Map Attack


On the map of the countries surrounding Oz from the Tik-Tok of Oz endpapers, L. Frank Baum included places from his non-Oz fantasies, including the as-yet-unpublished King Rinkitink that would become Rinkitink in Oz two years later. Most of these had already been crossed over with Oz in The Road to Oz. There are, however, a few oddities with what had been established in the books. The most difficult to reconcile involves John Dough and the Cherub. It’s clear that all of the adventures in this book after John takes his rocket trip out of the United States occur on islands: the Isle of Phreex, “a small, rocky islet” where the Palace of Romance is located, the island where the Mifkets dwell, the new home of Jacquelin and her parents, the home of the retired pirates and bandits, and Hilo or Lohi where John becomes king.

On the map, only Phreex is shown as an island, and it’s on the other side of the Ozian landmass from Hiland and Loland, which are part of the mainland. Another location on the map is labeled “Mifkets,” but again is not an island, and is around where Scarecrow suggests the unmapped Mo is located. Of course, the Mifkets could live in more than one place, and the map placing them next to the Scoodlers’ territory is likely why John R. Neill mixed up the two peoples in Scalawagons.

Still, is the implication that John and Chick somehow flew AROUND the Ozian landmass, not noticing that there was more land rather close by? As indicated here, Ruth Plumly Thompson labeled her copy of the map with both Phreex and the Castle/Palace of Romance in Hiland, but also the Fairy Beavers and a Castle Isle, perhaps also the Palace of Romance, near the Mifkets’ territory.

And since Phreex was already on the map, she seems to have been hedging her bets with the double placements. She also included Mo across the desert from Jinxland as indicated in Scarecrow, although she made it quite small in order to fit it in.

When James E. Haff and Dick Martin made their maps for the International Wizard of Oz Club, they made Hilo/Lohi into an island and placed all the other islands from John Dough nearby. This contradicts the reference in Rinkitink to Phreex being near Pingaree, but it’s not like that affects the plot of either book. Still, I’d sort of like to come up with a way to make both locations work. I’ve been considering linking Impossipillio, an island mentioned as being near Pingaree in Speedy, with the Phreex on the map, but there’s really no reason to do so other than that we know practically nothing about the place. Thompson indicates in Pirates that the Octagon Isle is eight miles from Pingaree. The fact that the Octagonese don’t think King Ato has done anything worthwhile or exciting during his reign suggests that, while Regos and Coregos invaded Pingaree, it’s likely they left the nearby island alone. Admittedly, we don’t know this for sure. I assume Regos and Coregos are left off the original map because they’re some way to the north of Pingaree and hence not within its scope, although Thompson tried to squeeze them into the small bit of Nonestic Ocean along with some of her own creations.

Another interesting thing about John Dough is that Jack Snow lifted a fair amount of the plot for his Shaggy Man from Baum’s book. The heroes take a flying vehicle from an island, visit a place called the Valley of Romance that seems friendly but has a sinister side, and encounter a tribe of Fairy Beavers. There’s also Hightown, which might well be named after Hiland but doesn’t have much else in common with it. For the most part, these are clearly different locations and plot points from the John Dough ones despite being similar. The Fairy Beavers might or might not be an exception. I had considered a story where the Beavers relocate to Ev, perhaps because the Mifkets finally managed to infiltrate their underground territory, but Adam Nicolai’s story “Ruprecht the Castaway King” suggests that there are two different tribes with different kings.

There are a few odd placements on the map that aren’t related to John Dough. The location of Ev is a bit confusing, being to the east of Oz and across the desert from the Munchkin Country in Ozma, then Road says it’s “just across the Deadly Desert to the North of Oz,” and Emerald City that it’s to the south but that the Winkie Country is the part of Oz closest to the Nome Kingdom. The Tik-Tok map places both Ev and the Nome Kingdom across from the Winkie Country, with Ev more to the north. and the plot of that and later books tend to go along with that. It also varies as to whether the Nome Kingdom is directly underneath Ev or adjacent to it. As I’ve said before, I tend to go along with Haff and Martin’s idea that it’s sort of in the middle of Ev, and that the land on the surface above it is mostly a rocky wasteland, as suggested in several books. Later authors go along with this, with both Thompson and Neill having characters cross the desert from Ev or the Nome Kingdom to the Winkie Country, or vice versa, in Kabumpo, Grampa, Gnome King, Pirates, Purple Prince, and Lucky Bucky. I’ve seen suggestions that either Ev or the Nomes could have territory on multiple sides of Oz, which would presumably require a massive overhaul of the map. Another oddity is that there’s no indication that the underground lands visited in Dorothy and the Wizard ARE underground, instead making it look like the Vegetable Kingdom borders on Boboland. This is also the first clear suggestion that these places are close to Oz, since the story had Dorothy and the Wizard falling into the Vegetable Kingdom from California and being magically transported to Oz without finding out what place they were underneath. Finally (at least for now), the sand boat is shown as arriving in the Quadling Country, but in Road, Dorothy says she and her companions are in the Winkie Country immediately after falling off the boat. The Oz Club map follows the text in this respect, but this has the perhaps unfortunate result that none of the four corners of the Land of Oz are in the Quadling Country.

This entry was posted in Dick Martin, Jack Snow, John R. Neill, L. Frank Baum, Maps, Oz, Oz Authors, Places, Ruth Plumly Thompson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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