|Baum's 1914 Map of Oz with non-standard compass points.|
I am not the only Oz fan to prefer Baum's quirky directional sense. Bill Campbell on The Oz Enthusiast blog said of Baum's 1914 map: "This is unlike any standard map, but Oz is a magical land - perhaps that is simply how things work there! . . . I still like the original map in Tik-Tok with its unique directions - that's how I think the map should be!"
Oz fans long surmised that Baum probably had a hand in drawing the 1914 map and sent it in to the publisher where it was redrawn by a staff artist. Yet there was never any proof that Baum had a hand in the creation of the 1914 map. But a couple years ago I found verification when I was given access to the papers of Louis F. Gottschalk, composer of the 1913 musical The Tik-Tok Man of Oz and of the scores to the 1914 Oz Films.
|Gottschalk and Baum circa 1913 - Collection of David Maxine.|
In 1925 Louis F. Gottschalk wrote his memories of watching L. Frank Baum draw the Oz map that was included as the endpapers of Tik-Tok of Oz (1914). Here's Gottschalk's recollection:
I remember when we were at work on the Tik-Tok Man of Oz, Frank took a day off to answer at least 100 letters that had accumulated during the previous week. One little girl wrote and asked him for a map of the land of Oz saying she wished to follow them in their travels. In my presence he made a map of the mythical country of Oz and in the next Oz book the map appeared. “I do so love the map of Oz” wrote the little girl, “for now I can follow the Scarecrow, Tin-Woodman, and Tik-Tok and Betsy and Pumpkin head when the cyclone picks them up here and drops them down there in another country.”Gottschalk's full-length memorial to Baum, which includes this passage, was published for the first time in the Winkie Con 50 Souvenir Program which is available here: Order a copy of the Winkie Con 50 Souvenir book.
So we have confirmation that Baum designed the 1914 map of the Land of Oz. To me, knowing that Baum was responsible makes this map the most authentic of all Oz maps. That, of course, does not address why the map has east on the left and west on the right. But it is too deliberate and if it was a mistake, it was too easily fixed. As I said in this previous post:
Neither Baum, nor his wife, nor the artist who redrew it, nor John R. Neill, nor 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.Two years after the map was first published we get confirmation from Baum himself that this is how he viewed Oz and that it wasn't simply a typesetting or artistic error. On September 6, 1916, Baum submitted another map along with the manuscript of The Lost Princess of Oz to the publisher and in the accompanying cover letter he stated:
You will find a "Map of the Search for the Lost Princess," which I would like to have redrawn and printed in black-and-white and placed in the fore part of the book. Nothing we ever did made such a hit with the kiddies as the maps of Oz we once used for endpapers, and I think this present map worthwhile on that account.So Baum confirms that he drew this map (admittedly to be neatened up by a staff artist), but it preserves the Winkie Country "on the right and in the West" orientation and other geographical details of the 1914 map. Baum has even labeled the branches of the Winkie River, which as you'll read below, becomes very important.
|Map of Oz from THE LOST PRINCESS OF OZ (1917).|
In the text of Lost Princess Baum writes the following:
At the east [border of the Winkie Country] which part lies nearest the Emerald City, there are beautiful farmhouses and roads, but as you travel west, you first come to a branch of the Winkie River, beyond which there is a rough country where few people live, and some of these are quite unknown to the rest of the world. After passing through this rude section of territory, which no one ever visits, you would come to still another branch of the Winkie River, after crossing which you would find another well-settled part of the Winkie Country extending westward quite to the Deadly Desert . . .And a little later he writes:
In the course of a few hours, however, they had left the tilled fields [around the Emerald City] and entered the country of the Winkies. . . . Long before night the travellers had crossed the Winkie River near to the Scarecrow's tower (which was now vacant) and had entered the rolling prairie where few people live.Here we have Baum himself using this map in his written text and describing the travelers leaving the Emerald City, moving left to right on the map, and getting to the "East Branch" of the Winkie River before they get to the "West Branch." A careful reading of the text makes it clear that Baum intended the text to reflect the map - including the reversed compass directions.
It seems very clear that this is simply how Baum saw the Land of Oz. Why he never made more of it I can't imagine. Perhaps he just thought it was quaint or magical. At one time I would have suggested that Baum was bad at directions and simply drew the map with the Winkies and Munchkins reversed. And then, rather than start over, he chuckled and fixed it by labeling the compass to suit his drawing. Perhaps that was how it happened. But it must have become a very deliberate choice, as it could have been fixed at any point in the book's production process at Reilly and Britton. So I'm left with the firm belief that this map shows Oz how it was meant to be.
But I am curious what Baum's hand-drawn map of Oz would have looked like. How detailed was it? Was it a scribble or quite precise? Baum's original map does not seem to survive. But I think I can show you a similar map that I believe was in fact drawn by Baum himself.
This is the map included in Baum's Boy Fortune Hunters in Panama (1908) which has been reprinted by Hungry Tiger Press as Sam Steele's Adventures: the Amazing Bubble Car. If you're interested you can order a copy below! In that book's text the map is found in the diary of the recently murdered Maurice Kleppisch. The map was almost certainly drawn by Baum himself and submitted with his manuscript to Reilly & Britton. We know Baum was artistic and a good craftsman, and I find it impossible to believe that the publisher had a staff artist draw this map for an inconsequential boys series book. This is simply Baum having fun. And since the map didn't need to be as "polished" as the Oz map would need to be, Baum's pen-and-ink skill were totally adequate. Here's that map.
|Baum's map from THE BOY FORTUNE HUNTERS IN PANAMA (1908).|
I think you can see there are many similarities to the 1914 Map of the Land of Oz. The way rivers are drawn, forests delineated by little little "x" marks, the "hash mark" mountains, and indeed even the lettering of the oceans which runs top to bottom in differing directions for each ocean - exactly like the labeling of the Deadly Desert on the 1914 map.
Granted, how many ways are there to draw a map? But if Baum drew as detailed and finished Oz maps as he seemingly drew for The Boy Fortune Hunters in Panama, then I think we can say Baum himself is responsible for the detail in the Oz maps, whether the undulations of rivers or the placement of the Winkie and Munchkin countries.
Next Monday we will begin our discussion of the Oz Club's Maps of Oz.
Click here to go to our next installment of Map of Oz Monday!
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Boy Fortune Hunters in Panama?
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This book was originally published in 1907 under Baum's pseudonym Captain Hugh Fitzgerald as Sam Steele's Adventures in Panama. It was reprinted and retitled the following year as The Boy Fortune Hunters in Panama under Baum's pen-name Floyd Akers. It has been an exceedingly rare book--until now! Beautifully repackaged and reprinted, our Pawprint Adventures imprint will make Baum's adventure series books live again!