The Little House books of Laura Ingalls Wilder have touched millions of lives since they were first published in the 1930's and 40's. They have captured our hearts and minds and taken us back to simpler times. Written from the point of view of an exited young girl who trusts her father completely, we see the west as an exciting destination. Yet within the same text we are able to see the stresses of this life through the eyes of Laura’s mother.
Laura’s writing also records history. Each chapter tells the story of her family but her detailed descriptions give examples of how families made their food, created their homes, and spent their time. In the telling of her families’ story Laura tells the story of survival for many pioneers.
Laura's Childhood Memories
Laura felt her childhood memories and family stories "were altogether too good to be lost." She believed her family stories should be preserved and so she began to write. She wrote of her life as a child in the woods of Wisconsin, of her families trek to Kansas and living in a dugout in Minnesota. As a young girl the family moved to Dakota Territory where Pa worked for the railroad.
It was journey's end for Ma and Pa as De Smet was their last stop on a long journey west. The first four years of marriage were filled with trials and so Laura, Almanzo and daughter Rose were looking for a fresh start which led them to Mansfield, Missouri. Laura and Almanzo made their home on a farm they called Rocky Ridge for over sixty years. This is where the Little House books were written.
Laura's first Little House Book, Little House in the Big Woods was written when she was sixty-five years old. It was tremendously popular which led to the writing about Almanzo's life in Malone, New York. (Farmer Boy) Laura's fans flooded her with mail asking questions about the little girl in the big woods of Wisconsin and that became the basis for the next six volumes of her life.
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
On the Banks of Plum Creek
By the Shores of Silver Lake
The Long Winter
Little Town on the Prairie
These Happy Golden Years
The First Four Years was discovered among Laura's papers, rough drafts and manuscripts.. It was an unpublished manuscript at the time of her death. It was a much shorter book than the others and had an adult theme to it. It was published in 1971 by Roger MacBride.
Laura visited Rose in California in 1915. Almanzo did not make the trip with her and so she wrote many letters to him explaining the many sites she saw. These faithfull letters became the basis for the book West from Home. It was published 1974 by Roger MacBride.
Laura lived to see her books read by her many fans from all over the world. She felt her books were so well received because she wrote of real people and actual places. Her readers continually sought her out at her Missouri home where she lived for over sixty years.
The nine Little House books have been cherished by generation of readers. They have given an unique glimpse into the memories of much loved author Laura Ingalls Wilder. These are the stories that continue to be told by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
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The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.