NEILL, JOHN R. Original typescript for The Wonder City of Oz.
. [Chicago: circa 1940]. Typescript with numerous manuscript red crayon and pencil corrections, additions and underlining, also containing proofs of frontmatter being the illustrations for the copyright leaf and author's letter, as well as the printed Author's Letter and Contents leaf, all with manuscript corrections. Later black boards with pictorial label to upper cover. , 106 pp., 11 x 8 1/4 inches (29 x 22 cm); Together with a later, near final version of the typescript with extensive alterations. Approximately 184 pp. typescript with numerous corrections in manuscript. Unbound loose sheets, housed in its original envelope from the "Globe Engraving and Electrotype Co." with the title in manuscript title. The bound typescript with some very minor soiling; the second chipped and brittle; And a first edition copy of the finished book.
Neill was informed in early 1940 that Ruth Plumly Thompson was to retire as an Oz author. Asked to write the next book in the series himself after 35 years as the series illustrator, Neill pieced together sketches and stories he had been gathering and submitted the typescript. Reilly & Lee hired a ghost writer to alter and complete the story, evidenced by the second typescript and the finished book. The two drafts are drastically different, from the titles of the chapters to seemingly disconnected parts of the plot. A rare survival that displays the dramatic transition of the most prolific Oz illustrator to fledgling author.
Gifted to Fred M. Meyer by Frank J. O'Donnell of Reilly & Lee Company
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