L. Frank Baum
Lyman Frank Baum (15 May 1856 – 6 May 1919) was an American author, actor, and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator William Wallace Denslow, of one of the most popular books in American children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- See also: The Wizard of Oz (the 1939 film, based on his stories.)
- When I was a boy I was tremendously interested in scarecrows. They always seemed to my childish imagination as just about to wave their arms, straighten up and stalk across the field on their long legs. I lived on a farm, you know. It was natural then that my first character in this animated life series was the scarecrow, on whom I have taken revenge for all the mystic feeling he once inspired.
- Then came the Tin Woodman, named because of the oddity of a Woodman made of tin, and then Pumpkinhead, and now, of course, the Wogglebug.
- Statement on characters in the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its sequels, as quoted in "Philadelphia North American", (3 October 1904); also at "Map of Kansas Literature" Washburn.edu.
- Now we can cross the Shifting Sands.
- Last words, to his wife Maud (6 May 1919), as quoted in Uncovering Lives : The Uneasy Alliance of Biography and Psychology (1994) by Alan C. Elms, p. 154
Letters and essays
- When I was young I longed to write a great novel that should win me fame. Now that I am getting old my first book is written to amuse children. For aside from my evident inability to do anything "great," I have learned to regard fame as a will-o-the-wisp which, when caught, is not worth the possession; but to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's heart and brings its own reward.
- Personal inscription on a copy of Mother Goose in Prose (1897) which he gave to his sister, Mary Louise Baum Brewster, as quoted in The Making of the Wizard of Oz (1998) by Aljean Harmetz, p. 317
- The scenery and costumes of 'The Wizard of Oz' were all made in New York — Mr. Mitchell was a New York favorite, but the author was undoubtedly a Chicagoan, and therefore a legitimate butt for the shafts of criticism. So the critics highly praised the Poppy scene, the Kansas cyclone, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, but declared the libretto was very bad and teemed with 'wild and woolly western puns and forced gags.' Now, all that I claim in the libretto of 'The Wizard of Oz' is the creation of the characters of the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, the story of their search for brains and a heart, and the scenic effects of the Poppy Field and the cyclone. These were a part of my published fairy tale, as thousands of readers well know. I have published fifteen books of fairy tales, which may be found in all prominent public and school libraries, and they are entirely free, I believe, from the broad jokes the New York critics condemn in the extravaganza, and which, the New York people are now laughing over. In my original manuscript of the play were no 'gags' nor puns whatever. But Mr. Hamlin stated positively that no stage production could succeed without that accepted brand of humor, and as I knew I was wholly incompetent to write those 'comic paper side-splitters' I employed one of the foremost New York 'tinkerers' of plays to write into my manuscript these same jokes that are now declared 'wild and woolly' and 'smacking of Chicago humor.' If the New York critics only knew it, they are praising a Chicago author for the creation of the scenic effects and characters entirely new to the stage, and condemning a well-known New York dramatist for a brand of humor that is palpably peculiar to Puck and Judge. I am amused whenever a New York reviewer attacks the libretto of 'The Wizard of Oz' because it 'comes from Chicago.'"
- Letter to "Music and the Drama", The Chicago Record-Herald (3 February 1903)
- It is a callous age; we have seen so many marvels that we are ashamed to marvel more; the seven wonders of the world have become seven thousand wonders.
- "Julius Caesar: An Appreciation of the Hollywood Production" in The Mercury (15 June 1916)
- Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams — day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing — are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it.
- Introduction to The Lost Princess of Oz (1917)
- As the years pass, and we look back on something which, at the time, seemed unbelievably discouraging and unfair, we come to realize that, after all, God was at all times on our side. The eventual outcome was, we discover, by far the best solution for us, and what we thought should have been to our best advantage, would in reality have been quite detrimental.
- Letter to his eldest son, Frank Joslyn Baum (September 1918)
The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer (1890 and 1891)
- Editorials from a small newspaper Baum edited for a time in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
- The absurd and legendary devil is the enigma of the Church.
- The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer (18 October 1890)
- Sitting Bull, most renowned Sioux of modern history, is dead.
