Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder

Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder


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Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder by Ann Romines

With more than thirty-five million copies in print, the Little House series, written in the 1930s and 1940s by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, has been a spectacular commercial success. What is it about this eight-volume serial novel for children that accounts for its enduring power? And what does the popularity of these books tell us about the currents of American culture?

Ann Romines interweaves personal observation with scholarly analysis to address these questions. Writing from a feminist perspective and drawing on resources of gender studies, cultural studies, and new historicist reading, she examines both the content of the novels and the process of their creation. She explores the relationship between mother and daughter working as collaborative authors and calls into question our assumptions about plot, juvenile fiction, and constructions of gender on the nineteenth-century frontier and in the Depression years when the Little House books were written.

This is a book that will appeal both to scholars and to general readers who might welcome an engaging and accessible companion volume to the Little House novels.

University of Massachusetts Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558491229
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 11/21/1997
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.96(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ann Romines is professor of English and director of the department's graduate studies program at George Washington University.

University of Massachusetts Press

What People are Saying About This

Susan Strasser

Romines has achieved an extraordinary tone in this book. On the one hand, it is framed by passages that are unashamedly autobiographical. On the other, it is decidedly a work of contemporary literary scholarship, a reading of an extremely popular set of children's books by an English professor versed in the latest work in her field.... I read it with much pleasure and learned a great deal from it.

Diane Quantic

Sets a new standard for studies of Wilder, of children's literature, of nineteenth-century women's popular literature, and of women's roles in the ninettenth century, especially on the American frontier, and affirms Romines's important place as a critic of all these concerns.... Readers have been waiting for this work--even if they didn't know Romines was working on it.

Cynthia Griffin Wolff

A major contribution not merely to feminist studies, nor even to studies in American fiction, but more generally to our understanding of American culture.

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