Thursday, December 12, 2019

Der Zauberer von Oz

In addition to my passion for the 1903 Broadway musical version of The Wizard of Oz I also collect foreign translations of the Oz books. Recently I acquired a little book that fits into both categories.

Der Zauberer von Oz, published by Anaconda, 2012.
This attractive German translation of Baum's original children's book, The Wizard of of Oz, was published by Anaconda Verlag of K├Âln in 2012. The story is translated by Felix Mayer and the book is illustrated with a few of W. W. Denslow's color plates printed quite small and as black and white halftones. What makes the book so appealing is the use of a poster from the original stage show on the cover—the first time imagery from the show has been used on the cover of  Baum's children's book, though a photograph and illustration of Montgomery and Stone, as the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, were featured in Baum's second Oz book, The Marvelous Land of Oz.

The poster, titled "Under the Spell of the Poppies," is one of the most beautiful of the original stage show's posters. Pastoria and the Lion are asleep at left, Tryxie and Imogene asleep at right; the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman attempt to rescue Dorothy, who softly murmurs "Locasta, Locasta ..." summoning the Witch of the North to save them from the poppies.

The beautiful Poppy Queen hovers above the poppy field, looking down on her sleeping victims. Interestingly, one of the victims is missing. Brigadier General Riskitt should also be shown asleep near Pastoria and the Lion.

Regrettably, the German edition places the "z" in Oz directly over the Poppy Queen's face. Still, it's a fun new foreign edition for my collection.

Copyright © 2019 David Maxine. All rights reserved.


  1. Is Dashemoff absent for this part of the scene? Maybe he wandered off with Riskett : )

  2. In the script Dashemoff runs off to find help before the flowers get to him. Riskitt should just be there asleep with Pastoria and the lion - he didn't make it into the Byron photos as the script was still being modified for Broadway when the photos were shot.