|Inscription from my parents in 1974|
The Scarecrow of Oz was my first introduction to two of my favorite characters, Trot and Cap'n Bill. The girl and old sailor were probably familiar to many of Baum's readers when Reilly & Britton published Scarecrow nearly 100 years ago on June 6, 1915. The two had many adventures together in Baum's "Borderlands of Oz" books, The Sea Fairies (1911) and Sky Island (1912). However, by the time I read Scarecrow in 1974, those books had gone out of print. (I bought those books a few years later when an Oz Club member advertised them for sale on The Oz Trading Post, which used to be a supplement to The Baum Bugle. Alas, the Post became obsolete in the age of the Internet and eBay.)
"At first their fall was swift as an arrow, but presently they seemed to be going more moderately and Trot was almost sure that unseen arms were about her, supporting her and protecting her. She could see nothing, because the water filled her eyes and blurred her vision, but she clung fast to Cap'n Bill's sou'-wester, while other arms clung fast to her, and so they gradually sank down and down until a full stop was made, when they began to ascend again."
|Left to right: 1st printing (1915), later printing with dust jacket (circa 1946), Popular Edition (1940), Roycraft edition (1959), white edition (1964)|
|Color plate from the 1st printing|
The second printing was issued two years later in 1917, and the verso of the half title page lists titles through The Lost Princess of Oz. When the third printing came out in 1918, the list of titles went through The Tin Woodman of Oz. Starting in 1919, the book was published by Reilly & Lee. Color plates were discontinued in 1934.
|The first printing has an advertisement on the verso of the half title page listing titles in the Oz series through The Scarecrow of Oz|
|The 1940 "Popular Edition"|
|Library-style binding (mid-1940s)|
Another interesting variant was issued in 1959. This book was bound in cloth, but there was no color label – or any art at all – on the front cover. Instead, it featured a new dust jacket design by "Roycraft." This was part of an effort by the publisher to modernize the look of the series.
|1959 issue with Roycraft dust jacket|
|This is the white edition of 1964 that I received for my seventh birthday|