Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Famous Forty +

So, I completed my blogging about "The Famous Forty +" as I call it. The reading took a lot less time than the blogging, which I started in April, 2010, and finished yesterday.

Throughout this, I gained a new respect for the other authors who wrote the Famous Forty. Baum was always a big focus on the Royal Blog of Oz, but now I've looked into the lives of the others, and while I don't completely feel I understand all their reasons for writing Oz the way they did, I definitely wouldn't put them down.

I did discover after writing certain blogs that I missed some bits I didn't know at the time of writing. For example, Jack Snow was good friends with International Wizard of Oz Club founder Justin Schiller, and Justin's family invited him along to see the MGM Wizard of Oz film when it was re-released in 1955. It was also the first time Justin saw the film. So, although Snow still had no idea of how much his work would be appreciated, he did have many in the Oz community who looked up to him.

Now, we know the Famous Forty was just the base of what has evolved. People have written their own Oz stories since very early on. (A story by a couple of children called Invisible Inzi of Oz appeared in the magazine A Child's Garden for Cheerful and Happy Homes in 1926.) These stories continue to this day, and even I wrote one. I continue to keep an eye open for the best of these. (Sometimes I don't always find the best, though.)

Quite soon, I'll be looking at some Oz stories that have some close ties to the Famous Forty, but I don't consider them FF+.

But, to mark my completing this series of blogs, here's an index. I didn't cover Baum's A Short, Short Oz Story, since it doesn't bear much on Oz continuity and was just written as a dedication. I did cover some of Thompson's other Oz work, but it is not listed separately on this list, which only lists books and short stories, an exception being An Oz Book. (There will be some developments about it soon, I understand.)

I also discovered I had picked up Oziana 1990, which contained a chapter of Eloise McGraw's abandoned Oz book, revised as a mainly standalone tale. There's not much else to say about it, so I'm including a brief description in the Rundelstone blog.

Anyways, here's my list of the FF+, I hope you've enjoyed or will enjoy my blogs about them.

L. Frank Baum
Ruth Plumly Thompson
John R. Neill
Jack Snow
Rachel Cosgrove Payes
Eloise McGraw and Lauren McGraw

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