Book Collecting

Grampa in Oz 1924 | First Edition Identification Guide

Grampa in Oz (1924) is the eighteenth in the series of Oz books created by L. Frank Baum and his successors, and the fourth written by Ruth Plumly Thompson.

Summary

Thompson - Grampa In Oz 1924 First Printing
Grampa in Oz 1924 first printing

Things are going from bad to worse in the dilapidated kingdom of Ragbad; even the rag crop is failing. To top it all off (or not), King Fumbo’s head is blown away in a ferocious storm (with “ten thousand pounds of thunder”). Prince Tatters of Ragbad, and Grampa, a former soldier and the bravest man in the kingdom (population 27), set out on a three-fold quest: for King Fumbo’s lost head, a fortune to save the bankrupt kingdom, and a princess for Tatters to marry. They are joined by Bill, an iron weathercock from Chicago, who was brought to life by an electrical storm and blown to Oz.

Meanwhile, in Perhaps City in the Maybe Mountains, the Princess Pretty Good has a problem: the prophet Abrog (also known as Gorba) foresees her marrying a monster if she does not marry in four days. (He suggests himself as her bridegroom.) When Pretty Good resists, Abrog kidnaps her and tries to transform her into a clod of earth; but since she is, in fact, more than just pretty good, as princesses go, Pretty Good turns into the beautiful flower fairy Urtha.

Wide-ranging adventures—from Fire Island to Isa Poso to Monday Mountain — culminate in the location and restoration of King Fumbo’s head. Dorothy (with the help of Percy Vere the forgetful poet) manages to restore order. Prince Tatters ends up married to Princess Pretty Good — which is pretty good for him.

Grampa in Oz First Edition Book Identification Points

Please refer to the gallery for detailed images of binding(s) and dust jackets.

Ruth Plumly Thompson - Grampa in Oz 1924 First Edition Identification Guide
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1924Grampa in OzReilly & Lee Co., [1924]First edition. Illustrated by John R. Neill, 271 pages.

Textual points: The book is printed on heavy paper stock and measures approximately 1 7/16 inches thick. The four pages (each with a blank verso) of advertisements at the end of the book were included without change in subsequent printings for many years. Pictorial self-endpapers in black and white.*
* All copies of the first printing examined have perfect type in the numeral on page 171 and in the last word in the next-to-last line on page 189. All copies of later printings examined show type damage in these two places.

Color plates: 12 full-color inserts, bound in (there is no color frontispiece: a black-and-white picture which is part of the text sheets faces the title page) facing pages 28, 45,76, 93, 124, 141, 172, 189, 220, 237, 252, [269]. Stock coated only on the printed side.

Binding: light brick-red cloth, with pictorial paper label in colors. Spine imprint: “Reilly   |   & Lee”.

Size of leaf: 9 by 6 5/8 inches.

An issue with the imprint of the Copp, Clark Co., Limited, of Toronto on the title page and spine is known. It is otherwise identical with the American first state.


Later Printings

Later printings are on thinner paper stock and differ somewhat in binding colors. Copies have been seen in light and dark brick-red cloth (each about 1 5/16 inches thick) with plates coated only on the printed side; in dark brick-red cloth (1 3/16 inches thick) with various combinations of plates coated on only the printed side and on both sides, and in brick-red cloth lighter than the first-state binding (11/8 inches thick) with all plates coated on both sides. Around 1935, the color plates were discontinued, but for a brief time copies were issued with only 2 color plates.

Grampa in Oz First Edition Dust Jacket Identification Points

First edition binding(s) and various dust jacket printings identification.

References:

  • Wikipedia
  • Bibliographia Oziana – Haff, Greeme, Martin. 2002

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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