Download a free copy of the original edition of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

October 6, 2009

Wizard of Oz CoverYou’ve seen the movie, you’ve read Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West,” and maybe you’ve even seen the Broadway musical “Wicked,” but have you read the book that started it all?

First editions of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” sell for thousands (and thousands) of dollars, but thanks to what Matt Raymond, the Library of Congress Director of Communications calls “some nifty page-turning technology,” you can easily read the book online. Even better, you can download and print your very own PDF copy of the scanned version of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

We loved the “nifty page-turning technology,” but decided we didn’t want to spend all our time in front of the computer; so we downloaded a copy, too. That’s how we know that even with a high-speed connection the download may take a long time. The PDF is slightly larger than 18MG, so patience is required if you take this route.

Once you start reading “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” you’ll notice definite differences between it and the 1939 MGM film starring Judy Garland. We did some more exploring at the Library of Congress website and discovered several pages full of information about the history of the book and the adaptations that ensued after its publication in 1900.

For instance, we learned that, “In June 1902, an extravagantly mounted stage version opened in Chicago to great critical acclaim. The 1903 New York production became one of the greatest successes in Broadway history at that time and continued as a road-show for another decade.”

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