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The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane (Missouri Biography Series) download epub

by William Holtz


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Did Laura Ingalls Wilder really write the 'Little House' books? William Holtz's biography of Rose Wilder Lane . Actually the term Ghost Writer or Ghosting belonged to Rose in describing her help on her mother's series.

Did Laura Ingalls Wilder really write the 'Little House' books? William Holtz's biography of Rose Wilder Lane, The Ghost in the Little House, answers this question in a way that will jolt fans of the much-loved children's series. Holtz's vivid and sympathetic biography brings to our attention the real accomplishments of a remarkable and complicated woman who is no longer nameless: Rose Wilder Lane, co-author of the 'Little House' books. -San Antonio Express-News.

The Little House series does have some definite libertarian elements . I'm a huge fan of the Little House Books, even more as an adult than I was as a child.

The Little House series does have some definite libertarian elements, particularly in The Long Winter (see quotes here) and in this passage of Little Town on the Prairie, which the appendix cites as one of Rose’s additions: Suddenly had a completely new thought. I know that this book has met with a certain amount of disdain by other fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I found it fascinating. This biography of Rose Wilder Lane describes a life that is no less fascinating than her mother's well-known (though oft-fictionalized) journey.

The original Little House books were a series of eight autobiographical children's novels written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and published by Harper & Brothers from 1932 to 1943. The eighth book, These Happy Golden Years, featured Laura Ingalls at ages 15 to 18 and was originally published with one page at the end containing the note, "The end of the Little House books. The ninth and last novel written by Wilder, The First Four Years was publised posthumously and unfinished in 1971

Did Laura Ingalls Wilder really write the 'Little House' books? William Holtz's biography of Rose Wilder . Holtz has uncovered the buried life of a woman whose struggle to separate herself from her mother and forge her own independent identity replicates the dilemma of many women, whose dedication to writing involved the sacrifice of her own ambitions, whose experience of American life during decades of cataclysmic social and political change comprises a life worth telling.

That's the condensed version of the life of Rose Wilder Lane. William Holtz does a commendable job of providing the many details from her letters and diaries to make her fascinating life into a fascinating book. I'm glad the author was able to get her out from under her mother's shadow so we can read about Rose's mark on the big world beyond the little house in Missouri. I have heard stories in the past about how Rose Wilder Lane "actually" wrote the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but nothing about Rose ever compelled me to look into it further. I had watched the TV show, but never read the books, so it didn't really matter to me.

Rose Wilder Lane was born on December 5, 1886. She was a fascinating person. In time there were eight books in the Little House series. Laura sometimes resented her daughter's help, but she realized Rose was making her manuscripts publishable. For most of her life she eked out a precarious livelihood as a free-lance author, journalist, ghostwriter, and novelist. Yet her impact has been much greater than that of run-of-the-mill free-lance authors, journalists, ghost-writers, and novelists. She became an important figure in the libertarian movement. All of the Little House books have become bestsellers and they are still kept in print by their publisher.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of the most beloved children's authors of all time, but William Holtz contends that she may not have been the sole author of the Little House series that bore her name. While Laura's life did serve as the inspiration for the books, Holtz believes that her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, actually took her mother's memoirs and refurbished them into the novels that would be read by millions

Part of the Missouri Biography Series). Several generations of readers have been reared on Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, books that have achieved a near mythological quality in the American literary imagination

Part of the Missouri Biography Series). Several generations of readers have been reared on Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, books that have achieved a near mythological quality in the American literary imagination. What few people know, however, is that nearly every sentence of those classic books was shaped at the hands of a gifted ghostwriter: Wilder's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.

In 1995, University of Missouri professor William Holtz published a biography of Wilder's daughter, The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane. In that book, Holtz made the surprising claim that Rose was the ghostwriter of her mother's books

In 1995, University of Missouri professor William Holtz published a biography of Wilder's daughter, The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane. In that book, Holtz made the surprising claim that Rose was the ghostwriter of her mother's books. I was curious and kind of skeptical about that," Fraser says, "so I started looking at Wilder's handwritten manuscripts.

A Life of Rose Wilder Lane. Big news in the Little House. As already reported in the press, Holtz (English/Missouri) maintains that Rose Wilder Lane was a silent partner to her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, turning Laura's bland and shapeless memoirs into burnished literary reminiscences. Missouri-born Rose left an impoverished home as soon as she could, married early and briefly, then began a writing career that took her to exotic places among famous people.

Traces the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, describes her difficult relationship with her mother, and reveals her contributions to the "Little House" series of books

Comments: (7)

Cordabor
I gave three stars because I do not agree with the author's stance concerning Rose as a Ghost Writer. In fact, the Ghost Writer issue seems to be the basis for the book.
Apart from that, the book is good in that it filled in a lot of missing information on Rose -- her marriage, travels, etc. Yet, when I finished this book, I felt so much pity for Rose. As someone who comes from a small town environment I can easily understand her frustrations at the intense gossip (often speculative and slanderous) and extreme scrutiny Rose experienced in Mansfield. I got the impression that Rose's parents (especially her mother) were part, to some degree, of the gossip and scrutiny brigade. If the contents are accurate, I cannot understand Rose's mother Laura Ingalls Wilder. She depended on Rose to edit her manuscripts with nothing in return for the effort but then openly spoke against her own daughter for using "Laura's material" concerning Almanzo's experiences in the free land movement. Actually, Rose just saw the opportunity to write about in detail the hardships of her ancestors and a lot of pioneer families duped by the promise of free land.

