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Slipper Madness

April 03, 1988

Once again the theories arise, as expressed in Calendar by Rhys Thomas and in the The Times op-ed page by Michael Genovese, that "The Wizard of Oz" was written around the political climate of the 1900s.

As the granddaughter of "Oz" author L. F. Baum, I would like to make a few comments. L. F. B. was a prolific writer who wrote all his life; a very sensitive, imaginative man who cared about children. He wrote many types of stories besides fairy tales and among them 14 "Oz" books.

The Wizard was developed from stories told to his four boys and neighborhood children over a period of time. It was his mother-in-law, Matilda Joslyn Gage, who suggested they be put in a book for children.

An excerpt taken from his introduction of "The Wizard of Oz" explains his writing the fairy tale: " 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' was written solely to pleasure children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartache and nightmares are left out."

Why put political connotations to a story written to "pleasure children"?

OZMA BAUM MANTELE

Downey

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