Lyman Frank Baum (May 15 1856 – May 5 1919) was an American author, actor, and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator W. W. Denslow, of one of the most popular books in American children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, better known today as simply The Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a plethora of other works (55 novels in total, 82 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts, and many miscellaneous writings), and made numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and screen.
Baum's childhood and early life
Baum was born in Chittenango
, New York
in 1856, into a devout Methodist
family of German
(paternal line) and Scots-Irish
(maternal line) origin, the fifth of six children born to Cynthia Stanton and Benjamin Ward Baum, only three of whom survived into adulthood. He was named "Lyman" after his father's brother, but always disliked this name, and preferred to go by his middle name, "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, originally a barrel maker, who had made his fortune in the oil fields of Pennsylvania. Baum grew up on his parents' expansive estate, Rose Lawn, which he always remembered fondly as a sort of paradise. As a young child, he was tutored at home with his siblings, but at the age of 12 he was sent to study at Peekskill Military Academy. He 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, in his biography, To Please a Child, claimed that this was following an incident described as a heart attack, though there is no contemporary evidence of this (and much evidence that material in Frank J.'s biography was fabricated).
Baum started writing at an early age, perhaps due to an early fascination with printing. His father bought him a cheap printing press, and he used it to produce The Rose Lawn Home Journal with the help of his younger brother, Henry (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, Baum 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", first published in the literary journal, The White Elephant.
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: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing, and Management of the Different Varieties of 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 and radical feminist 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. While he was in South Dakota, Baum sang in a quartet that included a man who would become one of the first Populist (People's Party) Senators in the U.S., James Kyle.
Baum becomes an 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 a magazine for advertising agencies 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. He also had to work as a traveling salesman.
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
In 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 more novels based on the places and people of the Land of Oz
The Wizard of Oz: Fred R. Hamlin's Musical Extravaganza
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, and 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, and the plot became about how the four friends, being allied with the usurping Wizard, were hunted as traitors to Pastoria II, the rightful King of Oz. It is unclear how much control or influence Baum had on the script; it appears that many of the changes were written by Baum against his wishes due to contractual requirements with Hamlin. 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. Although use of the script was rather free-form, the line about Hanna was ordered dropped as soon as Hamlin got word of his death in 1904.
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. In more recent years, restoring the full title has become increasingly common, particularly to distinguish the novel from the Hollywood film.
Baum wrote a sequel, The Woggle-Bug, but since Montgomery and Stone balked at appearing when the original was still running, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman were omitted from this adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz, which was seen as a self-rip-off by critics and proved to be a major flop before it could reach Broadway. He also worked for years on a musical version of Ozma of Oz, which eventually became The Tik-Tok Man Of Oz. This did fairly well in Los Angeles, but not well enough to convince producer Oliver Morosco mount a production in New York. He also began a stage version of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, but this was ultimately realized as a film.
The Wizard of Oz on screen and back to stage
Following early film treatments in 1910
, and Baum's own venture, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company
, Metro Goldwyn Mayer
made the story into the now classic movie The Wizard of Oz
(1939) starring Judy Garland
as Dorothy Gale. Among other changes, including largely eliminating the novel's feminist influences, the film was given an all-a-dream ending. (Baum used this technique only once, in Mr. Woodchuck
, and in that case the title character explicitly told the dreamer that she was dreaming numerous times.) 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
, Tin Man
(a re-imagining of the story televised in late 2007 on the Sci Fi Channel
), and a variety of animated productions. Today's most successful Broadway show, Wicked
provides a backstory to the two Oz witches used in the classic MGM film. Wicked
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. Baum would work primarily with John R. Neill
on his fantasy work beginning in 1904, but Baum met Neill few times (all before he moved to California) and often found Neill's art not humorous enough for his liking, and was particularly offended when Neill published The Oz Toy Book: Cut-outs for the Kiddies
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. Even so, his other works remained very popular after his death, with The Master Key appearing on St. Nicholas Magazine's survey of readers' favorite books well into the 1920s.
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 (all of which he successfully argued were essential to his occupation), 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)
- Laura Bancroft (Twinkle and Chubbins, Policeman Bluejay)
- 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)
- Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald (the Sam Steele series)
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. Although many of these play's titles are known, only The Uplift of Lucifer is known to survive (it was published in a limited edition in the 1960s). 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. Silent film actor 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 his health.
Baum died on May 5, 1919, aged 62, and was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California.
Baum's avowed intentions with the Oz books, and other fairy tales, was to tell such tales as the Brothers Grimm
and Hans Christian Andersen
told, bringing them up to date by making the characters not stereotypical dwarfs or genies, and by removing both the violence and the moral the violence was to point to. Although the first books contained a fair amount of violence, it decreased with the series; in The Emerald City of Oz
objected to doing violence even to the Nomes who threaten Oz with invasion. His introduction is often cited as the beginnings of the sanitization of children's stories, although he did not do a great deal more than eliminate harsh moral lessons. His stories still include decapitations, eye removals, and various other nastiness, but the tone is very different from Grimm or Andersen.
Another traditional element that Baum intentionally omitted was the emphasis on romance. He considered romantic love to be uninteresting for young children, as well as largely incomprehensible. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the only element of romance lay in the backstory of the Tin Woodman and his love Nimmie Amee, which explains his condition and does not otherwise affect the tale, and that of Gayelette and the enchantment of the Winged Monkeys; the only other stories with such elements were The Scarecrow of Oz and Tik-Tok of Oz, both based on dramatizations, which Baum regarded warily until his readers accepted them.
