A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

Little House books S/O thread

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Hillia:
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!

nuit93:
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:
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.

rose red:
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:

--- Quote from: rose red 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.

--- End quote ---

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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