Jump to content

About This Club

Place for discussion about Laura Ingalls Wilder and all of those Of Laura, Little House on the Prairie, the books, the tv show, the made for tv movies, her biographies, et all.
  1. What's new in this club
  2. zee_four

    Pa and Pioneer Girl

    Absolutely. Although I think it'd be more accurate to say it really changed the way I thought about Ma. I was a young tomboy when I read the books and absolutely sided with Laura, including the way she loved her Pa and portrayed him as fun, understanding, brave, adventurous and overall amazing. With Ma it was always her nagging, or trying to make Laura be a little lady with her inside work and comments about changing her behavior and attitude and being the Debbie downer who made them stay because she wanted to live in a town with a church and a school for the girls. 8 year old me in all my wisdom was like why did she marry Pa then when its clear he wants adventure, she should have married a man who liked town. That she was the racist one for not liking Natives while Pa said respectful things about them (which is also really sad that as a half indigenous little girl in the mid 90s I considered Pa Ingalls opinion of my own family and community as "positive" but another issue entirely) I had absolutely 0 clue at that age about the disenfranchisement of women throughout history, the position women were in when it came to marriage and their role within one, and all the indirect secism that occurs because of gender roles especially in relationships even today let alone in the mid 19th century. To me sexism was how they were only now making women's hockey an Olympic sport in the future 1998 Olympics and how I was the only girl on my ice hockey team and the boys and anyone else who had a problem with that were stupid. Ah to be young again. But even once I comprehended the position Caroline Ingalls was in, Pioneer Girl really put together primary source after primary source that showed Charles in an increasingly worse light. He wasn't just a irresponsible but good intentioned, hard working man who probably shouldn't have married and had a wife and young children if he truly was only happy traveling into the frontier and new places and experiences. He took his young family and pregnant wife away from family, support and a home where he could provide on risky gambles only to consciously and time and time again made shitty financial decisions, lived beyond his means and cheated others resulting in complete destitution, then move his growing family of a wife and young girls to an even riskier and more dangerous situation to save his own ass from his own poor decisions, not only negatively impacting his wife and children but oftlivelihoods criminally on his "creditors" who weren't even big city Guilded Age fat cats or corporations but small frontier businessmen and or landowners he cheated out of their own meager liveliehoods. The rare few times some form of security was found he insisted on yet another idiotic gamble that put them in harms way. There was nothing noble in riding out of town in the middle of the night to escape debts. It seems like everytime in reality that happened Charles had some noble excuse his daughter understandably believed. When his misdeads, scams and financial fraud and failures are all stacked up together its a case of fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, thrice etc. shame on you. The only consistent in all his problems outside his own tall tales was himself and while noble proclamations of the American farmer against the mightbof the corrupt railroad or the independent homesteader whose honest hard work was taken away instanteously by an uncaring federal bureaucracy of educated elites who made a paperwork error and didn't understand the destruction this wreaked on the honest blood sweat and backbreaking hard work of the common man and didn't care, etc. I know Rose was responsible for the libertarian rhetoric infused into the books and if anything politically the evidence paints Charles as a Populist, but its clear the adoration Laura had for her father was not created in editing and she must have heard and believed all his excuses throughout their hardships to paint him in such an adoring light awhile characterizing her mother as just one more of the agents that kept her noble father caged from his true capabilities which is what caused their hardships. It was never a Pa's fault, his actions and motivations were always for the best of the family, even Ma. Poor Caroline. She kept the family together, gave the girls a semblance Of normalcy and after decades of checking her countenance and saying calmly "Yes Charles dear" she finally refused for Charles to pick up stake with a critically ill and disabled girl and 3 more daughters, the youngest of middling strength, while he was nearing middle age himself and further travel west that he desired, such as going to Montana, would have required far far more than he was able to give, probably more than he could have at his physical peak, he had no strong healthy sons to assist and his peitite and other than Laura seemingly ill, young daughters were not that. I'm sure if Mary had been the one to write her memoirs we might have had a different set up altogether. I've always been curious how the stories would have been told from her perspective or that of Carrie or Grace. Laura loved her father and there was no shame in that. But when compared to the reality of Charles' travels and financial gambles and failures and insistence on taking his young family of all women and girls on to new gambles the rare few times they'd found a semblance of security and consistent means of survival is bad enough before knowing poor Caroline was memorialized in history as the problem when she was the only reason the family survived.
  3. You guys...we have a whole club dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder and LHOP....come join us, we're delightful!
  4. 1 That makes sense because the winters were so brutal they wouldn't want those kids walking to school. 2 to this day whenever I hear Calico I think of a cat I don't know whose fault it is Laura Wilder or Beverly Cleary (the author of a children ’s book Socks) (about cats) 3 Laura and Mary were overworked children, no wonder why Laura started writing she probably needed to get off her feet! 4, no I'd say you definitely weren't.
  5. 1. In On The Banks of Plum Creek, Mary and Laura go to school in the summer. I know this was before standardized school terms, and according to Pioneer Girl, even Rose Wilder Lane wrote her mother to ask “Was there really school in the summertime?” 2. I remember being confused about terms such as “calico,” “lawn,” and “boughten”(it took me way longer than it should have to figure out that it meant store-bought, and not homemade). I really wished there was a glossary. 3. Also in On The Banks of Plum Creek , when Laura and Mary begin driving the family cow to meet the herd boy in the morning and bringing her back home at night, it says “Now Laura and Mary has chores to do.” I used to think, “But what about the things they were already doing—making beds, washing dishes, sweeping the floors?” Apparently, that was housework, and totally different. 4. Last but not least, when Mr. Edwards told the story of Santa Claus riding a pack mule, was I the only one who thought “But where were his reindeer?” ?
  6. smittykins

