Although generations of readers of the Little House books are familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder's early life up through her first years of marriage to Almanzo Wilder, few know about her adult years. Going beyond previous studies, Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder focuses upon Wilder's years in Missouri from 1894 to 1957. Utilizing her unpublished autobiography, letters, newspaper stories, and other documentary evidence, John E. Miller fills the gaps in Wilder's autobiographical novels and describes her 63 years of living in Mansfield, Missouri. As a result, the process of personal development that culminated in Wilder's writing of the novels that secured her reputation as one of America's most popular children's authors becomes evident.
"Miller draws on Wilder's unpublished autobiography, existing letters written to her daughter and to her husband on the few occasions she traveled without him, and her fiction and ‘newspaper stories, local histories, land records', which he mines to create an impressively detailed context for her life.... Miller does not try to make her any more - or less - than she was, and that is the virtue of his biography." (
Washington Post Book World)
"Miller's absorbing new biography...puts the author's early years in context before focusing on her adult life as a farmer's wife, mother, journalist, and budding author.... Miller uncovers facts about Laura's life that were not revealed in her own work, and he places her experience in a broader context. He makes her days on the frontier and the farm come alive with statistics on population and demographics as well as rich details about Indians and wildlife." ( In These Times)
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- KR Keogh
A little too much Rose
Yes, because I learnt so much about the history and what it would have been like, and I am American Studies Major!
That it was possible to hear otherwise dry facts in a way that made sense to me.
hearing about Laura as an old woman and all the social and industrial change that had happened in one lifetime.
The only thing I didn't like was that for a book about Laura there was a lot of Rose in it.
- Mrs. T. C. Bramwell