He was not a Chief, but without Kingly lineage he arose from a lowly position to the greatest Medicine Man of his time, by virtue of his shrewdness and daring.
He was an Indian with a white man's spirit of hatred and revenge for those who had wronged him and his. In his day he saw his son and his tribe gradually driven from their possessions: forced to give up their old hunting grounds and espouse the hard working and uncongenial avocations of the whites. And these, his conquerors, were marked in their dealings with his people by selfishness, falsehood and treachery. What wonder that his wild nature, untamed by years of subjection, should still revolt? What wonder that a fiery rage still burned within his breast and that he should seek every opportunity of obtaining vengeance upon his natural enemies.
- Saturday Pioneer (20 December 1890)
- The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in later ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain that Cooper loved to heroism.
We cannot honestly regret their extermination, but we at least do justice to the manly characteristics possessed, according to their lights and education, by the early Redskins of America.
- Saturday Pioneer (20 December 1890)
- The peculiar policy of the government in employing so weak and vacillating a person as General Miles to look after the uneasy Indians, has resulted in a terrible loss of blood to our soldiers, and a battle which, at its best, is a disgrace to the war department. There has been plenty of time for prompt and decisive measures, the employment of which would have prevented this disaster.
The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extirmination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies future safety for our settlers and the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past.
- Saturday Pioneer (3 January 1891)
- An eastern contemporary, with a grain of wisdom in its wit, says that "when the whites win a fight, it is a victory, and when the Indians win it, it is a massacre."
- Saturday Pioneer (3 January 1891)
- His father thought he had a wond'rous wise look when he was born, and so he named him Solomon, thinking that if indeed he turned out to be wise the name would fit him nicely, whereas, should he be mistaken, and the boy grow up stupid, his name could be easily changed to Simon.
- "The Wond'rous Wise Man", in Mother Goose in Prose (1897)
- Burglars! Good gracious!' cried the little woman, springing from the bed in one bound. The word 'burglar' was a terrible one to her, as it is indeed, to every well-constituted woman. 'Robbery' does not sound nearly so awe-inspiring.
- "The Loveridge Burglary" (1900)
- "Make them read that it is no longer the fashion to wear birds upon hats. That will afford relief to your poor milliner and at the same time set free thousands of our darling birds who have been so cruelly used."
Popopo thanked the wise king and followed his advice.
The office of every newspaper and magazine in the city was visited by the knook, and then he went to other cities, until there was not a publication in the land that had not a "new fashion note" in its pages. Sometimes Popopo enchanted the types, so that whoever read the print would see only what the knook wished them to. Sometimes he called upon the busy editors and befuddled their brains until they wrote exactly what he wanted them to. Mortals seldom know how greatly they are influenced by fairies, knooks and ryls, who often put thoughts into their heads that only the wise little immortals could have conceived.
The following morning when the poor milliner looked over her newspaper she was overjoyed to read that "no woman could now wear a bird upon her hat and be in style, for the newest fashion required only ribbons and laces."
- "The Enchanted Types", in American Fairy Tales (1901)
- "But what can I do?" cried she, spreading out her arms helplessly. "I can not hew down trees, as my father used; and in all this end of the king's domain there is nothing else to be done. For there are so many shepherds that no more are needed, and so many tillers of the soil that no more can find employment. Ah, I have tried; hut no one wants a weak girl like me."
"Why don't you become a witch?" asked the man.
"Me!" gasped Mary-Marie, amazed. "A witch!"
"Why not?” he inquired, as if surprised.
"Well," said the girl, laughing. "I'm not old enough. Witches, you know, are withered dried-up old hags."
"Oh, not at all!" returned the stranger.
"And they sell their souls to Satan, in return for a knowledge of witchcraft," continued Mary-Marie more seriously.
"Stuff and nonsense!" cried the stranger angrily.
“And all the enjoyment they get in life is riding broomsticks through the air on dark nights," declared the girl.
"Well, well, well!" said the old man in an astonished tone. "One might think you knew all about witches, to hear you chatter. But your words prove you to be very ignorant of the subject. You may find good people and bad people in the world; and so, I suppose, you may find good witches and bad witches. But I must confess most of the witches I have known were very respectable, indeed, and famous for their kind actions."
