Any Laura Ingalls Wilder fans?

(234 Posts)
moondog Sun 16-Sep-12 19:17:50

I visited the LIW house and museum in Missouri a few weeks ago and it was one of the most moving experiences ever. I made a detour of thousands of miles to see it.
If anyone loves her just as much as I do I wanted the chance to tell you about it so that you can savour every delicious detail.

Asmywhimsytakesme Thu 27-Sep-12 23:00:15

Lovely thread - thank you moondog

I love this thread! Thanks Moondog for starting it. I only really discovered the books in adulthood, so I'm not sure if I'd get the same amazing rush that some of you have described on visiting all the LIW sites, but I'm still desperate to see them. I was a mad Katy and Anne fan though. grin

Georgian, I'm now avidly reading your holiday blog blush (am not stalker-type, honest) and really enjoying it. Very envy of you all camping at the homestead and being able to 'live' in some of the buildings after hours!

I think I need to re-read these. Now. It's just the weather for it, too. <ignores small messy toddler creating havoc and older boy who will need picking up from school soon.>

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Thu 20-Sep-12 10:54:52

dd 13 - renaldo? Really?!

moondog Wed 19-Sep-12 22:16:23

In the museum they have twists of hay to show you nwhat it was like.They even, check this!! have stacked up by the stove wood that Almanzo cut himself.

The brutality of some of the books is shocking. In Farmer Boy, we hear how Almanzo's teacher keeps a bullwhip in his desk and whips the big boys who come and try to beat him up (I think I mentioned this earlier-I am lost in LHOTP reverie). Graphic description of whip cutting into flesh and making it bleed.

My 8 year old bloodthirsty ds loved it!
Love the blog and picture Mrs Ruby! (GMt5)
They called Helen Dore Boyle 'Troub' for trouble.
Maybe she and Rose were romantically involved?
She kicked Laura and Almanzo out of the farmhouse and cosied up there with her mates for seven years, moaning about what a burden her paretns were too here, then effed off and didn't see them for 12 years.

LF, you lucky sod, tapping maple trees. envy

Chandon Wed 19-Sep-12 21:59:19

yes, the long winter, the hardship, the grain in the wall, the dignity of Pa when demanding his share! Powerful.

Sabriel Wed 19-Sep-12 19:44:00

OOh just found this thread. DH finds my obsession with LHOTP slightly odd. I actually preferred the TV series to the books (tho I knew loads was changed) simply because I found the language of the books too young, even as a child. It's a shame there isn't a more detailed adult level version of the books.

What I did find spooky was re-reading the books as a TA, and reading - I think - The Long Hard Winter. They'd been snowed in, almost died, then later had plagues of locusts and no end of other hazards. Then in Y8 History being given a book about that period of American history and reading about all these things actually happening as she'd described them.

I did a bit of research about the family gene-wise and discovered that Caroline and the girls had inherited diabetes. Further googling suggested that the form of diabetes they had can cause infertility and other problems. I always found it odd, and a bit sad, that of 5 children they only ended up with one grandchild, who then herself had no children.

renaldo Wed 19-Sep-12 18:52:39

Am loving this thread . The long winter is an amazing work, beloved by me and dd13 who has read all the books too and shares my passion. Mumsnetl trip to Missouri anyone?

mignonette Wed 19-Sep-12 18:25:29

*Georgian- Good for you. I'd love to read it.

Another friend has just been turned down to do a Masters on Michael Morpurgo. She is gutted.

thewhistler Wed 19-Sep-12 18:21:23

Ds loved them. Funny enough he loved the "Laura and Mary" stories more than Farmer Boy, and we still reference them. I read them to him because he is dyslexic and I remember a friend if my parents doing the same for their dyslexic son who adored them because the visual side is so clear and you can make so much from them, covered wagons, log cabins, etc.

