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Caroline Ingalls, a question


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I have been thinking about Ma Ingalls - we've been listening to all of the Little House audio books - and wonder if she could have really been that good, that patient.

 

On my blog post today I ask if Ma Ingalls ever just lost it. Sometimes, I do.

 

When you listen (read) the books, it is as if she never raises her voice, never loses her calm, never has ENOUGH of all the hardship.

 

Has anyone researched this topic and found that Laura whitewashed their lives? Left out the bits where Ma goes nuts? Or was she really that saintly?

 

I love, love, love my kids and spend every minute with them. But I know that I would have taken a few hikes across the prairie if I were in Ma's shoes!

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I think about this all the time!

In The Long Winter, Pa finally does have a bit of an outburst. Of course, they're all snowed in and slowly starving to death at the time... it takes a lot to push their tolerance. But then, I've always known the books were fictionalized versions of real life.

The truth is lost to history, which is the way we prefer it, I suspect. :-)

Edited by Jay3fer
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I am sure she put her foot down once or twice....like refusing to go any further west after they settled in DeSmet, So. Dakota. The books definitely glorified the family....Laura wrote them as fiction....and she obviously had " issues". With obeying her husband( would not include that part in her marriage vows) and she was a feminist as was her daughter Rose. I think Ma had a stronger personality than she received credit for....it must have been a hard time for women. I would NOT want to be MA!!!

 

Faithe

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IMHO....of course it's whitewashed. They are books geared for young readers. They were real people....humans...who will break down and make mistakes...even the best ones.

 

But there are people out there, even in today's world, who can show kindness and graciousness in the most extreme conditions, even if it is not appreciated or reciprocated. I'm not one of those, but it's a goal of mine:D.

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Don't have any info for you, but I have often thought of the pioneers too and wondered. I'm sure there were tense moments, but I think these people lived such different lives from us. Everyday was hard and they dealt with it differently. I mumble and grumble to myself when I'm tired, kids are loud, I have to do dishes by hand, and the dryer buzzer just went off. But that's nothing compared to killing my own chickens, making the candles, sewing all the clothes, drawing water from the well/creek, keeping the fire going, watching out for Indians, tending to a very sick relative (with no tylenol in sight!), the list goes on.... IMO our society probably has lost many morals and virtues throughout the years because we have a much easier life than those before us.

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I wish I could remember where I read about it, but basically the books are whitewashed. I think I read a biography somewhere about Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it may have even been written by her daughter (but don't quote me on that :lol:!).

 

From what I remember, Pa was a bit of a dreamer and a restless spirit. And not so much in the way the books say he is, like in a harmless fun-loving way. He got the family into some pretty tight spots because he was sort of irresponsible. But, Laura worshipped him and never saw him for what he really was. You know, a human being. ;)

 

It wasn't like it was Jerry Springer, but things weren't all that wonderful. DON'T hold yourself up to that standard! They are just fun books that shouldn't be taken all that seriously. It's like comparing your looks to an airbrushed supermodel!

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Yes, of course it was whitewashed for children. But, we also know that they believed in spanking, and I would not be surprised if Ma sometimes said "wait 'til your father comes home."

 

Then too, the social norms probaby made Ma's job easier by making it very clear to her daughters that they should be ashamed of disrespectful / immature behavior. And, they were not exposed to a lot of horrible behavior such as the stuff our kids see on the "screen" or in school, and they didn't have access to a lot of food irritants, etc. They had meaningful chores and lots of outdoor exercise. They were probably more manageable than the average kid today.

 

And finally, they didn't have any sons who survived long enough to be - er - behavioral challenges.

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I wish I could remember where I read about it, but basically the books are whitewashed. I think I read a biography somewhere about Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it may have even been written by her daughter (but don't quote me on that :lol:!).

 

From what I remember, Pa was a bit of a dreamer and a restless spirit. And not so much in the way the books say he is, like in a harmless fun-loving way. He got the family into some pretty tight spots because he was sort of irresponsible. But, Laura worshipped him and never saw him for what he really was. You know, a human being. ;)

 

 

 

Yes, and yes.

 

From everything I've read, Laura gave copious notes to Rose, and Rose is the one who really penned the books. Rose and Laura seemed to have a difficult relationship. Rose, even as a grown up, seemed sadly self-centered and not very kind toward her parents.

