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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 Utilizing her unpublished autobiography, letters, newspaper stories, and other documentary evidence, John E. Miller fills the gaps in Wilder’s autobiographical novels and describes her sixty-three 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.
“John E. Miller’s scrupulous new biography of Wilder is a valuable and absorbing book.” -Ann Romines, Great Plains Quarterly
“Miller’s thorough, riveting, work illuminates a complex process of authorship, and the mother and daughter behind it.” -Jane St. Anthony, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“…An enjoyable portrait of a fascinating personality and her time.” -Jo Ellen Heil, Ventura County Star
“Shedding new light on this remarkable woman, Miller demonstrates that Wilder’s entire life was a process of becoming the woman we know as the beloved children’s author.” -Robert H. Ferrell, American Bookseller
“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
Posted November 18, 2000