I think I read the long winter most often. It was a horrid shock to read that Almanzo never met a blanket Indian in De Smet. But another instance of Laura's sympathy with the Indians. She would have been happier, on one level, in Oregon.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Sep-12 17:10:18

Farmer Boy was DH's favourite

piprabbit Wed 19-Sep-12 17:05:24

Bears, panthers, a pig on a sledge, naughty boys getting stung. I think most little boys would enjoy The Big Woods book. DS will be on the receiving end shortly grin.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Sep-12 16:55:46

Dh had them read to him as a child, and he loved them. He and his brothers were always vexed there was no mention of toilet arrangements though grin

TunipTheVegemal Wed 19-Sep-12 16:26:38

My oldest nephew loves them - he dressed up as Pa for World Book Day one year, with a beard and a cardboard axe.
TBH I think SIL had decided to read them to her boys whether they liked them or not....

I never had the chance to read the LIW books to my dc - one downside of 3 boys. sad

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 19-Sep-12 14:07:30

So thrilled by this thread, I've been reading LIW to the dds (5 and 7) for a while. We're on Silver Lake and they're APPALLED that Mary is blind and nothing can fix it. The books have helped encourage dds to make their own beds (!) and eat sweetcorn, I'm definitely getting the cook book as we've been planning a Laura and Mary day where I shall con them into eating all sorts of esoteric stuff. Going to buy all the biographies now. My plan is to stop reading after Long Winter as iirc last two books really are for an older audience.

Inspired by this thread, I have ordered one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder biographies. Sadly I am off to visit my mum for three days, so unless it arrives in the next half an hour or so, I am going to have to wait until I get back to read it. sad

Yes, exactly.

I think I feel a bit sorry for Ma and Pa later on - when Laura goes driving the horses Almanzo hasn't yet broken, and she has to jump into the buggy when they stop without getting her hoop skirts trapped! I mean, can you imagine letting your 15 year old do that? You would be soooo scared for them.

LettyAshton Wed 19-Sep-12 10:01:04

Yes, although it's not explicitly said, Laura is making the point quite clearly that Carrie and Grace were allowed to be children for a lot longer than Mary and she were. There's Laura doing endless chores and having to put her shoulder to the wheel to help Pa, yet the younger girls get away with just the occasional bit of bed-making.

Plus ca change, I suppose!

HellonHeels Wed 19-Sep-12 09:55:08

Actually Mary was quite awful in the early books, she was horrible to Laura and wound her up over having prettier hair etc. Then when Laura lashed out she got into trouble.

Even as a child reader I wondered why Ma and Pa never had it out with Mary about being mean.

What about Carrie? Is it just me who gets the impression that after being really strict with Mary and Laura, and very keen on their education, Ma didn't have so much energy for Carrie/Grace?

I am cringing at myself, but I remember there's a bit where Carrie says 'don't' when she means 'doesn't and 'him' when she means 'he', and Ma corrects her grammar ... but I was shocked because you get the impression Laura is so nicely spoken and has such perfect grammar drummed into her. grin

HellonHeels Wed 19-Sep-12 09:53:16

Mary was just being a typical self-absorbed teenager then, from sound of things!

LettyAshton Wed 19-Sep-12 09:47:13

I still maintain that Mary is a bit of a prima donna. I got a lump in my throat when I was reading out the bit where Ma reads Mary's letter saying she is not coming home from college for the summer. "All the light went out of the room" - I felt Ma's pain. And after Pa had spent all Laura's earnings on an organ, too.

Pleasenomorepeppa Tue 18-Sep-12 22:02:16

Can anyone put on a list of further reading/biography books please!!!
Thanks

I never knew that, Georgian - that's fascinating!! I love the Sue Barton books - I really wanted nurse training and nursing to be just like in the books.

Ooh - guess what I just discovered? Helen Dore Boyle, author of the Sue Barton series (can you still get them?), was Rose Wilder Lane's friend, travelling companion and housemate. She lived at Rocky Ridge too. Rose and Laura seem to have had a very difficult relationship. I'm reading 'Little House, Long Shadow.' I recommend it, but only if you're ready to have a few long-cherished beliefs questioned andxre-examined.

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