"Oh. I'd like to be that kind of witch!" said Mary-Marie, clasping her hands earnestly.
- "The Witchcraft of Mary-Marie", in Baum's American Fairy Tales (1908)
- "But girls often marry when they are too young," exclaimed Mary-Marie quickly; "so, if you don't object to my age — "
- "The Witchcraft of Mary-Marie", in Baum's American Fairy Tales (1908)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
- Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal.
- Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder-tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.
- Introduction, Chicago, April 1900
- Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.
- Ch. 1, "The Cyclone"
- It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose.
- "You are welcome, most noble Sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and for setting our people free from bondage."
- Dorothy looked, and gave a little cry of fright. There, indeed, just under the corner of the great beam the house rested on, two feet were sticking out, shod in silver shoes with pointed toes.
- "There were only four witches in all the Land of Oz, and two of them, those who live in the North and the South, are good witches. I know this is true, for I am one of them myself, and cannot be mistaken. Those who dwelt in the East and the West were, indeed, wicked witches; but now that you have killed one of them, there is but one Wicked Witch in all the Land of Oz — the one who lives in the West."
- "The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick," said the Witch, "so you cannot miss it. When you get to Oz do not be afraid of him, but tell your story and ask him to help you".
- The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said, "I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas."
"That is because you have no brains" answered the girl. "No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."
The Scarecrow sighed.
"Of course I cannot understand it," he said. "If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all. It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains."
- "It must be inconvenient to be made of flesh," said the Scarecrow thoughtfully, "for you must sleep, and eat and drink. However, you have brains, and it is worth a lot of bother to be able to think properly."
- "All the same," said the Scarecrow, "I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one."
"I shall take the heart," returned the Tin Woodman; "for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world."
- "There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty."
- "All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I've met a man I've been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run myself — I'm such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go."
- "You will be very welcome," answered Dorothy, "for you will help to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily."
"They really are," said the Lion, "but that doesn't make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy."
- The Tin Woodman knew very well he had no heart, and therefore he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything.
"You people with hearts," he said, "have something to guide you, and need never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful. When Oz gives me a heart of course I needn't mind so much."
- "One of my greatest fears was the Witches, for while I had no magical powers at all I soon found out that the Witches were really able to do wonderful things. There were four of them in this country, and they ruled the people who live in the North and South and East and West. Fortunately, the Witches of the North and South were good, and I knew they would do me no harm; but the Witches of the East and West were terribly wicked, and had they not thought I was more powerful than they themselves, they would surely have destroyed me."
- "Oh, no, my dear; I'm really a very good man, but I'm a very bad Wizard, I must admit."
- "Congratulate me. I am going to Oz to get my brains at last. When I return I shall be as other men are."
"I have always liked you as you were," said Dorothy simply.
- The Scarecrow was now the ruler of the Emerald City, and although he was not a Wizard the people were proud of him. "For," they said, "there is not another city in all the world that is ruled by a stuffed man." And, so far as they knew, they were quite right.
- "My people have been wearing green glasses on their eyes for so long that most of them think this really is an Emerald City."
- "I have heard that Glinda is a beautiful woman, who knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived."
- "The Silver Shoes," said the Good Witch, "have wonderful powers. And one of the most curious things about them is that they can carry you to any place in the world in three steps, and each step will be made in the wink of an eye. All you have to do is to knock the heels together three times and command the shoes to carry you wherever you wish to go."
- Aunt Em had just come out of the house to water the cabbages when she looked up and saw Dorothy running toward her.
"My darling child!" she cried, folding the little girl in her arms and covering her face with kisses. "Where in the world did you come from?"
"From the Land of Oz," said Dorothy gravely. "And here is Toto, too. And oh, Aunt Em! I'm so glad to be at home again!"
- Closing lines
The Master Key (1901)
- If you will take the trouble to consult your dictionary, you will find that demons may be either good or bad, like any other class of beings. Originally all demons were good, yet of late years people have come to consider all demons evil. I do not know why. Should you read Hesiod you will find he says:
'Soon was a world of holy demons made,
Aerial spirits, by great Jove designed
To be on earth the guardians of mankind.' "
"But Jove was himself a myth," objected Rob, who had been studying mythology.
