Includes bibliographical references (pages 211-251) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Note to the reader -- Introduction: Irene Lichty turns me down -- Laura (1867-1885) -- Rose and Laura (1886-1920) -- The Albanian inspiration -- The writers' colony and the crash -- The big American novel -- The break-up -- The hard winter -- Libertarians in Connecticut -- Freedom -- Two legacies -- Roger, Rose's Libertarian legacy -- What we want.
Generations of children have fallen in love with the pioneer saga of the Ingalls family, of Pa and Ma, Laura and her sisters, and their loyal dog, Jack. Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books have taught millions of Americans about frontier life, giving inspiration to many and in the process becoming icons of our national identity. Yet few realize that this bestselling series wandered far from the actual history of the Ingalls family and from what Laura herself understood to be central truths about pioneer life. In this narrative, Christine Woodside reveals the full extent of the collaboration between Laura and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Rose hated farming and fled the family homestead as an adolescent, eventually becoming a nationally prominent magazine writer, biographer of Herbert Hoover, and successful novelist, who shared the political values of Ayn Rand and became a mentor to Roger Lea MacBride, the second Libertarian presidential candidate. Drawing on original manuscripts and letters, Woodside shows how Rose reshaped her mother's story into a series of heroic tales that rebutted the policies of the New Deal. Their secret collaboration would lead in time to their estrangement.