Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) gained fame with autobiographical writing about growing up as an American pioneer. Born in Pepin, Wisconsin, she traveled from state to state with her family, and thus, didn’t experience conventional schooling. Though she was self-taught, she managed to get her teaching certificate at the age of fifteen. Shortly after she married and helped her husband work the farm that they lived on. It wasn’t until the 1920s that Wilder got encouragement from her daughter Rose as well as the time that she needed to start writing.
The first of the autobiographical “Little House” books, Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1931; Laura was well into her sixties at the time. The best known of the series, Little House on the Prairie, was published a few years later. Wilder’s tales immediately appealed to readers of all ages.
She enjoyed a 64-year marriage with her husband Alonzo, who she married in 1885. Rose, their only daughter, was said to have played a fairly sizable role in making Laura’s books the eminently readable works of children’s literature that they became.
The Wilder family, who had lost nearly everything in the early years of the Depression, became very wealthy indeed upon the publication of the “Little House” books. How much Rose contributed to them has always been a matter of controversy. But in the end what matters is that they’ve been beloved by children for many generations.
Laura Ingalls Wilder died on her farm in Mansfield, Missouri at the age of 90 in 1957.
More about Laura Ingalls Wilder on this site
- Little House on the Prairie Series
- A Little House Traveler: Writings from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s
Journeys Across America
Autobiographies and Biographies about Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography by William Anderson
- Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life by Pamela Smith Hill
- Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Donald Zochert
- Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Laura Ingalls Wilder on Wikipedia
- Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl
- Little House Books
- Reader discussion of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books on Goodreads
- Laura Ingalls Wilder page on Amazon
Articles, News, Etc.
- What Would Laura Ingalls Wilder Do?
- 6 Life Lessons from Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Is Laura Wilder’s ‘Little House; Series Right for Kids These Days
- The ‘Pioneer Girl’ Project: The Long Road to Bringing
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 1930 Autobiography into Print
Selected film adaptations of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books
- Little House on the Prairie Complete Series (1974 – 82)
- Little House on the Prairie (2005)
- Little House on the Prairie – Movie Boxed Set (1983)
Visit Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homes and museums
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum – Mansfield, MO
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum – Walnut Grove, MN
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society – De Smet, SD
- Wilder Homstead – Malone, NY
Laura Ingalls Wilder Quotes
“Persons appear to us according to the light we throw upon them from our own minds.”
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.” (Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks, 2007)
“The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they’re organized for.”
“Home is the nicest word there is.”
“As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that things truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good.”
“The only stupid thing about words is the spelling of them.”
“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”
“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”
“These times are too progressive. Everything has changed too fast. Railroads and telegraphs and kerosene and coal stoves — they’re good to have but the trouble is, folks get to depend on ’em.” (The Long Winter, 1940)
“It is a good idea sometimes to think of the importance and dignity of our every-day duties. It keeps them from being so tiresome; besides, others are apt take us at our own valuation.”
“Courage and kindness, loyalty, truth, and helpfulness are always the same and always needed.”
“There’s no great loss without some small gain.” (Little House on the Prairie, 1935)
“Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.” (The Long Winter, 1940)
“Remember well, and bear in mind, a constant friend is hard to find.”
“We had no choice. Sadness was a dangerous as panthers and bears. the wilderness needs your whole attention.”
“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” (Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder – Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues, 2006)
“There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.” (Little Town on the Prairie, 1941)
“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.”
“If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it’s pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting.”
“There is nothing wrong with God’s plan that man should earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.” (Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder – Volume One: On Wisdom and Virtues, 2006)
“Once you begin being naughty, it is easier to go and on and on, and sooner or later something dreadful happens.”
“Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.”
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