The Demon shrugged his shoulders.
"Then take the words of Mr. Shakespeare, to whom you all defer," he replied. "Do you not remember that he says:
'Thy demon (that's thy spirit which keeps thee) is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable.' "
"Oh, if Shakespeare says it, that's all right,' answered the boy."
- Familiarity with any great thing removes our awe of it. The great general is only terrible to the enemy; the great poet is frequently scolded by his wife; the children of the great statesman clamber about his knees with perfect trust and impunity; the great actor who is called before the curtain by admiring audiences is often waylaid at the stage door by his creditors.
- And, afterward, when a child was naughty or disobedient, its mother would say:
"You must pray to the good Santa Claus for forgiveness. He does not like naughty children, and, unless you repent, he will bring you no more pretty toys."
But Santa Claus himself would not have approved this speech. He brought toys to the children because they were little and helpless, and because he loved them. He knew that the best of children were sometimes naughty, and that the naughty ones were often good. It is the way with children, the world over, and he would not have changed their natures had he possessed the power to do so.
- "In all this world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child," says good old Santa Claus; and if he had his way the children would all be beautiful, for all would be happy.
The Enchanted Island of Yew (1903)
- "I remember for many, many centuries, my dears [said the fairy]. "I have grown tired of remembering--and of being a fairy continually, without any change to brighten my life."
"To be sure!" said Seseley, with sympathy. "I never thought of fairy life in that way before. It must get to be quite tiresome."
"And think of the centuries I must yet live!" exclaimed the fairy in a dismal voice. "Isn't it an awful thing to look forward to?"
"It is, indeed," agreed Seseley.
"I'd be glad to exchange lives with you," said Helda, looking at the fairy with intense admiration.
"But you can't do that," answered the little creature quickly. "Mortals can't become fairies, you know--although I believe there was once a mortal who was made immortal."
Queen Zixi of Ix (1905)
- We long for what we cannot have, yet desire it not so much because it would benefit us, as because it is beyond our reach.
The Sea Fairies (1911)
- "The dying does not amount to much," he [Zog the Sea Monster] said; "it is the thinking about it that hurts you mortals most. I've watched many a shipwreck at sea, and the people would howl and scream for hours before the ship broke up. Their terror was very enjoyable. But when the end came they all drowned as peacefully as if they were going to sleep, so it didn't amuse me at all."
- "You are a monster and a wicked magician," said the Mermaid Queen.
"I am," agreed Zog, "but I cannot help it. I was created part man, part bird, part fish, part beast and part reptile, and such a monstrosity could not be otherwise than wicked."
- "Well, how do you like him?" asked Sacho, with a laugh.
"We hate him!" declared Trot, emphatically.
"Of course you do," replied Sacho. "But, you're wasting time hating anything. It doesn't do you any good, or him any harm. Can you sing?"
"A little," said Trot; "but I don't feel like singing now."
"You're wrong about that," the boy asserted. "Anything that keeps you from singing is foolishness, unless it's laughter. Laughter, joy and song are the only good things in the world."
Sky Island (1912)
- "They stand you under a big knife, which drops and slices you neatly in two—exactly in the middle. Then they match half of you to another person who has likewise been sliced—and there you are, patched to someone you don't care about and haven't much interest in. If your half wants to do something, the other half is likely to want to do something different, and the funny part of it is you don't quite know which is your half and which is the other half. It's a terrible punishment, and in a country where one can't die or be killed until he has lived his six hundred years, to be patched is a great misfortune."
- "... The Ruler is the mos' 'risticratic person in any land," explained the little girl. "Even in America ever'body bows low to our President, an' the Blueskins are so 'fraid o' their Boolooroo that they tremble whenever they go near him."
"But surely that is all wrong," said Tourmaline [the Queen of the Pinkies] gravely. "The Ruler is appointed to protect and serve the people, and here in the Pink Country I have the full power to carry out the laws. I even decree death, when such a punishment is merited. Therefore I am a mere agent to direct the laws, which are the Will of the People, and am only a public servant, obliged constantly to guard the welfare of my subjects."
