Thursday, June 11, 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House

One of the books that didn’t go to the give away pile or the dumpster in our most recent clean out was “Little House in the Ozarks; a Laura Ingalls Wilder sampler, The rediscovered writings.” (1991)  Before her novelist daughter Rose Wilder Lane began editing her fiction, Laura Wilder had written for many farm publications, and even other women’s magazines. If you are withdrawing books from your collection, you must never open them and browse.  They won’t make it out the door.  There are snippets in this book of stories that will later become part of her children’s fiction series. Nothing else will get done once you start to read.

The book is divided loosely into themes, it is not chronological and doesn’t have an index.  If you see something you like (I did) and don’t stick in a bookmark, you lose it (I did).

From Good Reads website:

In more than 140 articles and essays collected here for all to enjoy, this beloved author's writings on American life during a simpler time abound with humor and spunk that transcend the years. Laura Ingalls Wilder -- beloved author of one of the world's most treasured children's series, the Little House books -- wrote articles on a dizzying array of topics; articles that sparkle with her timeless wit and wisdom. Her interesting and insightful views on the changes motor cars and highways brought to her small town; the need to conserve natural resources; the role of women in the work force and in politics -- nothing seemed to escape her keen observation. With a foresight that is astounding, Wilder's many articles examine in depth the ways of life in this country during the late 1800s and early 1900s with a wisdom that holds relevance for our lives even today.

“Whom will you marry?” appeared in the June 1919, McCall’s magazine, and after much reflection when a younger woman asks her about becoming a farmer’s wife (he’s coming home from the war and she needs to give him an answer), Mrs. Wilder concludes at the end of the long article, not unexpectedly:

“If you want ease, unearned luxuries, selfish indulgence, a silken-cushioned, strawberries-and-cream life, do not marry a man who will be a farmer.

If you want to give, as well as to take; if you want to be your husband’s full partner in business and in homemaking; if you can stand on your own feet and face life as a whole, the troubles and difficulties and the real joys and growth that come from them; if you want an opportunity to be a fine, strong, free woman, then you are fitted for the life of a farmer’s wife, to be his partner, the providence of your own little world of the farm and bread-giver to humanity, the true lady of the world.”

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