    Their Harsh Winters

    Especially that one weekend when Almanzo had to keep breaking the ice off the horses’ noses and they could’ve easily frozen to death. ?
  7. As a kid I was so struck by her descriptive powers, especially of the winters. On days like this where I am trying to drag myself out of the house to go to work with slushy, terrible roads I always think of how Almanzo traveled 12 miles each way to get her in the brutal cold when she was teaching, so she wouldn't have to stay with those horrible people over the weekend. There is a lot of idealization in the books, but one thing that it did honestly showcase is the struggle for basic survival. Just the daily grind to keep a family warm, fed, and clothed in brutal weather...no wonder sping was such a time of celebration. Yes, I am writing this when I should be leaving for work but the roads suck and my house is so warm. Welcome to all our new members!
  8. I believe I read that the producers of the TV series only had rights to the original story up to a certain point, so everything after that was fictional by necessity.
  9. In the first season, it seemed like they at least tried to include stories from the books. After that, they didn't even try. I didn't like that they had Laura chasing Almanzo. Their courtship from the book was much more interesting and believable.
  10. Yes to all of this. Though it's been years and years since I've seen the show so I might be misremembering things, some stuff really annoyed me: The lack of consistency in the Albert storyline bugged me too. At the end of one episode, Laura did a voice over and mentioned that years later when Albert came home it was as Dr Albert Ingalls. But then later in one of the specials, he came home to die from some random illness. So he never became a doctor. And not only did Mary get married but she had a baby who died in a fire. And her husband regained his sight in a freak accident. Once he became a lawyer they moved back to walnut grove for a bit while he tried to practice law and they rented a single room to live in. What the heck did she do all day sitting in a room while her husband was working? It seems like once all the horrible things happened, they just sort of ran out of ideas for her character. I loved the books and read them multiple times. The series was OK but I never really viewed it as a comparison to the books. They were two completely separate entities in my opinion.
  11. GreyhoundFan