"In that case," said Button-Bright, "you're entitled to the best there is, to pay for your trouble. A powerful ruler ought to be rich and to live in a splendid palace. Your folks ought to treat you with great respect, as Trot says."
"Oh, no," responded Tourmaline quickly; "that would indeed be very wrong. Too much should never be given to anyone. If, with my great power, conferred upon me by the people, I also possessed great wealth, I might be tempted to be cruel and overbearing. In that case my subjects would justly grow envious of my superior station. If I lived as luxuriously as my people do, and had servants and costly gowns, the good Pinkies would say that their Queen had more than they themselves—and it would be true. No; our way is best. The Ruler, be it king or queen, has absolute power to rule, but no riches—no high station—no false adulation. The people have the wealth and honor, for it is their due. The Queen has nothing but the power to execute the laws, to adjust grievances and to compel order."
- Mombi was not exactly a Witch, because the Good Witch who ruled that part of the Land of Oz had forbidden any other Witch to exist in her dominions. So Tip's guardian, however much she might aspire to working magic, realized it was unlawful to be more than a Sorceress, or at most a Wizardess.
- The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), Ch. 1 : Tip Manufactures Pumpkinhead
- I never deal in transformations, for they are not honest, and no respectable sorceress likes to make things appear to be what they are not.
- The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)
- At this exquisite vision Tip's old comrades stared in wonder for the space of a full minute, and then every head bent low in honest admiration of the lovely Princess Ozma. The girl herself cast one look into Glinda's bright face, which glowed with pleasure and satisfaction, and then turned upon the others. Speaking the words with sweet diffidence, she said: "I hope none of you will care less for me than you did before. I'm just the same Tip, you know; only — only — "
"Only you're different!" said the Pumpkinhead; and everyone thought it was the wisest speech he had ever made.
- The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)
- He was only about as tall as Dorothy herself, and his body was round as a ball and made out of burnished copper. Also his head and limbs were copper, and these were jointed or hinged to his body in a peculiar way, with metal caps over the joints, like the armor worn by knights in days of old. He stood perfectly still, and where the light struck upon his form it glittered as if made of pure gold.
- Ozma of Oz (1907), Ch.4 : Tiktok the Machine Man
- SMITH & TINKER'S Patent Double-Action, Extra-Responsive, Thought-Creating, Perfect-Talking MECHANICAL MAN Fitted with our Special Clock-Work Attachment. Thinks, Speaks, Acts, and Does Everything but Live. Manufactured only at our Works at Evna, Land of Ev. All infringements will be promptly Prosecuted according to Law.
- Plate on back of Tik-Tok, in Ozma of Oz (1907), Ch. 4 : Tiktok the Machine Man
- "Oh! Are you hungry?" she [Dorothy] asked, turning to the other beast, who was just then yawning so widely that he displayed two rows of terrible teeth and a mouth big enough to startle anyone.
"Dreadfully hungry," answered the Tiger, snapping his jaws together with a fierce click.
"Then why don't you eat something?" she asked.
"It's no use," said the Tiger sadly. "I've tried that, but I always get hungry again."
"Why, it is the same with me," said Dorothy. "Yet I keep on eating."
"But you eat harmless things, so it doesn't matter," replied the Tiger. "For my part, I'm a savage beast, and have an appetite for all sorts of poor little living creatures, from a chipmunk to fat babies."
"How dreadful!" said Dorothy.
"Isn't it, though?" returned the Hungry Tiger, licking his lips with his long red tongue. "Fat babies! Don't they sound delicious? But I've never eaten any, because my conscience tells me it is wrong. If I had no conscience I would probably eat the babies and then get hungry again, which would mean that I had sacrificed the poor babies for nothing. No; hungry I was born, and hungry I shall die. But I'll not have any cruel deeds on my conscience to be sorry for."
"I think you are a very good tiger," said Dorothy, patting the huge head of the beast.
"In that you are mistaken," was the reply. "I am a good beast, perhaps, but a disgracefully bad tiger. For it is the nature of tigers to be cruel and ferocious, and in refusing to eat harmless living creatures I am acting as no good tiger has ever before acted."
