THE MASTER KEY. L. Frank Baum.


An Electrical Fairy Tale. Illustrations by F. Y. Cory. Indianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company, n.d. [1901]. Original olive green cloth with color plate affixed to front cover.

First Edition of this early Baum title, published the year after THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. The protagonist Rob Joslyn is in fact the author's second son, Robert Stanton Baum (who was 15 when this book was published) -- to whom the book is dedicated. Rob conducts electrical experiments in the attic of his family's home, where, trying to get a cardboard house to light up, he inadvertently "touches the Master Key" thus causing the appearance of The Demon of Electricity -- who tells Rob he may demand three wishes for three consecutive weeks... Included are twelve dramatic color plates.

This copy is in the primary binding with the dramatic flash of light on the front cover, and is in the frequently-encountered third state, with the second line on the copyright page measuring 1 25/32" wide (and with "Brooklyn, N.Y." properly printed at the bottom). This is an unusually fine, bright copy. Schiller #77; Boller #86. Item #12606

Price: $475.00