    Books vs TV Series

    I despise the character of Albert. In fact, I despise the concept of the character, who was the embodiment of jumping the shark. The Ingalls family was so poor that they didn’t have food far too often, yet they take in orphaned St. Michael junior. I think not. I also hated Mary getting married and starting the blind school. In real life, Mary went to the school for the blind, came home, and sat in Ma’s parlor, doing beadwork and needlework for the rest of her life. I’ve seen some of her work, which is displayed at Ma and Pa’s final house in DeSmet. She did travel to see Carrie in the Black Hills via train once. I realize that the series needed a regular supporting cast that would be familiar to the audience, but in the books, and in real life, people moved all the time.
  12. I saw very little of the series, so I can’t compare much, but one thing that stood out for me even back on the 1980s was that pretty much the entire TVs series took place in Walnut Grove, which was On The Banks Of Plum Creek, not LHOTP. I have only vague recollections of the TV movie, at least I assume that’s what it was. I saw it once in the 70s or early 80s, and it had all different actors, but it seemed to more closely resemble LHOTP the book.
  13. Okay, so what, to you, stands out in differences between the Book Series and the TV Series? As a kid who saw the made for TV movie before she knew it was a book series, then found the books in 5th grade (after parental divorce and a move to a new town/school district and I was isolated and a bit of a weird outcast) and became obsessed with them. So by the time the tv series came along, I was excited and yet had some gripes at the tv series progressed. And more gripes as an adult. I was annoyed as a kid that they didn't follow the books. Meaning dang it Mary and scarlet fever and the hair cut. And Oh sure she went blind. But what about south dakota and the railroad and excuse me The Long Winter was my favorite and totally skipped. Everything about Albert Ingalls The episode where Laura puts apples down her dress for boobs.
  14. And then she felt bad about taking the doll back, as if she’d stolen it, even though the other girl had thrown it away (yes, the other little girl was portrayed as a bit of a brat; she had demanded to play with Laura’s doll and then refused to give it back at the end of her mother’s visit). It did make me feel better that Ma just helped clean and repair the doll, and didn’t make Laure feel worse for taking it home.
  15. Off the top of my head Twisting hay to burn for heat. And for some odd reason - When Laura was guilted into giving her doll to a younger child with horrible behavior (either her or her parents) and then finding the doll later toss aside in a mud puddle or something. The Long Winter remains my favorite of all the books in the series.
  16. For me, the Jack going missing scene really hit me hard, both as a child, and on re-readings. When they were first in Kansas, and truly in the middle of nowhere, I always think about how afraid I'd be with nobody who could help in a crisis within miles. The Long Winter also really gets to me. The sense of feeling trapped is hard to take. I've mentioned before that I got to go see many of the LIW sites. All were wonderful, but DeSmet is fascinating. I would encourage anyone who loves LHOP to try and go. You get to go into the Surveyor's House, where they spent the Long Winter. Just standing in that tiny kitchen, where they all spent months, is quite powerful.
  17. I just finished reading the old thread and some of my favorite posts were people talking about the scenes that stayed with them. Since we have a different batch of posters, for the most part, from the original 2012 thread I'm curious... Which parts itched that part of your brain in such a satisfying way that they stayed with you? For me a couple immediately spring to mind: I think of Laura and her delight over her bread plate whenever I get my holiday platters out. And when I put groceries away each week more often than not I think of how pleased she was to have stocked coffers with flour and sugar, etc. Ma making donuts. The fear and grief when Jack was missing from the creek crossing and the tremendous relief when he returned, both book and series. I know ML could be cheesy as all get out but when he said he only said that about needing a watchdog out of guilt for not putting him in the wagon …heartstrings tugged. How happy the girls were with the very humble gifts Mr. Edwards brought them from Santa. "We each got our own cups now!" Laura and Pa's hands cut with from twisting hay and the snow coating the nails on the inside of the roof in the Long Winter. The Christmas barrel in the Long Winter. I could feel in her writing the utter joy is having some small luxuries after so much deprivation.
  18. hoipolloi

    Pa and Pioneer Girl

    IIRC, Charles and Caroline were one of two or three pairs of married siblings from their two families. Their ages at marriage (Caroline at 20-21 & Charles at 24) don't seem out of line though I do not know what average ages at marriage were for 1860. It is interesting to me that Charles somehow evaded fighting on the Union side for the Civil War. He was certainly of age to enlist or be conscripted, and not ill or otherwise physically unable to serve. OTOH, Caroline had a brother who died in the Civil War. I will say that I was absolutely delighted with Caroline Fraser's open disgust for Michael Landon (and his bare chest & abs) as Pa. My sentiments exactly. Oh, and thank you @HerNameIsBuffy for starting this club!
  19. catlady

    Pa and Pioneer Girl

    I wonder whether Pa felt pressured to conform by settling down and marrying when he did. His inclination to wander around the country makes me wonder if he would have been happier staying single and following his pursuits on his own terms. I recall reading that he had wanted to keep going west and see the Pacific Ocean. I don't know whether he ever took a trip to the coast, but Ma had finally put her foot down and insisted that DeSmet was their final home; she was not moving anymore.
  20. HerNameIsBuffy

    Pa and Pioneer Girl

    And more than once moved them out of town to escape debts he'd run up. I want to apologize for the redundancy. I had been gone for a while and just realized the thread that kicked this off was so long and talked about this very thing. TWOP rule of reading back the last 15 pages before commenting was a good one! Sorry guys!
  21. clueliss

    Pa and Pioneer Girl

    It hadn't struck me until reading this (and the associated thread here) that the man was antsy pantsy and forced his whole family to move repeatedly across the country to fulfill his whims.
  22. I'll kick this off...Did anyone find their opinion of Charles change significantly after reading Pioneer Girl? Mine did. All people are multifaceted and of course she idealized him in her children's series, but I came away thinking if we were around with FJ back then we'd be calling Pa on his grifting - even for the time. As a daddy's girl myself I get idealizing your father and glossing over the flaws...but I think he was selfish and reckless ...and his morals seemed to shift with his ulterior motives. Not an evil man just super flawed. Doesn't help that Michael Landon made him into the most perfect Mary Sue who ever Mary Sued on the small screen.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.