Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend

  • by John E. Miller
  • Narrated by Paula Faye Leinweber
  • 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Although generations of readers of the Little House books are familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder's early life up through her first years of marriage to Almanzo Wilder, few know about her adult years. Going beyond previous studies, Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder focuses upon Wilder's years in Missouri from 1894 to 1957. Utilizing her unpublished autobiography, letters, newspaper stories, and other documentary evidence, John E. Miller fills the gaps in Wilder's autobiographical novels and describes her 63 years of living in Mansfield, Missouri. As a result, the process of personal development that culminated in Wilder's writing of the novels that secured her reputation as one of America's most popular children's authors becomes evident.


What the Critics Say

"Miller draws on Wilder's unpublished autobiography, existing letters written to her daughter and to her husband on the few occasions she traveled without him, and her fiction and ‘newspaper stories, local histories, land records', which he mines to create an impressively detailed context for her life.... Miller does not try to make her any more - or less - than she was, and that is the virtue of his biography." (Washington Post Book World)
"Miller's absorbing new biography...puts the author's early years in context before focusing on her adult life as a farmer's wife, mother, journalist, and budding author.... Miller uncovers facts about Laura's life that were not revealed in her own work, and he places her experience in a broader context. He makes her days on the frontier and the farm come alive with statistics on population and demographics as well as rich details about Indians and wildlife." (In These Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Way to much Rose

What did you like best about Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend? What did you like least?

This book starts out very interesting, alot of back ground on the Ingalls family but after the first few chapters it became about her daughter Rose Wilder Lane and to be honest by the end of the book I really didnt like Rose very much.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The last chapter was really beautiful, it went back to Laura and Almanzo's story.

What about Paula Faye Leinweber’s performance did you like?

She did a good job,

Was Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend worth the listening time?

No not really, way to much about Rose and most of that didn't show her in a good light.

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- Kathy Smith


I would agree with other reviewers, there is too much Rose at the end but Rose was the one who left behind a diary etc. so I suspect the author was using what he had.
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- Ken

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2013
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks