Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist: Writings from the Ozarks

Front Cover
Stephen W. Hines
University of Missouri Press, Feb 19, 2013 - Literary Collections - 344 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

Before Laura Ingalls Wilder found fame with her Little House books, she made a name for herself with short nonfiction pieces in magazines and newspapers. Read today, these pieces offer insight into her development as a writer and depict farm life in the Ozarks—and also show us a different Laura Ingalls Wilder from the woman we have come to know.

This volume collects essays by Wilder that originally appeared in the Missouri Ruralist between 1911 and 1924. Building on the initial compilation of these articles under the title Little House in the Ozarks, this revised edition marks a more comprehensive collection by adding forty-two additional Ruralist articles and restoring passages previously omitted from other articles.

Writing as “Mrs. A. J. Wilder” about modern life in the early twentieth-century Ozarks, Laura lends her advice to women of her generation on such timeless issues as how to be an equal partner with their husbands, how to support the new freedoms they’d won with the right to vote, and how to maintain important family values in their changing world. Yet she also discusses such practical matters as how to raise chickens, save time on household tasks, and set aside time to relax now and then.

New articles in this edition include “Making the Best of Things,” “Economy in Egg Production,” and “Spic, Span, and Beauty.” “Magic in Plain Foods” reflects her cosmopolitanism and willingness to take advantage of new technologies, while “San Marino Is Small but Mighty” reveals her social-political philosophy and her interest in cooperation and community as well as in individualism and freedom. Mrs. Wilder was firmly committed to living in the present while finding much strength in the values of her past.

A substantial introduction by Stephen W. Hines places the essays in their biographical and historical context, showing how these pieces present Wilder’s unique perspective on life and politics during the World War I era while commenting on the challenges of surviving and thriving in the rustic Ozark hill country. The former little girl from the little house was entering a new world and wrestling with such issues as motor cars and new “labor-saving” devices, but she still knew how to build a model small farm and how to get the most out of a dollar.

Together, these essays lend more insight into Wilder than do even her novels and show that, while technology may have improved since she wrote them, the key to the good life hasn’t changed much in almost a century. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farm Journalist distills the essence of her pioneer heritage and will delight fans of her later work as it sheds new light on a vanished era.


What people are saying - Write a review

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - xuebi - LibraryThing

Laura Ingalls Wilder, noted author of the Little House on the Prairie series, was also a columnist for the Missouri Ruralist and in this volume are the collected columns from 1911 to 1924. These ... Read full review

Laura Ingalls Wilder, farm journalist: writings from the Ozarks

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Midwest history buffs will snatch up this collection of short essays from Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), creator of the "Little House on the Prairie" series, originally published in the Missouri ... Read full review


A Note on the Text
1911 1915
Coda 1931
Mrs A J Wilder s Articles and Columns in the Missouri Ruralist

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 19 - I see the grape vines hanging full of luscious grapes, I can hardly bring back to my mind the rough, rocky, brushy, ugly place that we first called Rocky Ridge Farm. The name given it then serves to remind us of the battles we have fought and won and gives a touch of sentiment and an added value to the place.
Page 5 - If you're a farmer, you raise what you eat, you raise what you wear, and you keep warm with wood out of your own timber. You work hard, but you work as you please, and no man can tell you to go or come. You'll be free and independent, son, on a farm.

About the author (2013)

About the Editor

Stephen W. Hines is the editor or coeditor of numerous books, including Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Fairy Poems, The True Crime Files of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Louisa May Alcott’s The Baron’s Gloves and The Abbot’s Ghost. He lives in Nolensville, Tennessee.

Bibliographic information