Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder & Charles Dickens!

Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder!

One hundred forty-eight years ago, Laura Ingalls was born on February 7, 1867, in Wisconsin.  In 1882, just two months before her sixteenth birthday, she received her teaching certificate and taught school to help her family’s finances.  In 1885, she met and married Almanzo Wilder, and in 1886, they had a daughter named Rose.

In 1911, an invitation to submit an article to the Missouri Ruralist led to Laura’s position as a columnist and editor with that publication, and she held that position until the mid-1920s.  In 1924, her daughter helped her hone her writing skills to encompass more than just writing for a farm publication, and she wrote a couple of articles for Country Gentleman magazine.  In 1929-30, following the deaths of her mother in 1924 and her sister Mary in 1928, she was prompted to preserve her life’s memories in an autobiography entitled Pioneer Girl.  From that, her Little House books were born which of course prompted the television series Little House on the Prairie, which aired from 1974 to 1983.  She died on February 10, 1957.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Wilder!


Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!

Charles John Huffman Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England.  He was forced to leave school and work in a factory when his father was thrown into debtors’ prison.  Despite his lack of education, he edited a weekly journal for twenty years, wrote fifteen novels, five novellas, and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles.

Some of his most notable works include A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and Oliver Twist.

Just five years prior to his death, he was returning from Paris when he was involved in the Staplehurst rail crash, wherein the first seven cars of the train he was riding plunged off a bridge that was under repair.  His was the only first class car to remain on the track.  He tended to the wounded before help arrived, and his efforts saved lives.  Before he left the scene, he went back to his rail car for his unfinished manuscript, Our Mutual Friend.  He later used this experience as fodder for his short story, The Signal-Man, wherein the main character has a premonition of his own death on a train.  He died on June 9, 1870, from a stroke, five years to the day after the Staplehurst rail crash.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens!

Time to Talk:  How many of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s or Charles Dickens’ books have you read?  Which are your favorites?

39 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder & Charles Dickens!

    • Oh, no! 😦 You might try A Christmas Carol by Dickens – it’s a good ghost story. And as for Laura Ingalls Wilder, I do believe those were more geared toward young girls, but did you ever see the Little House on the Prairie TV series over there?

      • Little House on the Prairie! We did yet I recall I truly loathed it young Rachel…far too sweet and nice for me, a parody on what likely never was…or is that just me being a miserable old fool!

      • LOL! It could get silly at times, but at the time it was shown, I believe a lot of the “frontier” shows were so popular. I also loved Grizzly Adams! (And still do.) Have you ever heard of that one? I think also because it was a Michael Landon show, it was a huge success.

      • Grizzly Adams I have heard of but don’t think I’ve seen. I think it was the bedtime ritual on that Little House thing that sent me insane. The occasional, ‘Hope you have a nightmare John Boy’ would have gone down a treat in my book!

      • NOOOO! That’s The Waltons you’re thinking of. That was set during the Great Depression and WW2 times. That had John Boy. Little House on the Prairie had Laura, Mary & Carrie Ingalls, daughters of Ma & Pa, and they were settlers in the 1870s. Grizzly Adams was set during the mid-1800s, and was about a man (James Adams) who was accused of a murder he didn’t commit. So he fled to the mountains and lived off the wilderness, and had a special way with the animals.

  1. I loved the books of both. I have mixed feelings now with Laura Ingalls Wilde though. It was through her stories that I learned some resentment for my own ancestors who were mentioned often enough in her stories as terrorists to the poor settlers. Sigh.

    • Really? I haven’t read her books in (quite!) a while, but I thought her family was very kind to the indigenous people they encountered, and they actually took some flack for it from some of the other townspeople. (Or perhaps I’m only thinking of the TV show, and it’s different in the books?) 😦

      • Yep, show was different from the books. 🙂 Actually, there has been some interesting notes about it all. Worth a little search if you’re into that kind of thing. She was recounting events that happened as was the normal case in those days. I think I recall that one of her early stories that didn’t make it into news printings of her books was of a serial killing family in a small town, Pa passed through. Very interesting stuff.

      • Really? A serial killing? That is interesting! (How twisted that I find that of interest? LOL!) Ah, I guess I’ll have to read the books again to refresh my memory.

      • Yes! It’s been awhile, so I don’t which book recalled it a little. I don’t think she was allowed to fully print the story, and I believe they originally thought all the missing bodies were because of the Indians in the region. I read about it about a year ago or so, but I can’t remember where I found it, but I’m sure a Google effort will uncover it. 😀

      • Oh, I’ll have to check that out. They seriously thought the missing bodies were due to Indians? That’s messed up! I’m sure just like any group of people, there were good people and there were bad people. I hate when people stereotype! 😦 I’m sorry, and I apologize for their stupidity. So how have you been, Kindred? ❤

  2. I didn’t realize both authors were born on Feb. 7–the same as my younger daughter, who is an English teacher. I heard a story recently on NPR about how the South Dakota Historical Society published her annotated autobiography and sold out the entire run. They have to print more!

    I didn’t know about Dickens and the train crash. Interesting!
    I had wanted to see the movie The Invisible Woman about Dickens and his mistress, but haven’t yet. Have you seen it?

  3. Have never read Laura Ingalls Wilder but I read all the usual Dickens novels in Penguin paperback up and down to London on commuter trains. I used to believe that books were regarded as being ‘literary’ if they were dull and complicated… until I read Dickens.

  4. As a little girl I used to dress up in the kinds of dresses Laura wore on the show, “galloping” through the weeds as she did in the opening scene. And then as I got older I watched it only because I had such a huge crush on Michael Landon! LOL!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s