The “Little House” literary heritage

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The original 8 books in the Little House series, with the 9th, the First Four Years, published after the death of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The original eight Little House books published during the author’s lifetime are now in the public domain, since the 50-year period of copyright limitation has expired, but not the books that were published afterwards. They are:

  1. Little House in the Big Woods (1932)
  2. Farmer Boy (1933) – about the childhood of Almanzo Wilder, husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  3. Little House on the Prairie (1935)
  4. On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937)
  5. By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939)
  6. The Long Winter (1940)
  7. Little Town on the Prairie (1941)
  8. These Happy Golden Years (1943)

(Sourced from Wikipedia, rtrvd. 2018-01-24)

Laura Ingalls Wilder died in 1957, Rose Wilder Lane in 1968. The legacy continued with books about the family written by family members Rose Wilder Lane and Roger Lea MacBride, as well as non-related authors. One of them, Melissa Wiley, provides a chronological list of all the novels published about the Wilder family, their ancestors and descendants. Some are intended for children, others for adults. As it turned out, the original series of eight books was enjoyed as much by children as by adults. Like all well-written fiction, they are ageless. Presumably, due to the continuing popularity of the subjects, new books will continue to appear.

After the original series of eight, the series and books are:

The First Four Years (1971), by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is unedited and published posthumously, perhaps intended as a book in the series or a novel for adults.

On the Way Home (1962), by Laura Ingalls Wilder, was published posthumously, and is based on excerpts from the original diary of Laura Ingalls Wilder, during a trip from De Smet to Mansfield in 1894.

West From Home (1974), is a collection of letters sent by Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband Almanzo Wilder in 1915, published by Harper & Row in 1974 with the subtitle Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915.

The Road Back (2006), unedited and published posthumously as a part of A Little House Traveler: Writings from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Journeys Across America.

The Martha Years series, by Melissa Wiley, are fictionalized tales of Laura’s great-grandmother Martha Morse Tucker, and her childhood in Scotland:

  1. Little House in the Highlands (1999)
  2. The Far Side of the Loch (2000)
  3. Down to the Bonny Glen (2001)
  4. Beyond the Heather Hills (2003)

    Little House in the Highlands, part of The Martha Years series, by Melissa Wiley
    Little House in the Highlands, part of The Martha Years series, by Melissa Wiley

The Charlotte Years, also by Melissa Wiley, are fictionalized stories about Charlotte Tucker Quiner, Laura’s grandmother. “Martha Morse Tucker [above] was born in Scotland; her father was a small landowner, a laird. She emigrated to America and was married to a Scotsman named Lewis Tucker in Boston on January 1, 1799. Among their children was a girl named Charlotte, who would grow up to marry Henry Quiner and give birth to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother, Caroline.” (Source: Melissa Wiley)

  1. Little House by Boston Bay (1999)
  2. On Tide Mill Lane (2001)
  3. The Road from Roxbury (2002)
  4. Across the Puddingstone Dam (2004)
The Charlotte Years series, by Melissa Wiley

The Caroline Years, by Maria D. Wilkes and Celia Wilkins, is a series about Caroline Quiner Ingalls, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother, by Maria Wilkes and Celia Wilkins.

The Caroline Years series.

The series includes:

  1. Little House in Brookfield (1996), by M. Wilkes
  2. Little Town at the Crossroads (1997), by M. Wilkes
  3. Little Clearing in the Woods (1998), by M. Wilkes
  4. On Top of Concord Hill (2000), by M. Wilkes
  5. Across the Rolling River (2001), by C. Wilkins
  6. Little City by the Lake (2003, by C. Wilkins
  7. A Little House of Their Own (2005), by C. Wilkins 

The Rose Years (originally known as the Rocky Ridge Years) series was written by Rose Wilder Lane’s adopted grandson, executor and sole heir, Roger Lea MacBride. The books are about Rose Wilder Lane, from her childhood in Missouri to early adulthood in San Francisco:

  1. Little House on Rocky Ridge (1993)
  2. Little Farm in the Ozarks (1994)
  3. In the Land of the Big Red Apple (1995)
  4. On the Other Side of the Hill (1995)
  5. Little Town in the Ozarks (1996)
  6. New Dawn on Rocky Ridge (1997)
  7. On the Banks of the Bayou (1998)
  8. Bachelor Girl (1999)
The Rose Years series by Roger Lea MacBride

Let the Hurricane Roar (a.k.a Young Pioneers) (1932), by Rose Wilder Lane, is a retelling of the Little House books from an adult perspective, with the main characters named “Charles” and “Caroline”, with reference to the parents of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Let the Hurricane Roar, by Rose Wilder Lane

Free Land (1938), by Rose Wilder Lane, continues the story of Let the Hurricane Roar.

Old Town in the Green Groves (2002), by Cynthia Rylant, is a children’s book that deals with the two years in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life between the events in On The Banks of Plum Creek and By The Shores of Silver Lake.

On The Way Home (1962) and West From Home (1974), contain some of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s letters and diaries. They were published under the Little House imprint by Harper Collins.