If you know me at all, you are aware of my obsession with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I love the books. I remember going to the library, making my way through the white hardback covers of the 1974 reissued edition. I never thought I’d own a 2nd edition, 1st state. But, that’s what my honey bought me as a celebratory gift for becoming a first time author last month. Isn’t he the best?! So, the purpose of this post is to simply show it off and nerd out.
The 1st state of the 2nd edition said The New Wizard of Oz on the cover. There only 10,000 of those printed in 1903. The 2nd state removes the “new” from the cover and was printed between 1904 and 1913. The second editions also had an embossed Tin Man on the back. This feature was removed for the 3rd edition, 2nd state.
There are 16 beautiful color plates in this book. Although Denslow’s art is gorgeous, I fell in love with John R. Neill’s illustrations in the later works. Below is when Dorothy meets the good with of the North.
Remember the poppy field in the movie that put everyone to sleep? Well, it wasn’t magic snow that saved them in the books, it was the Queen of the Field Mice. Now, the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow weren’t effected by the poppies because they weren’t made of flesh. So, they went for help, and along the way, the kind hearted Tin Man saves a field mouse from being a snack for a great, yellow wildcat! Turns out she was the queen and promised them a favor. Long story short, the mice were a great help. You’ll have to read it to see how. 😉
I love the “outside of the box” approach to these illustrations. They didn’t just stop at the color plates but frames it with lovely details. There are even illustrations throughout the book that intertwine with the words on the page.
I will say, after much research (which I love,) it seems that it’s possible my edition is 3rd edition, 1st state instead. You see, I believe my cover was rebound.
All editions I’ve found, including later ones, have the head of the Cowardly Lion on the spine. Mine only has title and author. I don’t mind. It’s more valuable to me for sentimental reasons. Because it’s from my honey, and because it’s my favorite fairy tale.