Monday, April 16, 2012

Map of Oz Monday - The LOST PRINCESS Map

Last week we examined the 1914 map of the countries surrounding Oz - today we get a look at the last map produced for L. Frank Baum's eyes - and presumably produced to his specifications. This is the black and white map printed on page 75 of the first edition of The Lost Princess of Oz (1917).

Map of events in THE LOST PRINCESS OF OZ - Click to Enlarge

At first glance this map might seem like simply a rehash of the right-hand side of the 1914 map with a few places added in - but there are several very interesting points to be discussed. The map has carefully been copied from the 1914 map, preserving every undulation of the borders, the Ozian river system, and mountains.

A number of new locales specific to Lost Princess have been added: the Merry-Go-Round Mountains, the Great Orchard, Herku, Ugu's castle, Bear Center, and the woods near the Truth Pond. Better delineated is the Yips' mountain in the Yip Country. Also shown is a small house just a bit north of the Yip Country that is probably that of Nellary and Wiljon and another house further north that's probably the home of the Ferryman who can't understand the speech of animals.

Certainly one of the most important aspects of this map is that it preserves Baum's switching of east and west on the compass. To me this just further solidifies my view that the backward compass was a deliberate decision of Baum's. Here Baum had a chance to correct it and did not. Indeed, Baum further pushed the point by explicitly stating that the Yips are "in the far southwestern corner of the Winkie Country" and then providing a little map to show where southwest actually is in Oz.

Further proof that the 1914 compass is no mistake is evidenced by the naming of two sections of the major river on this map. The section on the left of the map (draining into Lake Quad) is labeled East Branch Winkie River. The section on the right-hand side of the map runs from the Quadling County toward the Tin Woodman's castle. It's labeled West Branch Winkie River. This is no compass error - this is explicit naming of geographical points showing that Baum viewed the left side of the Oz maps as east and the right side as west. In the text Baum describes the rivers and terrain in fuller detail:

"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 . . ."

This careful explanation of existing geographic points proves to me that Baum was looking at a copy of the 1914 map as he wrote. Indeed the 1914 map may have been a crucial plotting tool for Lost Princess. As we've discussed previously, Baum added several countries and locales to the 1914 map that he had not yet written about, such as the Skeezers, Mount Munch, and the Yips. It's possible that Baum had some notion of the plot of Lost Princess back in 1914, allowing him to place the Yip Country near the Truth Pond where the Frogman will bathe, but I think the evidence shows it is far more likely that Baum plotted the book by looking at the map - choosing to begin in one of his unexplored countries (the Yips) and seeing the only nearby landmark was the Truth Pond and he needed to come up with some excuse to make use of it. Either Baum had plotted out a big chunk of Lost Princess much earlier than we've ever suspected or he was studying the map while he plotted the book several years later. Either scenario is quite interesting. 

That's enough for today. Next week we'll take a look at the 1920 map and the whole mess of trouble it has caused! (Click here for the next Oz Map blog post.)


Anonymous said...

To my eyes, the LOST PRINCESS map seems to have Oz looking somewhat smaller than in the 1914 one. I suppose that was to fit the proportions of the page.

For some reason, Reilly & Lee never filled in their later maps with the new Winkie Country locations placed on this 1917 map until the 1968 Dick Martin ones (which followed his IWOC versions).

David Maxine said...

Actually the map is almost exactly the same size as 1914 map.

I think the illusion that it's smaller may be due to the fact the little logos (the corncob, castles, etc) are bigger, and the map is so much more densely packed with new locales, lettering, etc. The gray tone in the Quadling Country makes it look a bit smaller as well.

But side by side the two are in fact the same size.

Scott Olsen said...

One of the Baum Bugles has the correspondence between Baum and the publisher about this map and its placement in Lost Princess. He submitted the map to Reilly and Britton with the instructions that it be “redrawn” for the book. Baum concluded the note by saying (and I’m doing this by memory) that “nothing made more of a hit with the children than the maps used as endpapers for Tic-Tok.”

saintfighteraqua said...

I had never given too much thought to this map, but now that you mention it, I think you are right on all those points.
This map is possibly far more important to the east is left and west is right argument and that Baum's maps were intentional.

I wish we had his notes and could get further insight into why he did this with no explanation.

Oh dear, the 1920 version is the one with the flipped-flipped compass isn't it? The one that probably gave RPT all sorts of annoyances.

Nathan said...

It's a little strange that no one else really explored the "rough area" of the Winkie Country, although I believe Thompson placed the Black Forest there.

Anonymous said...

Not to jump the gun, but will you be discussing the 1921 Parker Bros. Wonderful Game of Oz map/board game?

David Maxine said...

Yes, I do plan on discussing the Board game map.

@Scott Olsen - Thanks for that I'd forgotten that BUGLE reference. I'll need to track it down.

Sam said...

Would anyone be irritated if I chose to go more with the East-Right & West-Left version of the Oz Map?

Will we also see the Land of Oz maps from the "Once Upon a Time Map Book" (which also includes fantasy lands of Peter Pan, Alice, Snow White, Jack and Aladdin) as well as from Dale Ulrey's "Wizard" and the "Return to Oz: Junior Novel"?

If you don't have them, I would be VERY Happy to send you scans of them. With what little info I have myself . . .

David Maxine said...

@Sam - No, who'd be irritated! Most Oz maps (the OZ club's etc.) are set up that way. If you mean putting the Munchkins in the West - some people might balk.

I don't think I know what RETURN TO OZ: JUNIOR NOVEL you mean nor what map is in it! I'd be happy to have a scan!

Cindy said...

I agree; the fact that both Tik-tok maps and the Lost Princess map have the same E-W orientation is strong evidence that it was Baum's intention. I always suspected he was yanking our chains a bit on this--after all--he had such an imagination--why not make Oz unique in this way? What I wonder, though, is if there are any existing Baum letters to children discussing this point--surely they must have asked him? What a find if they're out there.

Josiah Rowe said...

I’m coming in nine years late, but for completeness’ sake we should mention another problem with this map and the text of “Lost Princess.” In Chapter 14 of that book, the Frogman tells a Winkie woman that the land of the Yips is "on a high mountain at the southeast of your country." That would seem to follow the map, but only if the compass directions are conventional (that is, east is right and west is left). If the map is reversed, as suggested above, then the country of the Yips would be in the southwest of the Winkie Country, not the southeast.

David Maxine said...

Interesting point! That is the first time I've seen Baum flip back to "conventional" compass directions.