Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Little House Traveler

After watching the biography The Little House on the Prairie
on television, I reserved some biographies at the library to read about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wanted to know more about the life of the woman who wrote one of my favorite series of children's books. After watching this program, I realized I had spent little time getting to know the historical woman. A Little House Traveler: Writings from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Journeys Across America was the first book I read. This book chronicled three of Laura's adult journeys. The first trip was followed using Laura's journals kept during her move from De Smet, South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri. This journey relocated Laura, Almanzo, and Rose away from her family permanently. The second journey follows Laura's letters to Almanzo as she takes a long trip to visit Rose and cover the San Francisco Expedition for the local farm papers in 1915. This was the first I ever heard of Laura Ingalls Wilder reporter. She wrote under the pen name Mrs. A J Wilder. Some of her stories were submitted under her husband's name, according to various biographers to give the stories more credibility.

As a writing freelancer, myself this is likely one of the most interesting pieces of information I have learned about the woman. The third book I am reading about her actually is based on her farm paper articles she wrote and they are quite good.

The last trip discussed is one she and Almanzo took to revisit De Smet in 1931. This returns to Laura's journals as well as letters to Rose as a means to document the trip and their experiences while on the visit. One of the things that struck me as I read this book was how long and active a life she lived. She was born in 1867 and lived until 1957. The changes she and Almanzo saw in their life times were amazing. In 1894 Laura and Almanzo traveled by wagon from De Smet to Missouri. In 1931, Almanzo and Laura returned in a car. They had lived through one World War and both would survive the second. It never occurred to me, that they lived that late into the twentieth century.

What I really enjoyed about this book is it is based heavily on original sources. The three biographies I have read have focused on what can be proven, not on gossip, speculation, and what seems like would make good book sales. Other resources I have looked at have wanted to focus on other issues that I will discuss in my next review.

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  1. This is cute! I wish I was crafty.

  2. What a cute set! You're also giving me quite a reading list! Keep the info coming!

  3. Your craft is adorable.

    I am going to check out the first book you mentioned. I would love to learn more about Laura Ingalls Wilder's life.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have always wanted to take time to read those. It slipped my mind until now.

    Thanks for stopping by today!