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Of course it was sanitized. The Wilders needed money, and it needed to sell. I've often wondered if Rose wrote most of it. :D

 

Plus, Ma was too stressed and tired. Back in the days when injury or illness could kill you (her boy died, her daughter lost her eyesight), when people could starve far away from others, where every little thing counted, I think it fastens the concentration wonderfully. She didn't have time to *****. She was too desperately busy.

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You need to read The Wilder Life. In it the author indulges in her Little House obsession and does some research and exploring and visiting old sites. Things were definitely not as rosy and idyllic as the books seem. They are also semi-fictionalized. The thing that surprised me the most is that at one time the whole family lived in a rented room in a town, while they all had to work just stay alive. They found themselves in debt and skipped town in the middle of the night! There are a lot of other interesting factoids in the book.

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You need to read The Wilder Life. In it the author indulges in her Little House obsession and does some research and exploring and visiting old sites. Things were definitely not as rosy and idyllic as the books seem. They are also semi-fictionalized. The thing that surprised me the most is that at one time the whole family lived in a rented room in a town, while they all had to work just stay alive. They found themselves in debt and skipped town in the middle of the night! There are a lot of other interesting factoids in the book.

 

I recently read this! It was fun to watch another adult indulge her little house fantasies! I think the author's final conclusion is that the world of little house is lost to us... and may have never existed to begin with.

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They are also semi-fictionalized.

 

Well, I know that they aren't really even in chronological order. They lived in Wisconsin, went to Indian Territory then came back to Wisconsin and it was that second time in Wisconsin that "Little House in the Big Woods" takes place. At least I think I understood it that way. Of course their lives were whitewashed. I'm sure it was deliberate to sell the books and because they were meant for children and she didn't want to traumatize her young readers by telling things like they really were.

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You all seem to be talking as if it's a dishonest, "bad" thing to have fictionalized their lives in such a way. I don't think her intention was to deceive, merely to take the pieces of her life and knit them into something good.

 

As far as Rose "really" writing the books, where exactly has that been documented? I had read Rose did edit Farmer Boy, but people seem to think so disparagingly of Laura's talents--fact is, she was a writer by profession, not just some elderly lady recalling memories. It kind of pisses me off when people do that.

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Y

 

As far as Rose "really" writing the books, where exactly has that been documented? I had read Rose did edit Farmer Boy, but people seem to think so disparagingly of Laura's talents--fact is, she was a writer by profession, not just some elderly lady recalling memories. It kind of pisses me off when people do that.

 

But Rose, by profession, was a much more worldly and experienced writer.

I never meant to be disparaging. The two women were close, the Depression was upon them, Almanzo had been sickly in his adult life, etc. I don't believe the books would have been written without Rose.

 

This all reminds me again of all the trails and troubles of Pa and Ma, and only one grandchild, no greats.

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You all seem to be talking as if it's a dishonest, "bad" thing to have fictionalized their lives in such a way. I don't think her intention was to deceive, merely to take the pieces of her life and knit them into something good.

 

NO WAY!! Not at all; I think it's great to enough the stories and know they're "partly" real. My dd has known this since the beginning of the series.

 

We read a chapter book for kids - maybe this one, Prairie Girl - that helped explain to my dd6 the differences between the life of the "story Laura" and the real Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are probably others, but I remember that this one was manageable even for a young age.

Edited by Jay3fer
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Don't have any info for you, but I have often thought of the pioneers too and wondered. I'm sure there were tense moments, but I think these people lived such different lives from us. Everyday was hard and they dealt with it differently. I mumble and grumble to myself when I'm tired, kids are loud, I have to do dishes by hand, and the dryer buzzer just went off. But that's nothing compared to killing my own chickens, making the candles, sewing all the clothes, drawing water from the well/creek, keeping the fire going, watching out for Indians, tending to a very sick relative (with no tylenol in sight!), the list goes on.... IMO our society probably has lost many morals and virtues throughout the years because we have a much easier life than those before us.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

i feel -we are soft -- I know I am -- i get stressed out and i if i think about my Grandmother's life -- much less anyone before her -- I am so ahamed of my self .....

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You all seem to be talking as if it's a dishonest, "bad" thing to have fictionalized their lives in such a way. I don't think her intention was to deceive, merely to take the pieces of her life and knit them into something good.

 

As far as Rose "really" writing the books, where exactly has that been documented? I had read Rose did edit Farmer Boy, but people seem to think so disparagingly of Laura's talents--fact is, she was a writer by profession, not just some elderly lady recalling memories. It kind of pisses me off when people do that.

 

I don't mean it that way at all. The books are fiction. I love the books, I love the stories. I'm not sure if they were ever meant to be a real representation of LIW's life.

