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|Princess Ozma of Oz|
Princess Ozma of Oz on the left, with Dorothy holding Billina on the right.
Ozma of Oz
The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)
Reilly & Britton
L. Frank Baum
While still an infant, Ozma, the daughter of the former King Pastoria of Oz was given to the witch Mombi by the Wizard of Oz. Mombi transformed Ozma into a boy and called him "Tip" (short for Tippetarius) in order to prevent the rightful ruler of Oz from ascending to the throne. Thus, Ozma spent her childhood with Mombi in the form of the boy Tip, and had no memory of ever having been a girl. During this time, Tip had managed to create Jack Pumpkinhead who was brought to life by Mombi's Powder of Life. In her first appearance, Glinda the Good Sorceress discovered what had happened and forced Mombi to turn Tip back into Ozma; ever since then, the Princess has possessed the Throne of Oz (although many realms within Oz remained unaware of her authority).
In some of his last Oz books, L. Frank Baum indicated that Ozma has the appearance of a fourteen-year-old, and is therefore older than Dorothy Gale. By that point in time, Baum had also established that the inhabitants of Oz ceased to age, suggesting that Ozma would always appear to be a beautiful young girl.
Baum was not inclined to worry about strict continuity in his series, however, and so there were discrepancies in the origins and very nature of Ozma. In her initial appearances, she was portrayed as no more than a human princess, born shortly before the Wizard's arrival in Oz. Later in the series, Baum revealed that Ozma is actually a fairy, descending from "a long line of fairy queens." Glinda later tells Dorothy that no one knows how old Ozma really is. In Baum's final book, Ozma herself explains that she was in fact a member of the Fairy Queen's band when she enchanted Oz and turned it into a fairyland.
Ozma frequently encounters difficulties while ruling her kingdom. At one time, for instance, the Fairy Princess is kidnapped, although her dearest friend, Dorothy Gale, comes to her rescue with a search party. Both Dorothy and Ozma are captured by the wicked Queen Coo-ee-oh, while trying to stop a war between two races, but Glinda manages to save them with the help of the Three Adepts at Sorcery. In order to circumvent trouble, Ozma prohibits anyone other than the Wizard and Glinda from practising magic in Oz.
L. Frank Baum portrayed Ozma as an exceedingly benevolent and compassionate ruler, who never resorts to violence and who does not believe in destroying even her worst enemies. At one point, she even left Oz in order to rescue the Royal Family of Ev from the clutches of the Nome King, demonstrating that her kindness and concern extends far beyond her own kingdom. When the Nome King tried to conquer and destroy Oz in revenge, Ozma insisted on maintaining a disposition, which led to the Scarecrow's suggestion that Ozma's enemies be made to forget about their wicked intentions by drinking from the Fountain of Oblivion.
Furthermore, Ozma discontinued the use of money in Oz, and took systematic measures to ensure that all the citizens of Oz receive the land's resources in equal measure, without having to work harder than necessary.
Ozma invited several people from the outside world to come live in the Land of Oz, most notably:
Ozma's birthday falls on the 21st day of the month of August.
Ozga the Rose Princess is a distant cousin of hers.
Public Domain Appearances
- The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)
- Ozma of Oz (1907)
- Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908)
- The Road to Oz (1909)
- The Emerald City of Oz (1910)
- The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1913)
- Little Wizard Stories of Oz (1913)
- Tik-Tok of Oz (1914)
- The Scarecrow of Oz (1915)
- Rinkitink in Oz (1916)
- The Lost Princess of Oz (1917)
- The Tin Woodman of Oz (1918)
- The Magic of Oz (1919)
- Glinda of Oz (1920)
- The Royal Book of Oz (1921)
- The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays
- Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz
- The Patchwork Girl of Oz
- The Woggle-Bug
- While the original character who appeared in Oz books published before 1923 is in public domain, the versions of the character used by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Disney, Vertigo Comics, Marvel Comics or post-1923 Oz books are NOT in the public domain.