Author Topic: Little House books S/O thread  (Read 14545 times)

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MerryCat

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2012, 07:05:00 PM »
I remember reading that the severe malnutrition that the Ingalls girls lived through may have the reason why they had so few surviving children. If Rose's early years wer lean too then that may be why she also lost her baby. It seems really sad, though, that all three generations (that we know) lost their sons in infancy.

doodlemor

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2012, 08:09:18 PM »

Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder http://www.amazon.com/Constructing-Little-House-Culture-Ingalls/dp/1558491228 is a pretty thought-provoking work -- Little House through a feminist lens.  I don't know that I found it disillusioning in and of itself, but it certainly was a part of how differently I was seeing the books as an adult.  They were my literary comfort food up through my adolescence.

The Ghost in the Little House was tougher going for me, as it really brought home how grim (to use a PP's very apt word) life must have been for the family, and what a sad and difficult legacy that can leave.

I spent some time this afternoon looking these books up on Amazon.  I really, really hope that the authors were off base with them.

The "Constructing" book, according to the reviews left, puts a women's lib spin on the series, and also implies that Laura had incestuous feelings toward Charles.  I do think that this author is very, very  wrong.  My grandma was born in 1891, and I spent a lot of time with her.  Women of Laura's time did not aspire to be just like men.  I think that they correctly assumed that they were valuable partners on the frontier, but I don't think that they had the women's lib mindset at all.

As for the "Ghost" book, anything is possible.  This book apparently depicts Laura as a toxic mother, and says that Rose ghosted the Little House books.   Laura did a great deal of writing for several local publications however, and she learned as she progressed.  I don't think that it is necessarily true that Rose ghosted all of the Little House books.  I also doubt that Laura was the toxic mother portrayed in this book.  Even if she were, I don't think that Rose would have wanted to air the dirty laundry before the world.  People of her time had more of a concept of privacy than we do nowadays.  This book was written several decades after Rose's death.

Some of those who left reviews on Amazon seemed to think that the author was making rather large leaps at the conclusions that he had drawn about Laura and Rose's rela*tionship.  The author, William V.  Holtz, also wrote about his difficult early life in a Finnish American family.  Perhaps his early difficulties color his feelings about family life.

jayhawk

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2012, 08:21:30 PM »
There is a LIW site outside of Independence, Kansas (SE corner), too if you're ever in the area.

Jones

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2012, 08:27:03 PM »
When I was 12 my family did a cross country road trip. One of the many historical detours we took was to the Rose Wilder Lane-Laura Ingalls Wilder house in Mansfield, MO. I was struck by how small everything was. I was only 12, and not yet at my adult height, but already too big to comfortably have done anything in that kitchen.

guihong

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2012, 08:33:46 PM »
I have been to Mansfield, De Smet, and Walnut Grove :).  It was so cool to stand at the site of the dugout (now caved in), and to see the modern barn built with the wood from Pa's wooden house.  In De Smet, I attended the yearly play based on the books (the story changes yearly), held out on the homestead claim.  The five cottonwood trees that Pa planted are still there.  I recommend all three sites, and hope to go back myself.

I especially recommend Allison Arngrim's book, "Confessions of a Prairie (female dog)".  She is hilarious, and apparently despite the animosity between Nellie and Laura in the series, the actresses were, and are, the best of friends.  Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary) comes across as a real pill to be around.



Jocelyn

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2012, 09:18:40 PM »
There is a LIW site outside of Independence, Kansas (SE corner), too if you're ever in the area.
It's an interesting little site, too. Not at all hyped and touristy. The day I was there last, I was the only person around. It was easy to imagine what it would have been like living there. When I went into the cabin, I was startled to find Black Susan lying on the bed. :)

Bethczar

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2012, 09:43:19 PM »
I went to the replica Ingalls cabin at Laura's birthplace in Pepin this summer. It was very small, and I can't imagine how bleak it would be to live in there though a long Wisconsin winter.

One thing that always startles me when I read Little Town on the Prairie: when they all go into to the New England Supper(?), Laura/the narrator comments that Ma & Pa were startled by how much food & how many people were there. However, they quickly hide it, because "adults must never show their emotions". I can imagine hiding bad emotions, but good ones, as well?

I love reading about Ben's birthday party in that book as well.  :)

I think Laura's response to Almonzo's proposal is hilarious ("It depends on the ring."). I was sad, though, to read in The First Four Years that she did not want to marry a farmer, since that seemed to be Almonzo's dream since he was a child.

Hillia

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2012, 10:20:55 PM »
It was really interesting to read in Ghost the economic factors that affected them.  When the Ingalls family moved to the Dakota territory, the area was experiencing a few years of higher than normal rainfall.  This convinced people that the area was suitable for farming in the way it was done in the East.  People flooded to the area (the Homestead Act helped also).  But after a few years, when the weather reverted to normal, people couldn't make their farms pay, and there was a huge exodus - Rose talks about seeing a long line of covered wagons waiting for the ferry to cross a large river on their way to Missouri.

