Affectionately dedicated to my young friend
Sumner Hamilton Britton of Chicago
Through the kindness of Dorothy Gale of Kansas,
afterward Princess Dorothy of Oz, an humble writer
in the United States of America was once appointed
Royal Historian of Oz, with the privilege of
writing the chronicle of that wonderful fairyland.
But after making six books about the adventures of
those interesting but queer people who live in the
Land of Oz, the Historian learned with sorrow that
by an edict of the Supreme Ruler, Ozma of Oz, her
country would thereafter be rendered invisible to
all who lived outside its borders and that all
communication with Oz would, in the future, be cut off.
The children who had learned to look for the
books about Oz and who loved the stories about the
gay and happy people inhabiting that favored
country, were as sorry as their Historian that
there would be no more books of Oz stories. They
wrote many letters asking if the Historian did not
know of some adventures to write about that had
happened before the Land of Oz was shut out from
all the rest of the world. But he did not know of
any. Finally one of the children inquired why we
couldn’t hear from Princess Dorothy by wireless
telegraph, which would enable her to communicate
to the Historian whatever happened in the far-off
Land of Oz without his seeing her, or even knowing
just where Oz is.
That seemed a good idea; so the Historian rigged
up a high tower in his back yard, and took lessons
in wireless telegraphy until he understood it,
and then began to call “Princess Dorothy of Oz” by
sending messages into the air.
Now, it wasn’t likely that Dorothy would be
looking for wireless messages or would heed the
call; but one thing the Historian was sure of, and
that was that the powerful Sorceress, Glinda,
would know what he was doing and that he desired
to communicate with Dorothy. For Glinda has a big
book in which is recorded every event that takes
place anywhere in the world, just the moment that
it happens, and so of course the book would tell
her about the wireless message.
And that was the way Dorothy heard that the
Historian wanted to speak with her, and there was
a Shaggy Man in the Land of Oz who knew how to
telegraph a wireless reply. The result was that
the Historian begged so hard to be told the latest
news of Oz, so that he could write it down for the
children to read, that Dorothy asked permission of
Ozma and Ozma graciously consented.
That is why, after two long years of waiting,
another Oz story is now presented to the children
of America. This would not have been possible had
not some clever man invented the “wireless” and an
equally clever child suggested the idea of
reaching the mysterious Land of Oz by its means.
L. Frank Baum.