|1914 Map of the Land of Oz - CLICK TO ENLARGE|
I have no doubt L. Frank Baum drew and designed this map (though publisher Reilly & Britton probably had a staff artist prepare the final inked drawing). Indeed, Baum's involvement in the creation of this map is what to me gives it such authenticity. L. Frank Baum decided on the shapes of the countries, their borders, mountains and rivers, etc.
One can truly see Baum's mind at work in many of the choices he made - especially in the fact that he added locations to the map that he had not yet written about, such as Mount Munch, Jinxland, the Yips, Skeezers, as well as a vast forest in the Gillikin Country and a large lake just outside the Emerald City. Baum eventually used the forest in The Magic of Oz when we learned it was the Forest of Gugu but he never made use of the lake.
There have been many half-baked notions on how Baum might have made such a supposedly grievous error. One of the silliest is that he based his map on the glass Magic-Lantern slide of the "Fairylogue map," and that Baum simply viewed the slide from the wrong side. Could you look at the glass slide below and not realize it was backward?
Perhaps Baum just confused his east and west directions? Uh huh ... and neither Baum, nor his wife, or the artist who redrew it, or John R. Neill, or the publisher ever said, "Hey LFB, you got your compass points wrong!" If Baum had some moment of directional dyslexia when he drew the rough map, there are just too many eyes and too many steps, from his sketchy doodles to finished drawing, to making proofs, to printing the book, for this not to have been EASILY corrected. If it wasn't corrected - it wasn't an error - thus, this is how Baum viewed Oz.
This seemingly wonky choice of Baum's may well have rankled Reilly & Britton because soon after Baum's death the publisher reissued the map with a "corrected" traditional compass and THAT caused a whole fairyland of trouble! But I'll save that discussion for a future blog post!
We will never know why Baum flipped east and west. Perhaps he planned to tell a tale about it he never got around to. My favorite theory in an "Oz as a real place" frame of mind is that the east/west flip has to do with how Glinda created the Barrier of Invisibility at the end of The Emerald City of Oz. After all, on the 1908 map the eastern Munchkins are seen on the right and the western Winkies are seen on the left - just like our directions. So this "Barrier of Invisibility" idea explains and validates both maps. In 1908 directions were normal, after 1910 they were flipped. This rationalization even solves the seeming error at the end of Ozma of Oz when the rescue party returns home from the Land of Ev and visits with the King of the Munchkins. In 1907 Ev was indeed across the desert from the Munchkin Country. After 1910 it was not. Is everybody still with me?
There are certainly a few problems with this mirror-flip Barrier of Invisibility theory. For one, the path of the sand boat doesn't work. And in the Map of Surrounding Countries (which we will discuss next week) the compass directions match those of Oz. Did Glinda flip directions for the entire continent?
There are a few small errors on this 1914 Oz map. The Truth Pond looks rather like the Truth Lake and the Yellow Brick Road is shown as being totally straight. It's certainly possible, but I think few people imagine it as such. It's interesting to note that Baum has it extend out of Oz and on into the Desert. It could be Baum failed to erase guidelines and the cartographer simply inked it all in? Or perhaps there was to be a story about this someday.
I've given some more thought to the fact that the Fairylogue map is square. Last week I suggested Baum had drawn Oz to be a square-shaped. I don't think so anymore - the map is too stylized. I think the Fairylogue Map is simply showing a smaller portion of Oz and the map simply doesn't extend to show the actual and perhaps then unknown borders. The Fairylogue Map's double-ruled delineation of the deadly desert does not show the actual border either, but only indicates that an unknown desert barrier surrounds all of Oz.
|Overlay of 1908 map on top of 1914 map.|
Perhaps the Fairylogue Map is simply an old and not very accurate map from the days before Ozma came to power, the poor quality of said map being what prompted Ozma to commission a new set of maps to be made by Professor Wogglebug (who researched and drew the Tik-Tok maps according to the map legend). It's interesting to note that overlaying the two maps like this almost exactly creates that weird little triangular bite out of the north-western Gillikin Country. Perhaps Baum did use the 1908 map as a starting point! That said, I still think the only clear reason for the east/west reversal can be a deliberate choice on his part. Might Ozma have more clearly delineated and expanded the green area around the Emerald City? It's not shown at all on the 1908 map yet seems almost a country in itself on the 1914 one.
Lastly, I was surprised to see that the 1914 Map of the Land of Oz has never been reprinted anywhere except for the Books of Wonder and Bradford Exchange reprints of Tik-Tok of Oz. The first edition of The Annotated Wizard of Oz claims to have reprinted them, but in fact used the "corrected" 1920 version. The first edition copy of Tik-Tok here in the Tiger Den was missing a portion of the upper right free endpaper. I replaced it from the Bradford Exchange reprint (notice the non-matching whiteness of the desert area). I've complained about mediocre reproduction in these Bradford Exchange books before and, alas, I have still another fresh complaint! Bradford has distorted the map endpapers - I had to squash and stretch that little corner to make it fit, so don't count on the BE Tik-Tok maps for accuracy - they've been reproduced somewhat warped.
Next week we will take a look at the map of Countries Surrounding the Land of Oz.