Monday, June 4, 2012

Map of Oz Monday - Thompson's Map

One of the most intriguing and important maps I'll be talking about is this map from 1938 that was drawn by Ruth Plumly Thompson, the second Royal Historian of Oz and successor to L. Frank Baum.

Click to Enlarge
This particular map was drawn for Oz fan Henry S. Blossom. It is extremely similar to (and probably a tracing of) an earlier map Thompson created when she was trying to convince Oz book publishers Reilly & Lee to issue revised maps of the Land of Oz that would incorporate her own additions to Ozian geography. For that map Thompson simply inked in her own locales on Reilly & Lee's black and white promotional maps of the Land of Oz and Surrounding Countries. Here she has seemingly traced her master map - and since the two halves don't line up perfectly I suspect she traced it on typing paper.

In general this map speaks for itself. I have scanned the map at a fairly large size so you may explore it in detail. I look forward to reading your comments. There are a few things to point out.

Thompson did provide a compass rose in the margin of the map. It is the traditional style, matching our own east/west orientation. The map shows locales through Handy Mandy in Oz. Note, too, that Thompson added in many of the locations from the later Baum books that had been missing from the previous maps: the Frogman, Reera's house, the Hyups on Mount Munch, the Flatheads, and others as well.

Of Thompson's own additions the only thing that surprises me is that her little countries are drawn somewhat larger than I have usually imagined them. Lake Orizon is a good bit larger than Lake Quad, and Kimbaloo and Pumperdink seem much larger, too. Perhaps Thompson was trying to keep her own additions to Oz geography as large as Baum's were - after all, Oogaboo and the Yips are shown a good deal larger than the Baum texts would indicate.

So, enlarge the map above and go exploring for a few minutes! It's not every day we get to explore a map of Oz that was actually drawn by the Royal Historian herself!

Read Part II of Thompson's Map here!

This map was originally published in the Autumn 1970 issue of THE BAUM BUGLE.


saintfighteraqua said...

The location of Mudge and a few other places is a bit surprising since I've always considered it on the edge of the desert and since that's where the Oz club map has it.
Corumbia, Corabia and Samandra are pretty much the same though.
Did Haff and Martin reference this map? I wonder.
It really looks like she had a fun time making this.

Jay said...

Pretty clear that Thompson imagined Oz to be smaller than later maps made it.

To be fair, Oz changed size a bit in Baum's first several books...

Anonymous said...

This map was apparently done later than the maps reproduced in the Spring 1982 BAUM BUGLE which seem to date from around 1932 (I will check later, I think this one may be the map in the Autumn 1970 issue). It should be noted that the Reilly & Lee map that she ammended was one with the east and west compass directions in the original 'wrong' locations. Thompson crossed them out and put in the 'corrected' ones as seen in this map. Saintfighteraqua is right about the Mudge detail. I also noticed that the Scarecrow's bean pole 'family tree' is placed after (to the right of) the Munchkin forest (apparently the one where the Tin Woodman and the Lion were met and the Kalidah episode occured in WIZARD). The pole should obviously be before it. Also the Soup Sea from KABUMPO should be in the Gillikin not Munchkin Country. These two 'errors' were also corrected by Haff/Martin.

David -- will you be reproducing the aforementioned Thompson maps from the BUGLE? One of them was of Oz and Surrounding Countries and I don't think she drew her own version of that one.

Nathan said...

I get the impression Haff made some adjustments to Thompson's map to bring things more in line with what she actually wrote. For instance, Patch is described in Gnome King as being right below Oogaboo, while her map shows it as pretty far away.

Sam said...

I know it's her own hand-work and some form of tracing, but, still . . . it's a bit messy and hard to read.

Was the N/S/E/W Compass on a part of the margin we can't see? Cause I couldn't see it on the Map itself.

AMWise said...

I wonder if Thompson's wish for R&L to update the maps suggests she kept a set in her file that she used to create her yearly book and update accordingly. Working without a map would have been awfully frustrating, and she probably had to keep track of it somehow. Does her niece have all of her papers? It would be interesting to research.

Also, do I remember correctly that there was an essay by Thompson (published in the Bugle sometime in the early 80's) about the appeal of Oz that spent some time discussing how much children like having a map to go with their books? She certainly discussed the geography of Oz far more than any other Royal Historian. Perhaps her campaign for maps was part practical to her duties and partly inspired by her own cartographic affections.


saintfighteraqua said...

Another interesting thing to note is that she didn't start the YBR in the desert as many other maps, including Spouse's did.
I'd love to see how she portrayed places such as Squeedonia and it's Jumping off Place, or where exactly she'd place the Red Jinn's castle.

Another Oz map I'd almost forgotten was one published by the club in the Oz Gazette (I think) where you could color, cut out and wrap it around a tennis ball to make an Oz globe.
I have it somewhere if anyone needs scans.

saintfighteraqua said...

By the way, I just finished making a (lazy) colored version of this map with all of the place names "typed" out making it easier to read. If anyone wants to see it let me know. :)

Anonymous said...

Thompson also included Ugu's castle from LOST PRINCESS, but left out other locations from that book (which were included in a map in that book).

Bell-Snickle said...

Really exciting to see how Thompson imagined her kingdoms. Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

saintfighteraqua -- the Spring 1982
BAUM BUGLE had the two Reilly & Lee maps with Thompson's handwritten additions penned in. The map of the surrounding countries has a very small area for the Nonestic Ocean, so Thompson had to squeeze a whole bunch of islands into that space.