 

There are varying accounts as to exactly how involved Rose was in Laura's writings. It's not a "conspiracy theory" or anything sinister.

 

Laura was a writer by profession, but Rose's career easily outshone Laura's at the time. (Not meant as disparaging, just true.)

 

As a child, I was confused by the books, not understanding there was an order to them. As an adult, I loved them and have read everything I could regarding Laura, including Caroline's (fictional) early years, most of the Martha books, of course the Rose books, and as many non-fiction books as I could. I was not, however, interested in reading anything that Rose authored. (And The Wilder Life easily made my list for one of the worst books I read this year.)

 

I think the problem comes in when people think the LH books are true biographies. They're just not. But they are wonderful books!

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But Rose, by profession, was a much more worldly and experienced writer.

I never meant to be disparaging. The two women were close, the Depression was upon them, Almanzo had been sickly in his adult life, etc. I don't believe the books would have been written without Rose.

 

This all reminds me again of all the trails and troubles of Pa and Ma, and only one grandchild, no greats.

 

I read a book about Rose writting the books, and the implication was Rose had some resentment at Laura being taken so favorably as the author when she did so much of it -- gee i wish i could remember the book -- it was not about Rose specifically but about women writters and histopry of their lit.

 

I have no issues with the "lack of historically true" books in the Little House serise -- they are FINCTION written for children -- they do not present themselves as truth

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As far as Rose "really" writing the books, where exactly has that been documented? I had read Rose did edit Farmer Boy, but people seem to think so disparagingly of Laura's talents--fact is, she was a writer by profession, not just some elderly lady recalling memories. It kind of pisses me off when people do that.

 

There was a book written about the theory that Rose wrote the Little House books. I'll try to find it. I don't think there is solid proof, but lots of people have hotly debated the topic. I think they do know beyond doubt that Rose heavily edited the books. Rose also attempted to publish her mother's stories before Laura did. I can't remember if they were actually published and didn't sell or if they never made it to publication. Some accuse her of attempting to steal the book ideas from her mother.

 

Laura was a writer in her own right. But, so was Rose. ;)

 

The book claiming Rose wrote the books is The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane. Someday, when I have time to kill and don't want to spend it here, I'm going to do some extensive research into the life of Rose. As interesting as her mother's life was, I think Rose is perhaps an even more interesting persona.

Edited by staceyobu
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I wish I could remember where I read about it, but basically the books are whitewashed. I think I read a biography somewhere about Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it may have even been written by her daughter (but don't quote me on that :lol:!).

 

From what I remember, Pa was a bit of a dreamer and a restless spirit. And not so much in the way the books say he is, like in a harmless fun-loving way. He got the family into some pretty tight spots because he was sort of irresponsible. But, Laura worshipped him and never saw him for what he really was. You know, a human being. ;)

 

It wasn't like it was Jerry Springer, but things weren't all that wonderful. DON'T hold yourself up to that standard! They are just fun books that shouldn't be taken all that seriously. It's like comparing your looks to an airbrushed supermodel!

 

:lol:

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I've read that these were fictionalized accounts. Even the Long Winter, as horrible as it sounds was WORSE in real life! I cannot imagine!

 

:eek:

 

I hated that book. Loved it as a kid, but reading it as an adult had me wanting to scream. I finally realized they were starving to death and it made me so upset. My idea of Pa really changed after reading TLW as an adult.

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:eek:

 

I hated that book. Loved it as a kid, but reading it as an adult had me wanting to scream. I finally realized they were starving to death and it made me so upset. My idea of Pa really changed after reading TLW as an adult.

 

Funny, it's the opposite for me. I hated it as a kid and love it as an adult, I read at least once a year. Just reread it a week ago.

 

Laura wrote extensively about farm life in MO. She was a very popular columnist and Rose did urge her to write the books so she could earn some money. Rose was doing very well financially at the time. If you read Rose's account of her mother, Laura was tough as nails, I suspect much more like her Ma, than Pa;)

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I have been thinking about Ma Ingalls - we've been listening to all of the Little House audio books - and wonder if she could have really been that good, that patient.

 

On my blog post today I ask if Ma Ingalls ever just lost it. Sometimes, I do.

 

When you listen (read) the books, it is as if she never raises her voice, never loses her calm, never has ENOUGH of all the hardship.

 

Has anyone researched this topic and found that Laura whitewashed their lives? Left out the bits where Ma goes nuts? Or was she really that saintly?

