Wizard of Oz Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Her eyes sparkled as two diamonds, and her lips were tinted like a tourmaline. All down her back floated tresses of ruddy gold, with a slender jeweled circlet confining them at the brow." ~ The Marvelous Land of Oz, L. Frank Baum, 1904
Princess Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, was born the baby daughter of the former King Pastoria of Oz, but was given away in secrecy to the witch Mombi by the humbug Wizard of Oz soon after his arrival and assumption of authority. Mombi transformed Ozma into a boy called "Tip" in order to prevent the rightful ruler of Oz from ascending to the throne. Glinda the Good Sorceress discovers this dastardly enchantment and forces Mombi to turn Tip back into Ozma. Baum portrayed Ozma as an exceedingly benevolent and compassionate ruler, who never resorts to violence and who does not believe in destroying even her worst enemies. Furthermore, Ozma discontinues the use of money in Oz, and takes measures to ensure that all the citizens of Oz receive the land's resources in equal measure, without having to work harder than necessary! Biographers report that Baum had been a political activist in the 1890s with a special interest in populist economics and the pro-silver monetary stance in the face of the gold standard of the day!
Ozma of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum was originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900.
The novel is one of the best-known stories in American literature and has been widely translated. The Library of Congress has declared it "America's greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale."
Princess Ozma appears in every book of the Oz series except the first. Her namesake book (the third of the series), published in 1907 is titled: Ozma of Oz: A Record of Her Adventures with Dorothy Gale of Kansas, Billina the Yellow Hen, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Tik-Tok, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger; Besides Other Good People Too Numerous to Mention Faithfully Recorded Herein.
In the previous books, Princess Ozma, who was deprived of her rightful throne as ruler of Oz by the humbug wizard, has survived a childhood of enchantment as a boy, and has been restored to original female form and now rules over Oz. But in "Ozma of Oz", the plot centers on the Gale family. While traveling to Australia with Uncle Henry, Dorothy Gale is caught in a storm at sea and swept overboard with a hen named Billina. They wash ashore in the Land of Ev, a country across the desert from Oz, where they encounter the Wheelers and meet Tik-Tok, the mechanical man!
For more about the incredible amount of analysis of this book series as social and political allegory, click the illustration of Ozma, by John R. Neill, 1907.