The Lotus Eaters and Laura Ingalls.

Feb 14, 2012 | Full Time Family | 27 comments

I am in no uncertain terms
a Laura Ingalls junkie.

She is the original pioneer woman and she is a such an extreemly important person in the documentation of American life during the 19th and 20th century.
She is wise, descriptive, tender, feisty… I can’t get enough of her writings for children and adults. I’ve simply GOT to get my hands on some more of her writings I only have have one other book besides the children’s series, Little House in the Ozarks, and it’s fabulous!

If you’ve never read her or it’s been eons then simply start with the Little House series again… by the time you get to the point where Laura is a teenager it becomes trés romantique!!!

I read the Little House children’s books a million times when I was a child.

My Little House books from childhood – shredded from so much use over the last 30 years.
We began reading them to Aidan when he was four and we are on our third reading of them – We are on Little Town on the Prairie so we are almost done again. We got a brand new set from the kid’s Aunt Becky this Christmas – we were THRILLED!
The other day we were reading the familiar passage where Laura’s character,
her Godly, moral character is revealed to us yet again.
Ma and Pa have recently taken Mary to the college for the blind and winter is right around the corner. Though they don’t expect it to be as brutal as the previous “Long Winter,” they do decide to move back into town for the winter just to be safe. Laura is packing and reaches into a drawer only to discover the most beautiful green book with gold leafed edges. We have to remember they were VERY poor and it’s like nothing she has ever seen. The front says Tennyson’s Poems and she turns to “The Lotus Eaters”
Enthralled she begins to read hanging on the authors every word until she realizes this is probably a gift for her for Christmas. She slams the book closed, horrified that she could take the joy of giving the book away from her beloved Ma. She is haunted though by the words that she was unable to finish.
Read this passage in the photo if you can…
As Joel read this passage the other day I shouted, “Stop!” and I ran into the other room, frantically looking for something.
I returned holding a green book, with gold leafed edges – the cover reads Tennyson’s Complete Works – Copyright, 1877!

I opened it up and it looks EXACTLY like the book Laura is describing. Red lines framing the pages… I showed the kids. We were giddy. We turned to The Lotus Eaters and we had goosebumps! It was just so awesome to see that we had in the house something so close to the exact book that Laura had received as a gift so many years ago. It just brought everything to life for the kids. Just like it’s going to when we start to visit her homes that are throughout the Midwest (we hope to start with one this summer).

This book was a gift from my friend Kerry. She gave to to me while visiting this summer. The inscription is so lovely – this person could never have imagined how much pleasure this book has provided people over the years… from 1877 all the way to my kids and our love for Laura Ingalls.

“May these lines my dear sister afford you many happy hours.
Christmas December 25th (18)77.”

I just had to share this with you.
Have a lovely week!
I’ve got some gorgeous girls to introduce you to later this week!
Bonne Semaine!

LIW Images – Google Images.


  1. Julie

    It’s so nice to know that there is another Laura Ingalls Wilder lover out there. I have read her books over and over again. They always give me a tremendous sense of tranquillity when life is difficult. I’m always on the lookout for anything she has written, or anything about her.

    I’ve visited the house that she and Almanzo built in Mansfield, Missouri twice, and would go again. Pa’s fiddle is in the museum, and the house, left pretty much as it was when she died in 1957, is just darling.

  2. Priscilla

    If I already didn’t adore you, this post would have done it.
    My aunt, who was a children’s librarian, gave me my first Little House book when I was 6 years old, and continued until I had them all. She was even fortunate enough to meet Mrs. Wilder at a book convention. I read ant re-read them and then read them to my girls. My husband once announced that he was going yo read them in self-defense, just so he could join in the conversations.
    Laura was my alter ego. She was everything I wasn’t. She was brave and outspoken, I was timid and rather complacent. I wanted to be like her, but I was more like Mary.
    When the girls were young we made the “pilgrimage”. First we picked up my aunt in Wichita, visited the Kansas site, then over into the Orzarks, then up to S. Dakota. At the museum at her house in Missouri, I used every hankie we had between us. It was such an emotional thing to see Pa’s fiddle, and Ma’s hair comb, all the ittle things that would only mean something to those of us who love those books.
    I hope you will have the wonderful experience we did for your children’s sake and for yours. Just remember to take a box of Kleenex!

  3. Stacy's Shabby Shoppe

    I’m so glad to hear that I am not the only Laura Ingalls Wilder nut out there! LOL! I am seriously obsessed with her, her books and writings and with the LHOTP series on tv. I still watch it almost every day. I would love to visit her home and the museum one day! Thanks for sharing! ~Stacy~

  4. Sherri Mitchell

    Oh yes, major Laura lover here! My mother bought the set for me when I was young, and have since passed them on to my own daughter. I believe this series needs to be in every home!