- Ozma of Oz Ch. 8 : The Hungry Tiger
- "Cruelty," remarked the monarch, puffing out wreathes of smoke and watching them float into the air, "is a thing I can't abide. So, as slaves must work hard, and the Queen of Ev and her children were delicate and tender, I transformed them all into articles of ornament and bric-a-brac and scattered them around the various rooms of my palace. Instead of being obliged to labor, they merely decorate my apartments, and I really think I have treated them with great kindness."
- Ozma of Oz Ch. 11: The Nome King
- Although this tremendous army consisted of rock-colored Nomes, all squat and fat, they were clothed in glittering armor of polished steel, inlaid with beautiful gems. Upon his brow each wore a brilliant electric light, and they bore sharp spears and swords and battle-axes of solid bronze. It was evident they were perfectly trained, for they stood in straight rows, rank after rank, with their weapons held erect and true, as if awaiting but the word of command to level them upon their foes. "This," said the Nome King, "is but a small part of my army. No ruler upon Earth has ever dared to fight me, and no ruler ever will, for I am too powerful to oppose."
- Ozma of Oz Ch 11: The Nome King
- "It seems to me," said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully, "that our best plan is to wheedle his Majesty into giving up his slaves, since he is too great a magician to oppose."
"This is the most sensible thing any of you have suggested," declared the Nome King. "It is folly to threaten me, but I'm so kind-hearted that I cannot stand coaxing or wheedling. If you really wish to accomplish anything by your journey, my dear Ozma, you must coax me."
- Ozma of Oz Ch 11: The Nome King
- "I have nine lives," said the kitten, purring softly as it walked around in a circle and then came back to the roof; "but I can't lose even one of them by falling in this country, because I really couldn't manage to fall if I wanted to."
- Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz (1908), Ch. 2 : The Glass City
- He told Dorothy he had brushed his shaggy hair and whiskers; but she thought he must have brushed them the wrong way, for they were quite as shaggy as before.
- The Road to Oz, Ch. 4 : King Dox (1909)
- "Money! Money in Oz!" cried the Tin Woodman. "What a queer idea! Did you suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here?"
"Why not?" asked the shaggy man.
"If we used money to buy things with, instead of love and kindness and the desire to please one another, then we should be no better than the rest of the world," declared the Tin Woodman. "Fortunately money is not known in the Land of Oz at all. We have no rich, and no poor; for what one wishes the others all try to give him, in order to make him happy, and no one in all Oz cares to have more than he can use."
"Good!" cried the shaggy man, greatly pleased to hear this. "I also despise money — a man in Butterfield owes me fifteen cents, and I will not take it from him. The Land of Oz is surely the most favored land in all the world, and its people the happiest. I should like to live here always."
- The Road to Oz (1909)
- "Oh indeed!" exclaimed the King. Then he turned to his servants and said: "Please take General Crinkle to the torture chamber. There you will kindly slice him into thin slices. Afterward you may feed him to the seven-headed dogs."
- The Emerald City of Oz (1910), Ch. 4 : How The Nome King Planned Revenge
- It seems unfortunate that strong people are usually so disagreeable and overbearing that no one cares for them. In fact, to be different from your fellow creatures is always a misfortune. The Growleywogs knew that they were disliked and avoided by every one, so they had become surly and unsociable even among themselves.
- The Emerald City of Oz
- "If any of us takes a rest,
We'll be arrested sure,
And get no restitution
'Cause the rest we must endure."
- The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1913), Ch. 6 : The Journey
- "We consider a prisoner unfortunate. He is unfortunate in two ways — because he has done something wrong and because he is deprived of his liberty. Therefore we should treat him kindly, because of his misfortune, for otherwise he would become hard and bitter and would not be sorry he had done wrong. Ozma thinks that one who has committed a fault did so because he was not strong and brave; therefore she puts him in prison to make him strong and brave. When that is accomplished he is no longer a prisoner, but a good and loyal citizen and everyone is glad that he is now strong enough to resist doing wrong. You see, it is kindness that makes one strong and brave; and so we are kind to our prisoners."
- The Patchwork Girl of Oz
- "They tell me meat is going up, but if I can manage to catch you I'm sure it will soon be going down."
