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The First Four Years;with an Epilogue By Rose Wilder Lane from 'On Theway Home' (Puffin Books) Paperback – 7 Dec 1978
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|Paperback, 7 Dec 1978||
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"The vast number of devotees of the earlier books will rejoice in [this] important sequel to "These Happy Golden Years.""-- "Horn Book" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
For the first time in the history of the Little House books, this new edition features Garth Williams' interior art in vibrant, full color, as well as a beautifully redesigned cover.
Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now, and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers.
And so Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventure as a little pioneer girl ends, and her new life as a pioneer wife and mother begins. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
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Gone are the lively dialogues, the in-depth accounts of memorable happenings (like the visit of the two Indians in Little House on the Prairie, or the spelling bee in Little Town on the Prairie), as well as all the details that make the other books ‘real’.
Here, dialogue is wooden, and events follow one after the other with little reflection or insight. Laura herself emerges only because we know her from the other books; Almanzo/Manly remains a distant figure…. In other words, this is just what the introduction explains it to be: a totally unretouched, unrevised book edition of pencilled notes found, after the author’s death, in a school copybook.
No, I won’t enter into the academic controversy on the extent to which the various other books were heavily edited (if not written) by her daughter Rose, who had impressive literary and other careers – but the fact remains: these are basically unrevised, unedited sketches that never got the final touches that make the other books so memorable this day today.
Am I being petty? I hope not. But there are several scenes here that cry for the deep, lively presentation we find in the other books – like the time a group of Indians comes to the house when Laura is alone; or the episode – mentioned almost in passing – when the Boast family (whom we know from before) hesitatingly suggest that they could take care of Rosa, since they can’t have children themselves, whereas Laura and Almanzo can have others….
Not all posthumously discovered manuscripts have to be published. Sometime it is a better tribute to the memory of the author to let them rest in peace in their cupboards.
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