21 August 2009

The Twenty-First of This Month

Today is the birthday of Princess Ozma, ruler of Oz after the events of The Marvelous Land of Oz, the second book in the series.

L. Frank Baum almost certainly never intended people to know that Ozma had a birthday on 21 August. Throughout The Road to Oz, published one hundred years ago, characters refer only to the party planned for “the twenty-first of this month." But earlier in the book Dorothy mentions that it's August, and Oz fans put the two statements together. (Baum later used Ozma's birthday to motivate two of the three plotlines in The Magic of Oz, but never mentioned the date in that book.)

The lovely modern drawing above, titled "Ozma the Great," was posted by ~cilyconcar on deviantART.

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