    I also love the TV show ~ I am fascinated with everything Pioneer days, sometimes, I wish I had been born back then. But the hardships they faced….. Hmm, Perhaps not so different from this economy in 2012? {just had to throw that in!}

    Wishing you and your family a beautiful Valentines Day!! xo

  5. Ruby Jean

    Oh I can’t tell you how DESPERATELY I wanted to be Laura Ingalls growing up… Or at least a VERY VERY VERY close friend of hers… 🙂 My daughters now enjoy her books as well as our Boys….
    Have a Lovely and Blessed Valentines Day!!!

  6. It's me

    Happy Valentine’s day….♥.. ♥… ♥….Love Ria……♥.. ♥… ♥….

  7. SewingLibrarian

    Are you also a Maud Hart Lovelace fan? Different time and place (Minnesota, 1890’s-1917), but equally fine books about growing up.

  8. Cathy

    I am originally from Springfield, MO and agree, if you are a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan you have to make the trek to Mansfield. Touring their house, the property, the museum, seeing her family mementos…it’s really wonderful. By the time you’re done reading the series to all of your children the new visitors center should be done. And just down the road is Baker Creek Heirloom Seed company where you can visit their recreated pioneer townsite and buy their awesome heirloom seeds!

  9. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    Love when Ma slapped the bear! What a woman!!

    Great post. I adore both Laura and Tennyson.

  10. Kristie

    I so love her work as well! The joys of life were so much simpler then, none of this keeping up with the Jone’s. I just finished re-reading series, and also finished her road trip diary “On the Way Home”. Now I’m working on watching the series by checking it out at my local library. It gives me comfort. I watched it early in the mornings while I was nursing my #1 son.

  11. Heather's Blog-o-rama

    It’s been ages since I”ve read the books..but I’ve always loved her story. My favorite growing up was the “Anne of Green Gables” series by L.M. Montgomery. Oh, and seeing that Tennyson book of poems from 1877 is really cool…knowing that Laura would have held a similar book all those years ago 🙂 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  12. Mandy

    i feel this way about anne of green gables:)

  13. Kate

    I love classic books like this, and cannot wait to read them to my children. And that Tennyson book about made me swoon!

  14. Laura

    I love Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and tv series!! Thanks for this beautiful post.

    Have a nice day 🙂


  15. Passionedeco...perchè le case hanno un'anima

    What a lovely lovely coincidence this is! Wellm is this a coicidence ora perfect gift from “above”?? I can imagine your children’s shining eyes when you came back with that wonderful book. They surely thought to be in that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book.

    I have loved this post, really. Like a fairytale!


  16. Pam

    That is just way too cool! My 11 year old son is reading the Little House series right now. He’s almost done with it and can’t wait to pick up the book each morning. I often catch him laughing out loud while he reads it and hear, “Mom, listen to this!” many times throughout the day. He recently said that he would like to go to the places that they’ve lived. So, that may just end up in our vacation plans, too. :0)

  17. Decor To Adore

    Well of course you knew I had to comment on this post.

    You should try and visit DeSmet S.D. in July when they hold the annual pageant.

    I adore the Mansfield House as Almanzo customized the kitchen cabinetry to fit her 4″11 height.

    As Laura said in later years “She had no idea she was documenting history…she was only recording her memories.”


  18. Carolyne

    *That* is exactly the type of teaching moment to inspire your children!
    I loved reading this post.
    Your descriptions made the words on the computer a heightened delight.
    Someday your little ones will enter St. Peter’s Square and walk the Sacra Via or view the Mona Lisa in the Louvre with the same excitement and remember *who* instilled that emotion when you all held that Tennyson book together.

  19. Aunt Julee

    I love a story such as this one.

    Aunt Julee

  20. Bekki

    Anyone who loves The Little House books must check out the Pa’s Fiddle project! It is an amazing collection of the music from the books put on CD. We love to read the books with the music softly playing in the background. Here is the link, there are 3 CD”s so far.

  21. Amber

    How fun to have the same book Laura was talking about. I could only imagine the excitement from your little ones. You’ve sparked me to re-read the series. Dang, Elementary school was sooo long ago!

  22. Tina P

    I just found you via the lovely MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME BLOG!
    My soul mate!! Tell me….could we be twins separated at birth??

  23. Fresh Vanilla For C

    Hi~~ Just joined your blog. Love it. Have a great day and I look forward to following you.
    Fresh Vanilla For C

  24. Jenn

    I literally have goosebumps, too, about the Tennyson book. It looks nothing like I had imagined it somehow, but still a thrill to see something that may have been the exact edition that Laura received. She would have been ten in 1877 so it could be.

    I am also a L.I.W. junkie. I only have boys, no girls, yet have read these books to them repeatedly over the years. Even though two of them are in their teens THEY STILL LISTEN. I love it.

    Jenn @ Spejory

  25. Fiona's Mosaic

    This was really wonderful!! