And The Place Author L. Frank Baum Found Inspiration For His Emerald City
I’ve never read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz either, but I’m going to now. I love when authors write about the food characters eat. Like how Joanne Harris describes chocolate making in Chocolat and the repetition of coffee and sandwiches in Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It sets the scene without too much scene setting. This was a fun read, Jolene!
As a child I lived reading mouth-watering descriptions of cooking and meals. Little House on the Prairie had many of those.
I still enjoy reading those as an adult. John Irving's Last Night on Twisted River begins with a wonderful description of preparing breakfast for loggers in New England.
And there are several writers here on substack that publish delightful descriptions of cooking and meals too. ❤️
A super article. But there’s apparently a lot more to Baum and Oz than a fun kids’ story, i.e. satire aimed at a particular Minnesota railway baron!
Anyone with an interest in Baum and the W of O will probably be as dumbfounded as I was by this fascinating article, which I found completely convincing, and which seems to have remained obscure. I live in the Twin Cities, and have been to the “Hill House” (home of RR baron and creepy captain of early industry James J. Hill) many times, and can vouch for the illustrations of the heavy stone wall background for the Witch of the West being just the sort on that enormous mansion.
If you’re not an academic with access that way, the chances are great that your library will have a JSTOR membership, although figuring out where it lurks can be tricky. I believe mine (Hennepin County Libraries) is under “online resources,” only slightly more helpful than the former “databases”!
This letter was extraordinary, taking me on one journey after another: from educational to tasty to joyful to poignant. Brilliantly done.
What a great story! I never knew the connection to The Wizard of Oz & Chicago & The Columbian Exposition. All of it interleaved with good food talk. I especially like the Anthony Bourdain inspired reminder that the simplest of food can be great.
I learned so much reading this! Very fun post!
I knew it had to be more than poppies!
Loved reading this about the great frank Baum. I’m reading hs other stories on the Substack here too. He was really a wonderful writer.
Charming! Love your emerald blouse, Jolene.
One million ❤️s
❤️❤️❤️- Great Research! I’m going to read the book as well 🤗
Dorothy was a good gal!
Wizard of Oz remains to be one of my favorite stories as well as movie. I have the 1956 version given to me that year and still have it and read it over and over. Dorothy filled her basket with white bread and covered with a cloth for her trip to find the Emerald City. Thank you for this wonderful visit back in time.
All the research you’re doing is like world-building in reverse, stripping away time a brick at a time until you reach the foundation.
Wonderful story, Jolene. I know you're a native New Yorker but I feel like you and Chicago were made for each other!
Such a wonderful article Jolene and is there anything more satisfying in its simplicity than scrambled eggs?