L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) was an American author, poet, playwright, actor, and independent filmmaker best known today as the creator-along with illustrator W. W. Denslow-of one of the most popular books in American children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen Oz sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a plethora of other works, and brought several of his works to the stage and screen. His is known to his fans as "The Royal Historian of Oz." Michael Patrick Hearn has written for the New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications. His books include From the Silver Age to Stalin: Russian Children's Book Illustration and The Porcelain Cat; he has edited The Victorian Fairy Tale Book, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, The Annotated Christmas Carol, and The Annotated Huckleberry Finn. Hearn lives in New York City. W. W. Denslow (1856-1915) was a prolific illustrator, cartoonist, and caricaturist, best remembered for his work in collaboration with author L. Frank Baum, especially his illustrations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the first of the Oz books. An editorial cartoonist with a strong interest in politics, Denslow also illustrated his own books including Denslow's Mother Goose (1901), Denslow's Night Before Christmas (1902) and the 18-volume Denslow's Picture Books series (1903-4). The royalties from the print and stage versions of The Wizard of Oz were sufficient to allow Denslow to purchase Bluck's Island in Bermuda, and crown himself King Denslow I. However, he drank his money away, and he died in obscurity, of pneumonia. Martin Gardner (1914-2010) is regarded as one of the world's leading experts on Lewis Carroll and his work. The author of more than a hundred books, he wrote the "Mathematical Games" column for Scientific American for twenty-five years and has been hailed by Douglas Hofstadter as "one of the great intellects produced in this country in this century."