The Ghost in the Little House

The Ghost in the Little House

A Life of Rose Wilder Lane

Book - 1993
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
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

Book News
The Little House books, attributed to Laura Ingalls Wilder, are indisputably brilliant classics of children's literature; but the singular attribution is shown to be in error in this meticulous biography of Laura's daughter Rose (1886-1966). Rose shaped every sentence of her mother's reminiscences, transforming rudimentary notes into eloquent books that exquisitely capture a child's perception of pioneer life and express hopes and aspirations at America's bedrock. Rose was an unconventional woman who wrote and travelled extensively and espoused passionately-held libertarian views; her story is fascinating, even without the startling revelation of her authorship. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
Several generations of readers have been reared on Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, books that have achieved a near mythic quality in the American literary imagination. What few people know, however, is that nearly every sentence of these classic books was shaped at the hands of a gifted ghostwriter: Wilder's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.
Over the years, as Laura Ingalls Wilder became a literary phenomenon, her daughter slipped quietly into obscurity. In this first biography, William Holtz presents an intimate account of Lane's adventure-filled life as a writer, a daughter, and a political theorist. Drawing on her letters and diaries, he traces her life from her own harsh childhood on the prairie to her final journey overseas, this last trip as a Vietnam War correspondent at the age of seventy-eight.
After beginning her career as a journalist, Rose Wilder Lane returned to her parents' Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri to aid them as they grew older. As the Little House books began to win followers for her mother, Rose Wilder Lane's "editorial" role in them usurped more and more of her time. The secrecy of the collaboration, along with her parents' continued financial dependence on Lane, contributed to an increasingly tense relationship between mother and daughter. In a tale that will surprise every fan of the Little House books, Holtz chronicles Lane's painful and humiliating struggle to free herself from the emotional bondage to her mother that burdened her for much of her life.
Between intervals with her mother at the farm, Lane continued her work as a journalist and freelance writer, traveling throughout the United States and to such exotic locales as Albania and Baghdad. She wrote the first biographies of Henry Ford, Charlie Chaplin, and Jack London. As a ghostwriter, she stood behind such figures as Frederick O'Brien and Lowell Thomas as well as her mother. As a political thinker, Lane held fast to a grass-roots libertarian view during the Roosevelt years and beyond, an effort that produced a protege who became a Libertarian presidential candidate in 1976.
Rose Wilder Lane left no small legacy. Her silent contribution to the Little House books made them American classics. As a political writer, she left a small but potent body of work that still stands as an inspiration for contemporary civil libertarians. In The Ghost in the Little House, William Holtz reveals the passionate life of a singularly gifted woman struggling to find a center of meaning in her life.

Publisher: Columbia : University of Missouri Press, [1993]
Copyright Date: ©1993
ISBN: 9780826208873
Branch Call Number: 813x LANE HOLTZ
Characteristics: xiv, 425 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GL

To Top