Laura Ingalls Wilder

Discussion of fine arts and literature.
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of Vinyamar
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Laura Ingalls Wilder

Post by Alatar »

So, I was reminded about this by a FB post about someone removing Laura Ingalls Wilder's name off an Award because her books were basically now considered racist. As someone who hasn't read the books I can't comment on that specifically, but I feel pretty much the same way about that as I do about Twain, or Harper Lee; namely that they were representative of the time they lived in and that should be preserved.

More specifically, though, I went to buy a copy of her books in Barnes and Noble while in Texas, and they have the most twee, childish covers. I understand that they're marketed at children, but are they readable as an adult, and are there more mature covers available?

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Jude
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Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Post by Jude »

I don't know if there are more mature covers available, but the bonus of the existing editions is that the illustrations were done by someone who knew the family and can be taken as fairly representative of what they actually looked like.

They're no more racist than any other literature from that period. She just reports things that happened and how she, as a fairly typical girl growing up in the late nineteenth century, reacted to it. For example, there's an incident where some of the settlers dressed up in blackface and put on a show. Should she have left that out and pretended that those things never happened back then?

I admit that I haven't re-read them as an adult (although it's on my to-do list) but my recollection is that the writing is very low in tweeness, given that it's primarily aimed at children. I'd say go ahead and read them, especially since you've already bought them.

Note: the series gets better as it goes along. If you read the first book and really can't stand reading about the little girls Laura and Mary, then skip ahead to Little Town on the Prairie. But this is only the second best option, because lots of fascinating sturff happens along the way.
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Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Post by Alatar »

No, I haven't bought them Jude. I'm looking for a nicer set.
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Primula Baggins
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Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Post by Primula Baggins »

Those are the classic illustrations that were part of the books when I was a little girl, Alatar. I think it will be almost as hard to avoid them as it would be to find an edition of The Cat in the Hat with illustrations by someone other than Dr. Seuss.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Maria
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Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Post by Maria »

There are some alternative covers on Ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Little-House-o ... Sw1fJa3Vus
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Primula Baggins
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Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Post by Primula Baggins »

Yes—it looks as if this edition has no illustrations at all, inside or out, which might be better for Alatar.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Post by Alatar »

Yes I prefer these! Thanks Maria!
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