- The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Chapter 20: The Captive Yoop)
- Electricity was a part of the world from its creation, and therefore my Electra is as old as Daylight or Moonlight, and equally beneficent to mortals and fairies alike.
- Tik-Tok of Oz (1914)
- DIRECTIONS FOR USING: For THINKING:--Wind the Clockwork Man under his left arm, (marked No. 1). For SPEAKING:--Wind the Clockwork Man under his right arm, (marked No. 2). For WALKING and ACTION:--Wind Clockwork Man in the middle of his back, (marked No. 3). N. B.--This Mechanism is guaranteed to work perfectly for a thousand years.
- Tik-Tok of Oz, Ch. 7 : Polychrome's Pitiful Plight
- Plate on the back of Tik-Tok
- Ruggedo, having nothing to do, was greatly bored. He sent for the Long-Eared Hearer and asked him to listen carefully and report what was going on in the big world.
"It seems," said the Hearer, after listening for a while, "that the women in America have clubs."
"Are there spikes in them?" asked Ruggedo, yawning.
"I cannot hear any spikes, Your Majesty," was the reply.
"Then their clubs are not as good as my sceptre. What else do you hear?"
"There's a war."
"Bah! there's always a war. What else?"
- Tiktok of Oz, Ch. 14 : The Long-Eared Hearer Learns by Listening
- "Seems to me," said Cap'n Bill, as he sat beside Trot under the big acacia tree, looking out over the blue ocean, "seems to me, Trot, as how the more we know, the more we find we don't know."
"I can't quite make that out, Cap'n Bill," answered the little girl in a serious voice, after a moment's thought, during which her eyes followed those of the old sailor-man across the glassy surface of the sea. "Seems to me that all we learn is jus' so much gained."
"I know; it looks that way at first sight," said the sailor, nodding his head; "but those as knows the least have a habit of thinkin' they know all there is to know, while them as knows the most admits what a turr'ble big world this is. It's the knowing ones that realize one lifetime ain't long enough to git more'n a few dips o' the oars of knowledge."
- The Scarecrow of Oz
- "If I'm going to starve, I'll do it all at once—not by degrees."
- The Scarecrow of Oz
- "Then he was wrong to have been born at all. Cheek- eek-eek-eek, oo, hoo!" chuckled Rinkitink, his fat body shaking with merriment. "But it's hard to prevent oneself from being born; there's no chance for protest, eh, Bilbil?"
- Rinkitink of Oz (1916), Ch. 5 : The Three Pearls
- "Were we all like the Sawhorse, we would all be Sawhorses, which would be too many of the kind. Were we all like Hank, we would be a herd of mules; if like Toto, we would be a pack of dogs; should we all become the shape of the Woozy, he would no longer be remarkable for his unusual appearance. Finally, were you all like me, I would consider you so common that I would not care to associate with you. To be individual, my friends, to be different from others, is the only way to become distinguished from the common herd. Let us be glad, therefore, that we differ from one another in form and in disposition. Variety is the spice of life, and we are various enough to enjoy one another's society; so let us be content."
- The Lost Princess of Oz (1917)
- "To be sure. Our throats and stomachs are lined with solid gold, and we find the thistles nourishing and good to eat. As a matter of fact, there is nothing else in our country that is fit for food. All around the City of Thi grow countless thistles, and all we need do is to go and gather them. If we wanted anything else to eat, we would have to plant it, and grow it, and harvest it, and that would be a lot of trouble and make us work, which is an occupation we detest."
- The Lost Princess of Oz, Ch. 9 : The High Coco-Lorum of Thi
- A curious thing about Ugu the Shoemaker was that he didn't suspect in the least that he was wicked. He wanted to be powerful and great, and he hoped to make himself master of all the Land of Oz that he might compel everyone in that fairy country to obey him, His ambition blinded him to the rights of others, and he imagined anyone else would act just as he did if anyone else happened to be as clever as himself.
- The Lost Princess of Oz, Ch. 19: Ugu the Shoemaker
- "Beautiful things may be admired, if not loved," asserted the Tin Man. "Flowers are beautiful, for instance, but we are not inclined to marry them. Duty, on the contrary, is a bugle call to action, whether you are inclined to act, or not. In this case, I obey the bugle call of duty."
