Explore the Hidden History
Let me tell you a story about a magical land and how it came to be.
What is Oz?
Oz is a magical land powered by human dreams. It has a full and rich history heretofore unknown to the reading public. Why? Because the original author (L. Frank Baum) didn’t explore it.
The Hidden History of Oz is Celtic Ireland imagined through American dreams during the Industrial Revolution. It is a land powered by human dreams.
Bright and shiny…or not
The Hidden History of Oz may not be to everyone’s liking. I’ll tell you why – some people like their magical lands light, bright and bubbly, where everyone is happy and they enjoy a magical dressup party at the end. This is not that version of Oz.
Not a pre-history to Oz
I will make one thing very clear at the beginning, this is not a pre-history to all existing Oz stories. This is not intended to fit in with canonical Oz literature. This is not a saga of frilly dresses and magical tea parties. L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to be:
“… a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.”
He knew that there was more to Oz, and he intentionally did not write it. Why not?
That is what the Hidden History of Oz aims to discover. Baum never intended to write a sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In that sense, all of the “Famous Fourteen” canonical Oz books were not inspired by Oz, but rather motivated by his publisher.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is, therefore, the truest version of Oz – all of the others are only appendages to it. Everyone knows that original story, but few know that Baum wrote a total of fourteen books set in the magical Land of Oz and the surrounding countries. The reason that not many people know these stories is because they were not as important, nor were the stories as clearly told as the original.
What else is Oz?
There are four categories of Oz stories:
- Canonical Oz – the “Famous Fourteen” (written by Baum)
- Expanded Universe Oz – many books written by Baum’s hand-picked successor, Ruth Plumly Thompson
- Oz Apocrypha -contains books set in Oz written by other authors.
And then there is the fourth category, The Hidden History of Oz. This claims to be neither canonical, nor Expanded Universe. It is a separate saga that intersects canonical Oz in only one place – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel. And we will get there in time.
Intersections of Oz
Click the infographic to enlarge and view the different categories and their intersections with Baum’s work.
Hidden History of Oz
As you read the stories found in the Hidden History, you will see characters you may recognize from other Baum stories. They exist, but they played a much different and larger role in the grand scheme than Baum let on. Baum wanted a fairy tale free from nightmares, but he had to know that dreams have both light and shadow inseparably intertwined.
Now the choice is yours, dear reader. How do you like your magical land?
Do you like epic battles of good vs. wicked, where ingenuity overcomes brute cruelty?
Or will you walk hand in hand with Dorothy down the road of yellow brick, and never wonder at the magic that courses beneath your feet?
Your journey begins now.
* L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Introduction, 1900
Explore the Hidden History
To begin your journey exploring the Hidden History of Oz, may I suggest you begin with the following posts:
How and Why the Hidden History of Oz was created. These posts are intended to help you understand the vision of the Hidden History of Oz.
How the Hidden History of Oz expands characters, concepts and themes true to the spirit of Oz.
- History of the Winged Monkeys
- Wrong Directions: Secrets of the Compass Rose
- Rubies and Emeralds and Pearls oh my!
- Dreamers in Oz
Differences between Baum’s Oz and the Hidden History.