Additionally, Rose seemed to have a knack for picking what appears to be ungrateful and parasitic "friends". For example, the friend mentioned in the book as Troub. In Mansfields, Troub played and traveled the countryside while Rose worked over a typewriter. Rose even schooled Troub on the finer points of writing. When Rose's finances dipped, Troub decided to leave. In the end, Rose came out on the short end, owing Troub money. So Troub took Rose's car and new hat. I think Rose had a generous heart and truly wanted to help, but she seems to be constantly taken advantage of by so many people. No wonder her life did not appear to be a particularly happy one.

Concerning presentation, the author seemed to tease the reader about Rose's role in the Little House books. Rather than state at the beginning of the book -- here is my one big piece of proof: the manuscript comparisons -- he slowly presents his evidence that Rose was a Ghost Writer. Actually the term Ghost Writer or Ghosting belonged to Rose in describing her help on her mother's series. Then near the end of the book, we learn that Laura, perhaps foolishly, donated her original manuscripts to libraries. Now comparisons could be made between Rose's version and Laura's version. Despite the author's stance, I am still unconvinced Rose was a Ghost Writer for the Little House book series. I believe Rose was an excellent editor.

Overall, the book is good for revealing information about Rose Wilder Lane's life.
Nikobar
This was a well written book that purports to expose the myth that was Laura Ingalls Wilder, the savant of the Ozarks. I found the portrait of Rose to be fairly sympathetic and references to her mother more than a little hostile and unsympathetic. As I read I increasingly felt that Rose was a brilliant and mentally troubled individual who felt a resentful obligation to her parents. I was unaware of her role in the beginnings of the Libertarian Party, and the influence that had on her mother's writing.

In the end, I am very glad I read the book because instead of showing how Rose's revisions made her mother's work successful, it made it clear that Rose's most successful independent work was always based in her mother's stories and life history.

I have gone on to read some of Rose's writings and more biographical information. If you are really interested in the background of the "Little House" mystique, this is a must read. Just make sure you read with open eyes, and a critical mind.
Shak
I find this book fascinating because of the amazing life Rose lived --a very modern and sophisticated woman, before women's lib. She just went out and did it. Also she clearly possessed a luminous intelligence, and her courage in travelling as far as Baghdad in the 1920s-- before there were even roads-- is astounding.

Rose's biographer, however, has some mysterious axe to grind against "the mother"--as he sometimes calls Laura Ingalls Wilder. Even if you consider he is basing much of his supposed revelations about Laura on entries in Rose's diary, you can also see that Rose's diary is not an objective document, considering she writes about her petty annoyances at friends as well. Even at face value, when Rose may be declaring herself utterly humiliated by her mother, it really doesn't seem as bad to the reader. For example, Laura offers to turn off her electricity during the depression because she knows Rose doesn't have the money to pay for it. Rose interprets this as martyrdom and manipulation, and gives her mother a check. Laura takes it but says, if you really can't afford it, you must tell me. Weeks later Rose turns off her own electricity. This somehow means Laura is cold and selfish. (I don't think so.)

I am convinced that it is obvious, based on the author's meticulous research and the close dealings between Rose, Laura, and her agents and publishers, that Rose edited the Little House books heavily. But I am just as firmly convinced that the author of this biography set out to find, and prove, that Laura Ingalls Wilder is not worthy of the admiration so many of us feel.

In fact, in the section describing Rose's publication of "Let the Hurrican Roar" -- which lifted much of its content from her mother's memoir titled "Pioneer Girl"-- The author mentions that Rose used her mother's material, but does not mention that Rose did so without permission, and the publication of the book was a surprise to Laura.

In the end, the record of Rose and Laura's business collaboration speaks louder than the biographer's speculation. It is difficult for any writer to subject her work to heavy editing -- all the more so when it is a family member. That mother and daughter managed to collaborate despite bruised feelings on both sides tells me that they both respected each other immensely.

And ultimately, the truly lasting contribution Rose made to literature was as editor of her mother's books. They represent her best work.
Walan
Very slow to start, and I do not like the author's jumping around and giving us info we do not need or care about. At least half way through it does get better. there were very interesting pages, and then it would go back to the "too much info that I do not care about" stuff. She was an enormously interesting person and very philantropic towards teens she came upon. A world traveler. She spoke her mind and was a very free thinker. I cannot recommend the book to you. Only if you need the info regarding a ghost writer. I would like more information about her, but not from author Holz. he is a terrible writer!
The Ghost in the Little House: A Life of Rose Wilder Lane (Missouri Biography Series) download epub
Historical
Author: William Holtz
ISBN: 0826208878
Category: Biographies & Memoris
Subcategory: Historical
Language: English
Publisher: Univ of Missouri Pr; 1st edition (April 1, 1993)
Pages: 425 pages