 

I love, love, love my kids and spend every minute with them. But I know that I would have taken a few hikes across the prairie if I were in Ma's shoes!

 

It could be that Laura doesn't remember. But, I have a sister-in-law who is like that. I really think she is a saint. Even her 5 kids, who are mostly adults, have said they've never seen their mother raise her voice. Actually, I think they said they've never seen her sin - which of course is impossible, but I think I know what they mean.

 

Some people just have a calm disposition...that's not me, but I have seen it in action and it's truly and beautiful thing.

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Hmm, I never thought of Ma Ingalls as a super nice mom. I thought she was detached and mean and it sure seemed they got lots of beatings. Not a hero of mine.

 

As an adult I'm not a fan of hers or Pa's.

 

But I've always loved how they portrayed Ma in the tv series--Karen Grassle made a much better Ma than I'm sure the real Ma ever could. And then there's Michael Landon working in the reeds...:001_wub:

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Hmm, I never thought of Ma Ingalls as a super nice mom. I thought she was detached and mean and it sure seemed they got lots of beatings. Not a hero of mine.

 

I took her to be very busy, and that it was a time when COMPLETE and immediate obedience was needed. Your life could depend on it.

 

I knew a man whose grandmother was a little girl at that time, and there was an Indian uprising. The girl and her brother came running into Mother who told them they were to go back outside and play like nothing was happening or she would hide them. Out they went and played. I believe this was SE Kansas.

 

The same grandmother told a story about their second house, this in NE Kansas. It was a bitterly cold night, and her dad bumped into a Kansa Indian when he was heading to the outhouse, and told him if he was too cold to come into the house that night. Later, Mother was about to get up and put another log on the fire and when she put her foot down, it was on the chest of a slumbering person. As her eyes focused, she saw that every horizontal surface had someone sleeping on it. She told the man she was cold and he woke the next person, who woke the next on down the line to the fireplace, where the last person put more wood on the fire.

 

The remarkable point was that the whole group of men, women and children had gotten in the house and bedded down without waking the residents.

 

She had also noted that her dad loaned the local tribe his only gun in exchange for one butchered buffalo from their hunt.

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I took her to be very busy, and that it was a time when COMPLETE and immediate obedience was needed. Your life could depend on it.

 

I knew a man whose grandmother was a little girl at that time, and there was an Indian uprising. The girl and her brother came running into Mother who told them they were to go back outside and play like nothing was happening or she would hide them. Out they went and played. I believe this was SE Kansas.

 

The same grandmother told a story about their second house, this in NE Kansas. It was a bitterly cold night, and her dad bumped into a Kansa Indian when he was heading to the outhouse, and told him if he was too cold to come into the house that night. Later, Mother was about to get up and put another log on the fire and when she put her foot down, it was on the chest of a slumbering person. As her eyes focused, she saw that every horizontal surface had someone sleeping on it. She told the man she was cold and he woke the next person, who woke the next on down the line to the fireplace, where the last person put more wood on the fire.

 

The remarkable point was that the whole group of men, women and children had gotten in the house and bedded down without waking the residents.

 

She had also noted that her dad loaned the local tribe his only gun in exchange for one butchered buffalo from their hunt.

Very interesting story (and doesn't surprise me). <3 history

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Hmm, I never thought of Ma Ingalls as a super nice mom. I thought she was detached and mean and it sure seemed they got lots of beatings. Not a hero of mine.

 

Did you glean that from the Little House books or some other books of her life? I would never have thought that from the LH books.

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Hmm, I never thought of Ma Ingalls as a super nice mom. I thought she was detached and mean and it sure seemed they got lots of beatings. Not a hero of mine.

 

a lot of beatingss? I rememeb ONE time laura got the strp -- for smaking Mary when their Aunt said she (the AUnt) like blong curles best -- that is the ONLY "physical punisment" I remember in any of the books

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I don't mean it that way at all. The books are fiction. I love the books, I love the stories. I'm not sure if they were ever meant to be a real representation of LIW's life.

 

There are varying accounts as to exactly how involved Rose was in Laura's writings. It's not a "conspiracy theory" or anything sinister.

 

Laura was a writer by profession, but Rose's career easily outshone Laura's at the time. (Not meant as disparaging, just true.)

 

As a child, I was confused by the books, not understanding there was an order to them. As an adult, I loved them and have read everything I could regarding Laura, including Caroline's (fictional) early years, most of the Martha books, of course the Rose books, and as many non-fiction books as I could. I was not, however, interested in reading anything that Rose authored. (And The Wilder Life easily made my list for one of the worst books I read this year.)

 

I think the problem comes in when people think the LH books are true biographies. They're just not. But they are wonderful books!

 

They are fictionalized accounts for children. They are, after all, shelved in the fiction section, not in autobiography.

 

I know there's a popular book that claims Rose wrote the book, but I read another biography of Laura and Rose that very much disputes that. For one thing, Rose actually wrote books on some of the same topics as Laura, and they were quite different in tone and "voice". Also, it seems Rose was a bit jealous of Laura's success in later years, when it came. She did mentor her mother when she started writing, and helped edit the books to some extent, but I don't think she wrote them. Read Rose's writing and you are not left thinking she wrote or would even have interest in writing something like the Little House books. Mother and daughter did have a very difficult relationship.

 

The Long Winter was much worse in real life. They had another family with a baby living with them that whole winter, and apparently they did nothing but sit there and help eat what little food the family had, but wouldn't help work doing all that twisting and grinding. :001_huh:

 

Chronologically, the House on the Prairie took place before House in the Big Woods - Carrie wasn't even born yet when they were in Indian territory. Laura also left out a couple of years when the family worked in a hotel in Minnesota, where her brother was born and died.

 

Another very interesting book to read is West from Home, which is an anthology of letters Laura wrote home to Almanzo when she took a trip to visit Rose in San Francisco. She even got to ride in an airplane! You can hear her writer's voice in the letters. She also wrote magazine articles for years before she wrote the books.

 

I think Laura also had a more difficult relationship with her parents and family than she let on. Think about it - she got married and left home at 16, then left the state two years later and only visited them once (or was it twice) the whole rest of her life.

 

The First Four Years was not finished before her death. It is much less sugar-coated than the rest of the books. Just read the scene where Almanzo proposes in that one vs. the one in Those Happy Golden Years. Laura is downright cranky in FFY. She does not want to be a farmer's wife.

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You need to read The Wilder Life. In it the author indulges in her Little House obsession and does some research and exploring and visiting old sites. Things were definitely not as rosy and idyllic as the books seem. They are also semi-fictionalized. The thing that surprised me the most is that at one time the whole family lived in a rented room in a town, while they all had to work just stay alive. They found themselves in debt and skipped town in the middle of the night! There are a lot of other interesting factoids in the book.

:iagree: I just finished it a few days ago. Great book !

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Agreed.

Although I find their method of punishment barbaric, personally, the one mention of it hardly qualifies as "a lot of beatings".

a lot of beatingss? I rememeb ONE time laura got the strp -- for smaking Mary when their Aunt said she (the AUnt) like blong curles best -- that is the ONLY "physical punisment" I remember in any of the books
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It was a different time. I've always had a picture in my head of Ma being a lot like my great-grandmother. She gave birth to three children - two boys and a girl. After her daughter died of appendicitis (the doctor arrived too late due to a snowstorm, and the girl died of a burst appendix during surgery that was being done on the kitchen table), she stopped celebrating Christmas. She was never a mean woman, but she was stern and quiet. She expected immediate obedience and just had one of those personalities where you simply did NOT cross her. Mind you, this is all hearsay from my mother, who knew her until her death in 1972, but my mom was nearly 20 by then and would have had a good perspective. That being said, my great-grandmother was also incredibly generous and always had room at her table for one more mouth (even if they didn't really have the food, in which case the family would be expected to hold back so the guests would have enough) and always had a batch of fresh oatmeal raisin cookies ready for all the farmhands who had been working in the fields.

 

Sure, the books are fictionalized. I read The First Four Years recently, too, and the difference in tone is notable. There's a lot more raw emotion in those notebooks. Cranky is right!

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Think about it - she got married and left home at 16, then left the state two years later and only visited them once (or was it twice) the whole rest of her life.

 

I read about her (Laura) - I thought she was married at 18 & lived near to her parents until she was 25 or so (because Rose was 7 when Laura & Almanzo moved away - they tried farming for several years, suffered through diptheria, etc.) However, I acknowledge that I may be wrong...it's been a while since I did "independent research"! I do remember being struck, though, by the fact that Laura only went back once (I think it was once) to see her parents, though, before Pa died.

 

I also remember, even as a child reading those books for the first time, that Laura never seemed in love with Almanzo. At times, she barely seemed to tolerate him. Her basic character seems to be that of "a pistol". I'm not sure I would want to cross her, that's for sure.