Women's Suffrage Advocate
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 Saturday 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 suffragists 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 Oz in a revolt by knitting needles, take over, and make the men do the household chores. Jinjur proves to be an incompetent ruler, but a female advocating gender equality is ultimately placed on the throne. His Edith Van Dyne stories depict girls and young women engaging in traditionally masculine activities, and his girl sleuth Josie O'Gorman from The Bluebird Books is even less girly girl than Nancy Drew.
Native American Genocide Advocate
Native Americans were the target of Baum's editorials after the Wounded Knee Massacre. He explains that the safety of European-Americans depends upon the "extermination of Indians." Baum wrote, upon hearing the death of Sioux Chief Sitting Bull, the following editorial for the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer:
- Sitting Bull, most renowned Sioux of modern history, is dead. He was not a Chief, but without Kingly lineage he arose from a lowly position to the greatest Medicine Man of his time, by virtue of his shrewdness and daring. He was an Indian with a white man's spirit of hatred and revenge for those who had wronged him and his. In his day he saw his son and his tribe gradually driven from their possessions: forced to give up their old hunting grounds and espouse the hard working and uncongenial avocations of the whites. And these, his conquerors, were marked in their dealings with his people by selfishness, falsehood and treachery. What wonder that his wild nature, untamed by years of subjection, should still revolt? What wonder that a fiery rage still burned within his breast and that he should seek every opportunity of obtaining vengeance upon his natural enemies. The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. 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. This second editorial ran on January 3, 1891 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 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 and 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, however, 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. For example, aside from the vocabulary, he did acknowledge many Americans of non-White 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 American Indian fable, speaks respectfully of Indians.
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 Republican and avid supporter of Women's Suffrage, it is thought that 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.
Originally a Methodist, Baum joined the Episcopal Church
in Aberdeen to participate in community theatricals. Later, he and his wife, encouraged by Matilda Joslyn Gage
, became Theosophists
, in 1897. Baum's beliefs are often reflected in his writing. 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
. The Baums also sent their older sons to "Ethical Culture
Sunday School" in Chicago, which taught morality, not religion.
Including those listed here and on the Oz books page, Michael Patrick Hearn has identified forty-two titles of stage plays associated with Baum, some probably redundant or reflective of alternate drafts, many for works that Baum may never have actually started. Listed below and under non-Canon works by canon Oz authors, 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.
Main: List of Oz books
- Baum's Complete Stamp Dealer's Directory (1873)
- 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)
- Our Landlady (newspaper stories, 1890-1891)
- The Book of the Hamburgs (poultry guide, 1896)
- By the Candelabra's Glare (poetry, 1897)
- Mother Goose in Prose (prose retellings of Mother Goose rhymes, (1897)
- Father Goose: His Book (nonsense poetry, 1899)
- The Magical Monarch of Mo (Originally published in 1900 as A New Wonderland) (fantasy, 1903)
- The Army Alphabet (poetry, 1900)
- The Navy Alphabet (poetry, 1900)
- The Songs of Father Goose (Father Goose, set to music by Alberta N. Hall Burton, 1900)
- The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors (trade publication, 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 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)
- Mortal for an Hour or The Fairy Prince or Prince Marvel (play, 1909)
- The Pipes O' Pan (play, 1909, with George Scarborough; only the first act was ever completed)
- 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)
- 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; reprinted in 2008 as Unjustly Accused!)
- Our Married Life (novel, 1912) [lost]
- Johnson (novel, 1912) [lost]
- 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)
- Molly Oodle (novel, 1914) [lost]
- The Mystery of Bonita (novel, 1914) [lost]
- 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 Uplifter's Minstrels (musical play, 1916; music by Byron Gay)
- The Orpheus Road Show: A Paraphrastic Compendium of Mirth (musical play, 1917; music by Louis F. Gottschalk)
- Sam Steele's Adventures - The Scream of the Sacred Ape (novel, 2006) First publication under Baum's name of The Boy Fortune Hunters in China (1909).
- Sam Steele's Adventures - The Amazing Bubble Car (novel, 2008) First publication under Baum's name of Sam Steele's Adventures in Panama (1907).
This list omits those that appeared in Our Landlady
, American Fairy Tales
, Little Wizard Stories of Oz
, and Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz
- "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 Exhibition" (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)
- "The Maid of Athens: A College Fantasy" (play treatment, 1903; with Emerson Hough)
- "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 from Animal Fairy Tales" (January 1905)
- "The Story of Jaglon" (January 1905)
- "The Stuffed Alligator" (February 1905)
- "The King of Gee-Whiz" (play treatment, February 1905, with Emerson Hough)
- "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)
- "The Yellow Ryl" (1906)
- "The Witchcraft of Mary-Marie" (1908)
- "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)
- "An Oz Book" (1919)
- As Edith Van Dyne:
- Aunt Jane's Nieces (1906)
- Aunt Jane's Nieces Abroad (1906)
- 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 (1917)
- 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 (1906; originally published as Sam Steele's Adventures on Land and Sea by "Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald")
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in Panama (1907; originally published as Sam Steele's Adventures in Panama by "Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald"; reprinted in 2008 as The Amazing Bubble Car)
- The Boy Fortune Hunters in Egypt (1908; reprinted in 2008 as The Treasure of Karnak)
- 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:
- Tamawaca Folks: A Summer Comedy (1907)
- As Suzanne Metcalf:
- Annabel, A Story for Young Folks (1906)
- 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)
- The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile (1908)
- 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
- Parker, David B. The Rise and Fall of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a "Parable on Populism" Journal of the Georgia Association of Historians, vol. 15 (1994), pp. 49-63.
- 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.