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The Emerald City of Oz is the 6th book in L. Frank Baum's Oz books series. It was illustrated by John R. Neill and published on July 20, 1910.

Plot Summary[]

The Nome King, Roquat the Red, makes plans to dig a tunnel under the Deadly Desert into the Land of Oz where he will take back his Magic Belt from Princess Ozma. His General Guph tours the neighboring lands rounding up allies, including the comical Whimsies, the strong and brutal Growleywogs, and the powerfully magical Phanfasms.

Meanwhile, Dorothy Gale brings her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to Oz to live (their Kansas farm having been foreclosed). They tour Oz in Ozma's Red Wagon and meet various intriguing people like Miss Cuttenclip and the Fuddles. Dorothy becomes lost one morning and visits Utensia, Bunbury, and Bunnybury before the Wizard finds her again.

They visit the Tin Woodman at his Tin Palace and he tells them that Ozma has learned of the Nome King's plan through her Magic Picture. They head for the Emerald City picking up the Scarecrow and Jack Pumpkinhead on the way.

The action climaxes at the Forbidden Fountain in the Emerald City, where all the enemies drink of the Water of Oblivion and are sent home by the Magic Belt.


Chapter List[]

  1. How the Nome King Became Angry
  2. How Uncle Henry Got Into Trouble
  3. How Ozma Granted Dorothy's Request
  4. How The Nome King Planned Revenge
  5. How Dorothy Became a Princess
  6. How Guph Visited the Whimsies
  7. How Aunt Em Conquered the Lion
  8. How the Grand Gallipoot Joined The Nomes
  9. How the Wogglebug Taught Athletics
  10. How the Cuttenclips Lived
  11. How the General Met the First and Foremost
  12. How they Matched the Fuddles
  13. How the General Talked to the King
  14. How the Wizard Practiced Sorcery
  15. How Dorothy Happened to Get Lost
  16. How Dorothy Visited Utensia
  17. How They Came to Bunbury
  18. How Ozma Looked into the Magic Picture
  19. How Bunnybury Welcomed the Strangers
  20. How Dorothy Lunched With a King
  21. How the King Changed His Mind
  22. How the Wizard Found Dorothy
  23. How They Encountered the Flutterbudgets
  24. How the Tin Woodman Told the Sad News
  25. How the Scarecrow Displayed His Wisdom
  26. How Ozma Refused to Fight for Her Kingdom
  27. How the Fierce Warriors Invaded Oz
  28. How They Drank at the Forbidden Fountain
  29. How Glinda Worked a Magic Spell
  30. How the Story of Oz Came to an End

The illustrations[]

In the book's first edition, Neill's sixteen color plate illustrations, plus the cover art, were distinguished by the use of emerald-green metallic ink, which gives a shining, shimmering effect. Reilly & Britton was experimenting with metallic inks at the time; the first edition of Baum's The Sea Fairies, published the next year, also had metallic ink borders on its color plates. Later printings of Emerald City dropped the use of the expensive ink, however, leaving white spaces instead. In one case this resulted in a material change in the book. Neill's color plate for Chapter 22 featured a border of text around the image. The text is nonsense:


These seem to be the words of Neill rather than Baum. When metallic ink was dropped from later printings of the book, the text border to the illustration disappeared.

Books of Wonder has published a modern facsimile of the first edition that employs the metallic ink of the original.


While he was writing The Emerald City of Oz, L. Frank Baum moved to Hollywood where he worked on the silent film The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum actually intended to end the series with this book with the final chapter being titled "How the Story of Oz Came to an End." At least one contemporary reviewer was skeptical about Baum's termination of the series; a writer in the Portland Telegram said succinctly of Oz, "the children want it. The only graceful way Baum can quit telling tales of Oz is to die." Eventually, the Telegram was proved correct: public demand persuaded Baum to resume the Oz series and he would continue to do so up until his death.

As with other Oz books of this era its original edition was published by Reilly & Britton of Chicago. It long stayed in print with the successor firm of Reilly & Lee.


  • This is the only Oz book in which all chapters begin with "How"
  • With 30 chapters, it has more chapters than every other Oz book that Baum and likely other authors have written.




External links[]

L. Frank Baum's Oz books
1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 2. The Marvelous Land of Oz 3. Ozma of Oz 4. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz 5. The Road to Oz 6. The Emerald City of Oz 7. The Patchwork Girl of Oz 8. Tik-Tok of Oz 9. The Scarecrow of Oz 10. Rinkitink in Oz 11. The Lost Princess of Oz 12. The Tin Woodman of Oz 13. The Magic of Oz 14. Glinda of Oz