L. Frank Baum (lost unfinished novels of famous children's author; 1910s)

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Author L. Frank Baum.

Status: Lost

L. Frank Baum is a famous children's author of the early 1900s, most famous for his wildly popular and critically acclaimed The Wizard Of Oz series. Baum is widely respected for his great sense of imagination and his understanding of morality.

Baum spent many years trying to shake off the popularity of the Oz books, as his real passion was writing adult books, of which only four of his were ever published. Four others were never released, mostly due to Baum's financial troubles. The books were titled Our Married Life (1912), Johnson (1912), The Mystery of Bonita (1914) and Molly Oodle (1915).[1] Little is known about the plots of these works. When Baum ran out of money to continue writing these books, he would lean back onto his Oz books for financial support. Publishing companies would often reject these works[2], choosing to continue making him produce Oz books instead.[3]

The four unpublished books remained unknown until Baum biographers discovered file folders and paperwork for the novels, but the actual manuscripts were missing. It is unknown what happened to the novels, and it remains one of the great literary mysteries to this day. One common theory originating by Baum's son is that Baum's wife may have destroyed the novels in a fire, though no definitive proof has ever come out.[4]