- The Tin Woodman of Oz (1918), Ch. 2 : The Heart of the Tin Woodman
- "I think I prefer to be a Bear," said Big Bru. "I was born a Bear, and I know a Bear's ways. So I am satisfied to live as a Bear lives."
- The Magic of Oz (1919), Ch. 8 : The Li-Mon-Eags Make Trouble
- Mr. Baum did his best to answer all the letters from his small earth-friends before he had to leave them, but he couldn't answer quite all, for there were very many. In May, nineteen hundred nineteen, he went away to take his stories to the little child-souls who had lived here too long ago to read the Oz stories for themselves.
We are sorry he could not stay here and we are sad to tell you this is his last complete story.
- Glinda of Oz (1920), Publishers' note announcing Baum's death
- "Everybody here is a dictator of something or other. They're all office holders. That's what keeps them contented. But I'm the Supreme Dictator of all, and I'm elected once a year. This is a democracy, you know, where the people are allowed to vote for their rulers. A good many others would like to be Supreme Dictator, but as I made a law that I am always to count the votes myself, I am always elected."
- Glinda of Oz (1920), Ch. 6 : Flathead Mountain
- "What do you want?" the ape asked at last.
"Nothing," said Ervic.
"You may have that!" retorted the ape
- Glinda of Oz Ch. 18 : The Cleverness of Ervic
Novels published under the pseudonym Edith van Dyne
- In fact, Mr. Watson, it's a queer world, and the longer I live in it the queerer I find it. Once I thought it would be a good idea to regulate things myself and run the world as it ought to be run; but I gave it up long ago. The world's a stage, they say; but the show ain't always amusing, by a long chalk, and sometimes I wish I didn't have a reserved seat.
- Aunt Jane's Nieces (1906)
- I think the world is like a great mirror, and reflects our lives just as we ourselves look upon it. Those who turn sad faces toward the world find only sadness reflected. But a smile is reflected in the same way, and cheers and brightens our hearts. You think there is no pleasure to be had in life. That is because you are heartsick and — and tired, as you say. With one sad story ended you are afraid to begin another — a sequel — feeling it would be equally sad. But why should it be? Isn't the joy or sorrow equally divided in life?
- Aunt Jane’s Nieces and Uncle John (1911)
- To destroy an offender cannot benefit society so much as to redeem him.
- The Flying Girl (1911)
- "They're mostly foreigners, Mr. Merrick, who haven't yet fully mastered the English language. But," he added, thoughtfully, "a few among them might subscribe, if your country sheet contains any news of interest at all. This is rather a lonely place for my men and they get dissatisfied at times. All workmen seem chronically dissatisfied, and their women constantly urge them to rebellion. Already there are grumblings, and they claim they're buried alive in this forlorn forest. Don't appreciate the advantages of country life, you see, and I've an idea they'll begin to desert, pretty soon. Really, a live newspaper might do them good — especially if you print a little socialistic drivel now and then."
- Aunt Jane's Nieces on Vacation (1912)
- a heart is not judged by how much you love but by how much you are loved by others
- this is a line spoken by Frank Morgan's depiction of the Wizard of Oz in the 1939 film, which debuted 20 years after Baum's death. It did not actually appear in the "Wonderful Wizard of Oz". The ending of "Steam Engines of Oz" wrongly attributes this phrase to Baum when it would've originated from the 1939 adaptation script writers Langley/Ryerson/Woolf.
- The Man Behind the Curtain
- L. Frank Baum, Royal Historian of Oz
- The Online Books Page
- The Wonderful Website of Oz
- An Online Library of Literature
- Lyman Frank Baum at ClassicAuthors.net
- The Oz Canon
- An interesting story about L. Frank Baum's coat
- L. Frank Baum : Essay on Baum's Fantasy works
- L. Frank Baum's Editorials on the Sioux Nation
- Free eBook of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Marvelous Land of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of Ozma of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Road to Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Emerald City of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Patchwork Girl of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of Tik-Tok of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Scarecrow of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of Rinkitink Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Lost Princess of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Tin Woodman of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of The Magic of Oz at Project Gutenberg
- Free eBook of Glinda of Oz at Project Gutenberg