Boston Preview V: First Pennyroyal Press Edition of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

We round out this week’s review of choice items available at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair and the Boston Book Show with a peek at a very special edition of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with illustrations by Barry Moser. At the ABAA fair, Boomerang Booksellers of Northampton, Massachusetts, is presenting a first edition, first printing of the Pennyroyal Press edition of the book, which includes sixty-two wood engravings of, among others, political figures from the Reagan administration. Published in 1985, various political personalities from that era pepper the book, most notably with First Lady Nancy Reagan as the Wicked Witch of the West and her husband providing inspiration for the Wizard. Moser’s own daughters modeled for Glinda the Good Witch. (One wonders which political figures would appear if the book were illustrated in the midst of our current election cycle.)

                                                                                                                                                              

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                                                                                                                                                                  Oz fans may recall the 2006 exhibition celebrating what would have been the 150th birthday of L. Frank Baum at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. The installation explored the various representations of one of literature’s most beloved stories and its inhabitants, as well as the multitude of artistic shapes the book has taken since its initial publication in 1900. Moser’s illustrations for this book were a central part of that discussion.

                                                                                                                                                              A first edition, first printing of the Pennyroyal Press publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with illustrations by Barry Moser, will be available at Booth 303 for the bewitching price of $57.50.

                                                                                                                                                              Images Courtesy of the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair.

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