The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder


The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura grew up in the real Western days, when the American frontier was being slowly pushed westward and the pioneer families were breaking in the untilled land and raising the first towns. She was fourteen when first she walked home from church with Almanzo Wilder; a year later, when she was teaching school, he came driving twelve miles across the prairie each Friday to take her home for the week-end; and when she was eighteen, they were married. The First Four Years begins with their first years together on a homestead and tree claim on the South Dakota prairie. Those were years of companionship and happiness, hard work and struggle, as Laura and Manly worked the land they hoped one day to town. The making of a home, the birth of their daughter Rose, brought them great joy; but they met with sadness too, and hardship, and disaster. Yet Manly still kept the incurable optimism of the farmer; and Laura, seeing his determination and love of the land, felt that optimism blend with the pioneer creed she had inherited: 'It is better farther on' - Only instead of farther on in space, it was farther on in time, over the horizon of the years ahead instead of the far horizon of the west . An epilogue written by Laura's daughter tells how after struggles and griefs of the first years, their last pioneering journey brought them over that horizon to a lifelong and happy home.

About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born February 7, 1867, in a little log house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Laura's childhood was spent traveling west by covered wagon, to Indian Territory in Kansas, to Grasshopper Country in Minnesota, and then to Dakota Territory, where she met and married Almanzo Wilder.

Laura's daughter Rose grew up listening to her mother's stories of those pioneer days. She urged her mother to write them down so that other children could enjoy them, as well. So in the 1930s and 40s, Laura recorded her memories of those days of long ago in a children's series known as the "Little House"® books.

Although Laura died on February 10, 1957, at her home in the Ozarks of Missouri, she and her family will live forever in the hearts of her readers.

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Book Info


144 pages
Interest Age: 9+


Laura Ingalls Wilder
More books by Laura Ingalls Wilder


Publication date

31st July 1973



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