Beloved by generations of readers for the books that inspired the popular television series Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder was the mother of Rose Wilder Lane, famous in the 1920s and '30s and now being rediscovered as the author of such novels as Free Landand Old Home Town. It was Rose who encouraged Laura to begin her writing career when she was in her sixties.
William T. Anderson has brought together dozens of their autobiographical writings from old newspapers and magazines, and has included some material never before published, in A Little House Sampler. Arranged chronologically, with introductions by Anderson, these articles, short stories, essays, and poems tell the story of Laura's life from her pioneer girlhood in Wisconsin to her old age, when admirers beat a path to the door of her Missouri farmhouse. Rose's life unfolds in these pages as she describes her early memories of Dakota Territory, her departure from the family farm in the Ozarks to pursue a big-city career, and her later literary use of the old home place. As the generations pass in the Sampler, the topics change from log cabins to English-style Ozark cottages, from covered wagons to Buicks, from feeding chickens to writing for the Country Gentleman but always they reveal the individual viewpoints of two strong-minded, high-spirited women.