The world that Wilder depicted in her novels was a relatively simple one

The world that Wilder depicted in her novels was a relatively simple one

Those lovely, evocative, and emotionally charged Little House stories that readers love so well and that Laura Ingalls Wilder began to publish in 1932, in other words, need to be understood in light of what scholars like Frederic Bartlett that same year were revealing in scientific studies like Remembering. The world she actually lived in, on the other hand, was increasingly complex and problematical.

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Among them are Janet Spaeth, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Boston: Twayne, 1987); William T. Anderson, Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography (New York: HarperCollins, 1992); William Holtz, The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1993); Virginia L. Wolf, Little House on the Prairie: A Reader’s Companion (New York: Twayne, 1996); Ann Romines, Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997); and John E. Miller, Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1998). For a bibliography on Wilder, see anian, Laura Ingalls Wilder: An Annotated Bibliography of Critical, Biographical, and Teaching Studies (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997).

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Richard S. Kirkendall, A History of Missouri: Volume V, 1919 to 1953 (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986), 131–33.

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Holtz, The Ghost in the Little House, 226–27.

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Ibid ., 239, 241, 247–48.

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Rose Wilder Lane, Journal, May 28, 1932, Rose Wilder Lane Papers, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch Iowa [Hereinafter cited as Lane Papers].

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Holtz, The Ghost in the Little House, 245.

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. These were Rose’s father’s words as she recalled them in a letter to Mark Sullivan, August 16, 1938, Lane Papers.

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Steven Kesselman, “The Frontier Thesis and the Great Depression,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 29 (1968): 253–68.

It is ironic that the books that her readers came to love so well in large part denied the complexity of that world and offered compensations for the anxieties and tensions produced by it

  1. Quoted in Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Crisis of the Old Order. 1919–1933 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957), 425.

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