Friday, November 11, 2011

Dot and Tot of Merryland

I just finished producing the eBook version of Dot and Tot of Merryland, by L. Frank Baum and W. W. Denslow.  The story behind the book is actually more interesting than the book itself, in my opinion.

In 1900, Baum and his buddy Denslow worked together to make The Wizard of Oz.  The book and Broadway play were mega-hits, and they instantly skyrocketed to superstar status.  They obviously wanted to duplicate the success of the Wizard of Oz, so the next year, the two men came together again and made Dot and Tot of Merryland

I admit, The Wizard of Oz is a really, really tough act to follow.  How should they have followed it up?

With anything other than Dot and Tot of Merryland.

Not to be mean, but it's not a very good book.  Maybe it was rushed or something; I think it could definitely be improved with some editing and reorganization.  The book was a complete flop on the market.  Shortly afterwards, the Baum/Denslow dream team broke up, and the two of them never worked together again.

Baum's career was rocky for a while after that, until he wrote a sequel to The Wizard of Oz.  That became a big bestseller, so he wrote more sequels, and he eventually became known as the Oz guy.
Denslow, on the other hand, seems to have gone somewhat crazy after he broke ties with Baum.  He used his Oz money to buy an island in Bermuda, and he declared himself King Denslow the First.  He also became an alcoholic and died penniless.

4 comments:

Moriah said...

Wow I never knew that until now I do. That's sad he died of an acholic though.

TravillaGirl1 said...

Hmm, that's interesting. *nods* Sadly, I know of people who've died of alcohol... =(

Philip said...

Oh dear!

Art said...

So pleased to have read over this one.