She was born in the “Big Woods” of Wisconsin and throughout her life lived in Missouri, Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Florida, before dying on her farm in the Missouri Ozarks at the age of 90. She lived one of those lives that begged to be memorialized in stories, and her only daughter Rose, a talented writer as well, encouraged her to write her fictionalized autobiographies. Laura’s other writings include a regular newspaper column and a few other nonfiction works.
Here’s a passage I pulled out at random; it’s a good example of what I enjoy about her writing:
“There was nothing more that a house could possibly have. The glass windows made the inside of that house so light that you would hardly know you were in a house. It smelled clean and piny, from the yellow-new board walls and floor. The cook stove stood lordly in the corner by the lean-to door. A touch on the white-china door knob swung the boughten door on its boughten hinges, and the door knob’s little iron tongue clicked and held the door shut.
‘We’ll move in, tomorrow morning,” Pa said. “This is the last night we’ll sleep in a dugout.’”
On the Banks of Plum Creek
He wrote mostly about his contemporary Victorian England. Here is how wikipedia summarizes his bibliography: “Charles Dickens published over a dozen major novels, a large number of short stories (including a number of Christmas-themed stories), a handful of plays, and several non-fiction books. Dickens’s novels were initially serialised in weekly and monthly magazines, then reprinted in standard book formats.”
I’m going to pull another random passage; it has to be from A Tale of Two Cities or else I may get distracted by reading a new book …:
“A wonderful corner for echoes, it has been remarked, that corner where the Doctor lived. Ever busily winding the gold thread which bound her husband, and her father, and herself, and her old directress and companion, in a life of quiet bliss, Lucie sat in the still house in the tranquilly resounding corner, listening to the echoing footsteps of years.”
Here’s the first passage from Around the World in Eighty Days:
“Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world. People said that he resembled Byron, – at least that his head was Byronic; but he was a bearded, tranquil Byron, who might live on a thousand years without growing old.”
What do you think of any or all of these authors? Which one is your favorite?