 

I'm just glad I wasn't alive then so that I wouldn't have to wear all those high-necked dresses with all the underpinnings, corsets, etc. etc. during the hot, humid summer months (did people smell bad then?). Mary even wore her corset at night. And then having to cook and haul water and do barn work and everything else in all those clothes. Ugh. I think I'd rather be a Native American and comfortable in my deerskin dress!

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I took her to be very busy, and that it was a time when COMPLETE and immediate obedience was needed. Your life could depend on it.

 

 

Yes, exactly.

Like the scene with the bear?

"Laura, go right back to the house now."

"But Ma, why? Aren't we going to milk Sukey? bla bla bla ... CHOMP"

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Did you glean that from the Little House books or some other books of her life? I would never have thought that from the LH books.

 

Different perceptions I guess. I remember them talking about cousins needing beatings, pa getting a beating off the top of my head. It was the culture. Of course nobody is going to take time to be nice to the kids when a bear is about to attack but Ma just didn't seem kind and loving the rest of the time either. I find it interesting to read that it was sugarcoated, I get tired of hearing about those times and books held up as some wonderful time that we people want to relive, like it was some sort of fantasy life.

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You all seem to be talking as if it's a dishonest, "bad" thing to have fictionalized their lives in such a way. I don't think her intention was to deceive, merely to take the pieces of her life and knit them into something good.

 

As far as Rose "really" writing the books, where exactly has that been documented? I had read Rose did edit Farmer Boy, but people seem to think so disparagingly of Laura's talents--fact is, she was a writer by profession, not just some elderly lady recalling memories. It kind of pisses me off when people do that.

 

 

It is definitely not a bad thing! The books are absolutely wonderful. The problem, as another poster pointed out, is when people take the books seriously as biographies. I don't know about you, but I've known many homeschooling families that have idolized the "Little House" culture so much that they want to recreate it in their own way. They don't seem to understand that it isn't real. That's not the author's fault.

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The First Four Years was not finished before her death. It is much less sugar-coated than the rest of the books. Just read the scene where Almanzo proposes in that one vs. the one in Those Happy Golden Years. Laura is downright cranky in FFY. She does not want to be a farmer's wife.

 

 

And the irony is that she was a farmer's wife till the end. I do think that once the family was established in MO life got a little better. But those years in ND were awful for Laura and Almanzo's family. One thing right after another with a mounting pile of debt. I have read that she was a favorite of the neighborhood children.

 

I think she was a very interesting person. I would have enjoyed meeting her. I have read a collection of essays that she wrote for farm magazines. They are very well done and quite interesting.

 

Too bad there is not one comprehensive, well researched autobiography of Laura.

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I read about her (Laura) - I thought she was married at 18 & lived near to her parents until she was 25 or so (because Rose was 7 when Laura & Almanzo moved away - they tried farming for several years, suffered through diptheria, etc.) However, I acknowledge that I may be wrong...it's been a while since I did "independent research"! I do remember being struck, though, by the fact that Laura only went back once (I think it was once) to see her parents, though, before Pa died.

 

I also remember, even as a child reading those books for the first time, that Laura never seemed in love with Almanzo. At times, she barely seemed to tolerate him. Her basic character seems to be that of "a pistol". I'm not sure I would want to cross her, that's for sure.

 

I'm just glad I wasn't alive then so that I wouldn't have to wear all those high-necked dresses with all the underpinnings, corsets, etc. etc. during the hot, humid summer months (did people smell bad then?). Mary even wore her corset at night. And then having to cook and haul water and do barn work and everything else in all those clothes. Ugh. I think I'd rather be a Native American and comfortable in my deerskin dress!

I am not surprised that she only returned to visit family once. People just did not travel then like they do now. My grandparents and great grandparents were fairly poor and did not see some family members more than once or twice after adulthood. They wrote, they called, but that was about it. My great grandpa was born in the 1870s and never owned his own car until the 1940s. Before then he either hitched rides or was still using a wagon with horse team to go where he needed (yea, even in the 1930s).

 

As far as Rose writing parts of the Little House books, I can see it. They were mother and daughter after all. Rose was an award winning author of her day and considered famous. Laura wrote for a farm journal and had local fame. I read at length somewhere once how some passages of some of the books are written in styles like Rose used and bear little style similarity to the writing of Laura in personal journals or in her published articles. If my only child was a well known author, I would ask her to help me thru my novels. Why not? Neither I suspect anticipated the huge success of the books.

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