Author Topic: Little House books S/O thread  (Read 14586 times)

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Just Lori

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Little House books S/O thread
« on: December 31, 2012, 10:45:38 AM »
Let's use this thread to discuss the Little House books - favorite characters, stories, comparisons to real life, etc?

I'll start.  When Almanzo gives Laura her first ride to school, he says his sister (Eliza Jane) often spoke of her.  I always envisioned Eliza Jane hanging out in her brothers' house, talking about how that Laura Ingalls just made her life miserable.  I imagine Almanzo thought gosh, I want to meet this girl who manages to get the best of my bossy sister!

I'm always fascinated by the real stories of the Ingalls, vs. the polished versions we read in books.  I'm also fascinated by the few photographs we had.  As I mentioned in the other thread, Almanzo was quite the dashing prairie guy.  I also look at pictures of the girls and don't understand why Laura always went on about how beautiful Mary was and how ordinary she was - I think Laura was the prettiest one.  Maybe I like brown hair best. :)

katcheya

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 11:13:17 AM »
My favourite part was in Little Town on the Prairie (I think.)  It's when is getting dressed for church.  She describes every layer as she's putting it on, like the petty coats, and the polonaise and such.  I just couldn't believe she wore all those layers in the summer!

rose red

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 11:24:02 AM »
I always thought Laura was prettier too, and Carrie was cute.  I liked reading about the Christmas' throughout the years.  On the Christmas when Mr. Edwards brought the gifts, the adults had tears in their eyes watching how happy the girls were.  I've often wondered if they were tears of happiness or sadness they were so happy with so little.

Can we talk about the show too?  One funny thing I remember from the show is how little Carrie wanted sugar on her berries and Charles acted like it was normal.  In real life, they would never waste white sugar on fruit!

What an amazing life they had, living from covered wagons to airplanes.

hobish

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 11:45:36 AM »

Oooh, great thread idea. I read a few of the books as a kid, but not many. I think i have become more interested mostly from reading about them on here :) Gotta love EHellions. On that note - can anyone suggest some books that aren't necessarily aimed at children?
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KenveeB

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2012, 11:50:58 AM »
I always thought Laura was prettier too, and Carrie was cute.  I liked reading about the Christmas' throughout the years.  On the Christmas when Mr. Edwards brought the gifts, the adults had tears in their eyes watching how happy the girls were.  I've often wondered if they were tears of happiness or sadness they were so happy with so little.

It's interesting reading that again as an adult. You don't realize as a child just what a great friend Mr. Edwards was, making that trip so the girls could have their Christmas.

Hillia

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 11:55:11 AM »
I just finished Ghost in the Little House - the story of Laura's daughter, Rose, and her significant contribution to the Little House books.  Rose and Laura had a very difficult relationship, and Rose blamed a lot of their problems on the 'hardness' that Laura developed as a result of her early days of deprivation.  For instance, Rose had terrible dental problems (infected/abcessed teeth) that she felt were a result of poor nutrition as a child - it was years before Laura and Almanzo were financially secure, and much of Rose's youth was spent in poverty.

The book The First Four Years was not edited by Rose, and the difference is obvious.  It was written for adults, and Laura's description of her labor and delivery of Rose had to be cut almost entirely from the book, as it was much too graphic for children.  There's also a line about Laura suffering miserably from morning sickness during her second pregnancy, and she thinks 'grimly' to herself, 'Those who dance must pay the piper'.  I was re-reading the book as an adult before the meaning of that line really sank in!

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nuit93

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 12:06:41 PM »
I think I need to re-read them now...there are some parts that stuck out to me as just wrong even when I read them as a kid (like Pa doing a show in blackface in Little Town on the Prairie).

Hillia

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 12:10:17 PM »
There's a bit in By the Shores of Silver Lake (I think) where one of their female relative is complaining about her husband being stiffed on his pay after he 'worked like a nailer'.  That phrase didn't make much sense to me as a child; it wasn't until years later that I realized it was probably a euphemism.

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rose red

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 12:51:54 PM »
While Mary should learn to take care of herself, she was pretty independent after the first year.  The full seven years of college must have cost a lot of money that could be used elsewhere.  I used to wonder why they were determined she attend all seven years.  As an adult, I finally understood the part where Mary went to a friend's house during school break and Ma said they should be happy for her because the trip will be a good memory for Mary.  They must have known those seven years of freedom and fun must last Mary a lifetime since women had so few options after school and a blind one even less.

Hillia

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 12:54:59 PM »
While Mary should learn to take care of herself, she was pretty independent after the first year.  The full seven years of college must have cost a lot of money that could be used elsewhere.  I used to wonder why they were determined she attend all seven years.  As an adult, I finally understood the part where Mary went to a friend's house during school break and Ma said they should be happy for her because the trip will be a good memory for Mary.  They must have known those seven years of freedom and fun must last Mary a lifetime since women had so few options after school and a blind one even less.

Actually the family didn't have to pay for Mary's schooling.  They did have to pay for her clothes, fare to/from, and personal items,  but tuition, room and board were all paid for by the state of Iowa, where the school was located.  Apparently the Dakota territory had an agreement with Iowa to educate their 'special' students, and Mary was a beneficiary of this program.  There were definitely some sacrifices made by the family to send Mary to school, but the majority of the cost was paid by the state.

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rose red

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 01:00:58 PM »
Well, you learn something new everyday.  They way Laura went on about making money to send and keep Mary in college sounded like her education was hanging by a thread.

nuit93

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 01:04:54 PM »
Well, you learn something new everyday.  They way Laura went on about making money to send and keep Mary in college sounded like her education was hanging by a thread.

That's what I had thought too.  That little bit of history never got included in the books from what I recall.

trailgrrl

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 01:26:46 PM »
Yes, but when Mary finished school, she came home and lived the rest of her life with her parents.  I believed Caroline outlived her.   I have a friend who collected Laura Ingalls Wilder  history and memorabilia and visited her homes in Missouri and Minnesota.

doodlemor

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 01:44:54 PM »
Here's a book that many of you would probably enjoy reading.........Laura, by Donald Zochert.

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-The-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=

This is a fascinating biography of Laura, and tells more about her life than is in the Little House books.  Laura did not relate all of the difficult things that happened to her and her family in the children's books, but Mr.  Zochert's book does.  I don't think that most people know about the baby boys lost by both Caroline and Laura, or about Laura and Almanzo's diphtheria bout.

The book does seem to be less detailed and explanatory about the Missouri time in her life, but the earlier years are told in great detail. 

I just saw your post, trailgrrl.  Caroline lived until 1924, and Mary until 1928.  They lived together in DeSmet, I believe.




nuit93

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 02:03:22 PM »
Here's a book that many of you would probably enjoy reading.........Laura, by Donald Zochert.

http://www.amazon.com/Laura-The-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=

This is a fascinating biography of Laura, and tells more about her life than is in the Little House books.  Laura did not relate all of the difficult things that happened to her and her family in the children's books, but Mr.  Zochert's book does.  I don't think that most people know about the baby boys lost by both Caroline and Laura, or about Laura and Almanzo's diphtheria bout.

The book does seem to be less detailed and explanatory about the Missouri time in her life, but the earlier years are told in great detail. 

I just saw your post, trailgrrl.  Caroline lived until 1924, and Mary until 1928.  They lived together in DeSmet, I believe.

I think the loss of the baby boys was touched on in the TV series, but not in the books (well, at least not Caroline's son...I think Laura's son was mentioned in "The First Four Years").