i a time of fantasy. With one foot in the more primitive 1800’s — with mysticism and tall tales consuming muchof the population, and the other engrossed in modernization. Baum, spent his early adulthood in the Wild West playing real Cowboys and Indians, fighting for woman’s rights, attending the World’s Fair in Chicago, and getting involved in the first motion pictures.


Ultimately, Baum used his adventures and imagination to create a world that blurred his own sense of reality and fantasy. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became a force of nature and he was caught up in its power. He understood the magnitude of his fairytale had and began to create a myth around it. He utilized the growing power of media and pop culture to make it bigger and more profitable. He even wrote the first Broadway play to reflect the story of Dorothy and Toto. Later, his estate supported the Judy Garland movei whose iconic ruby slippers are one of the most popular museum items in the world. Even today, modern productions and spin offs are incredibly popular and profitable. The interest in Baum’s world seems endless.


From the Great Plains to Hollywood, Baum’s life had more twists and turns than a cyclone. His writing has touched readers the world over. The story continues to excite and intrigue even more than 70 yeasrs after the classic MGM film first premiered. The Real Wizard of Oz is the first biography of the man behind it all.


Click here to purchase The Real Wizard of Oz at Amazon