The Fear That Stopped Little House On The Prairie’s Laura Ingalls Wilder From Writing More Books
The famous American author may have written more if not for being turned off by something that made her put down her pen
Laura Ingalls Wilder shot to national prominence as an author after a series of popular books based on her remarkable life were published starting when she was 65. In subsequent years, millions of copies were sold, and a beloved adapted television series had a celebrated run of a decade, making her into an American icon. Although she came to book writing later in life, one thing held her back from producing more than the nine volumes in her portfolio — income taxes.
Born in 1867, Laura Ingalls had a lively childhood due to the transitory nature of her family. They moved frequently, pursuing homesteading, job/farming and new territory opportunities. Along the way, the young girl had a wide variety of experiences that were beyond the norm for someone of that time.
At the age of 18, Laura married Almanzo Wilder; a union that lasted an amazing 64 years. The couple usually farmed as their primary means of living, but she also worked alternately as a school teacher, and later as a writer for various publications.
It was when Ingalls Wilder was in her 60s, she began writing down stories from her past with a pencil. With the help of her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane (also a writer), she ended up publishing nine books between 1932 and 1971 (the last book was published posthumously) that was an occasionally stylized account of portions of her and her husband’s lives. These included:
In the years since, there have been more than 60 million copies of her books sold. The Little House on the Prairie television show, starring Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert, ran from 1974–1983. It was also nominated for a total of 17 Emmy Awards, winning four times.
Although Ingalls Wilder passed away in 1957 when she was 90, she was able to experience a small portion of the ballyhoo her work created. As her books quickly became popular, readers wanted to find out more about her.