The other reason why Laura and Almanzo struggled was that old style farming relied on the farmer having a large family to provide labor - the boys in the fields, and hunting/fishing to supplement what the family raised, and the girls to run the house, garden, etc. 

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2littlemonkeys

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2012, 11:23:00 PM »
I received the boxed set as a kid and I still have them.  I've been reading them to my girls, we're about 3/4 of the way through On the Shores of Silver Lake

I think my favorite books are Farmer Boy and The Long Winter.  But I just love the description of the food in all the books.  And the kids really like hearing about how they celebrated Christmas in each of the stories.  I made them rag dolls this year, reminiscent of Charlotte.  They're consistently blown away that Christmas could be a pair of mittens and a stick of candy.  We don't do Carnival Christmas at our house but they get more than that.

parrot_girl

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2013, 12:02:04 AM »
I love these books so much! My daughter is named Laura Rose. :D

I follow this site: www.beyondlittlehouse.com which has  a lot of information about the family. Did you know that the boy she based Clarence on, in the first class she taught, was later convicted of manslaughter?
I'm reading Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie to my Laura at the moment, with a bit of editing as we go- I don't think she needs to know about Pa being whipped by his dad for forgetting the cows. It's quite eye-opening to reread them as an adult; a lot of the interactions with the Indians in LHOP went way over my head when I was six.

With the baby boys- I did know that Caroline and Laura and Rose had all lost sons. When my son was born in 2011 I thought of them. I found myself crying over the loss of Laura's two month old, when my DS was two months, and again over Freddie when my DS was 10 months old. I can imagine their pain now and it's horrible.  :'(
I found an interesting snippet though- although Laura & Almanzo apparently never named their baby boy, Grace kept a diary now and then when they were in South Dakota. There's an entry that reads "Laura's baby died, he looked just like Almanzo."  Poor little boy.

Lovemykids

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2013, 12:32:03 AM »
My two daughters are named Caroline and Laura.  I so enjoyed the books as a child.  My older daughter is now of an age to enjoy reading them, so I must dig them out.  My family is all from the midwest so I would really like to visit the historical LIW sites someday.

Winterlight

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2013, 12:40:09 AM »
I still remember chunks of the books, almost word-for-word. (Just don't ask me what I had for dinner last week! ;) )

I like cooking, especially with historic recipes. I'd love to try the Christmas candy they made by boiling maple syrup and molasses and pouring it on snow in circles and sqiggles.

If you haven't seen it, there's a Little House Cookbook with all the fabulous recipes, including that one.

http://www.amazon.com/Little-House-Cookbook-Frontier-Ingalls/dp/0064460908

I also enjoyed John E . Miller's Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

doodlemor

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2013, 01:16:26 AM »
With the baby boys- I did know that Caroline and Laura and Rose had all lost sons. When my son was born in 2011 I thought of them. I found myself crying over the loss of Laura's two month old, when my DS was two months, and again over Freddie when my DS was 10 months old. I can imagine their pain now and it's horrible.  :'(
I found an interesting snippet though- although Laura & Almanzo apparently never named their baby boy, Grace kept a diary now and then when they were in South Dakota. There's an entry that reads "Laura's baby died, he looked just like Almanzo."  Poor little boy.

According to the Zochert book, Laura's son was born in August of 1889 and lived for 12 days.  He was unnamed, and died of convulsions. 

Zochert stated that Laura "hadn't thought to pick a name for him," making her sound uncaring.  I doubt that was the case at all.  I suspect that whatever killed the poor little baby was apparent from birth, and that the family didn't name him because they didn't think that he was going to live.

parrot_girl

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2013, 02:10:35 AM »
With the baby boys- I did know that Caroline and Laura and Rose had all lost sons. When my son was born in 2011 I thought of them. I found myself crying over the loss of Laura's two month old, when my DS was two months, and again over Freddie when my DS was 10 months old. I can imagine their pain now and it's horrible.  :'(
I found an interesting snippet though- although Laura & Almanzo apparently never named their baby boy, Grace kept a diary now and then when they were in South Dakota. There's an entry that reads "Laura's baby died, he looked just like Almanzo."  Poor little boy.

According to the Zochert book, Laura's son was born in August of 1889 and lived for 12 days.  He was unnamed, and died of convulsions. 

Zochert stated that Laura "hadn't thought to pick a name for him," making her sound uncaring.  I doubt that was the case at all.  I suspect that whatever killed the poor little baby was apparent from birth, and that the family didn't name him because they didn't think that he was going to live.
That's interesting!! I don't know why I had two months in my head; I've just looked at my copy of The First Four Years and the quote is "Laura was doing her own work again one day three weeks later when the baby was taken with spasms, and he died so quickly that the doctor was too late."  :'(
What are spasms, does anyone know?
I'd think that you'd still name the baby anyway. Maybe they couldn't decide between James or Charles or Almanzo Jr.

katiescarlett

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Re: Little House books S/O thread
« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2013, 02:26:25 AM »
I take it to mean he had a seizure.  I, too, am surprised they did not name him.  I agree that it may have been apparent from birth that he might not live.  I also think Rose's son was unnamed, though I may be wrong about that.