Friday, August 13, 2010

Oz Connection

Well, lots of you posted comments that got us part of the way there! But Bill Campbell found a completely different way of connecting Jane Pellew to the Oz series than the one I had been looking for! Hooray! That's what makes it all so fun! Here's a bit more on how Jane Pellew in Kentucky connects to Oz.

As several of you have pointed out, Jane Pellew in Kentucky by Margaret Love Sanderson was published in 1936 by the Reilly and Lee Co. of Chicago. And Reilly and Lee was the publisher of the original Oz series.

But the book's connection to Oz is stronger than just that. Jane Pellew is actually a reprint of The Campfire Girls in Old Kentucky (1919) which was also published by Reilly and Lee and also credited to Sanderson. But the actual author of the book is Emma Speed Sampson who took over the writing of L. Frank Baum's Mary Louise series after his death. Sampson wrote three Mary Louise titles and two Josie O'Gorman titles, all using Baum's pseudonym Edith Van Dyne. And the final link in the chain connecting Jane Pellew in Kentucky to Oz is that L. Frank Baum was also the author of the Oz series.

Sampson also wrote books under her own name, but for the two series discussed here, she wrote under a pre-exisiting pseudonym: Edith Van Dyne for the Mary Louise books and Margaret Love Sanderson for the Campfire Girls series.

But how did we get from The Campfire Girls in Old Kentucky to Jane Pellew in Kentucky? Well in 1936, at the height of the depression, Reilly and Lee decided to repackage a handful of their series books in very cheap editions. They dubbed the new imprint "The Rei-Lee Adventure and Mystery Stories" and they printed the books on crappy paper and sold them for 25 cents a copy. The title change occurred because Reilly and Lee had lost or did not want to renew their license to call the series "Campfire Girls," so they simply retitled the book to omit the "Campfire Girls" trademark.

I think our little game of Oz Connection was a great success! Let's do it again sometime!

3 comments:

James C. Wallace II said...

I guess my way wasn't even close... and I liked my connections.

Bill Campbell said...

I never realized Sanderson was a pseudonym - but considering Reilly & Britton's track record, it isn't too surprising! I'm starting to think they only had 2 authors, Baum and Sampson.....

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

I don't know if there was ever a Margaret Love Sanderson or not - but Emma Sampson didn't write the earliest of the R&B Campfire Girls books.

I know Sampson wrote CFG IN OLD KENTUCKY (1919) and she and her daughter wrote CFG ON A YACHT (1920) and SAMPSON wrote CFG AT HURRICANE ISLAND(1921). I've yet to examine the 1918 title CFG AT DRIFTWOOD HEIGHTS which might possibly be by Sampson. But she did no work for Reilly and Britton/Lee before 1918.

I'm quite a Sampson fan :)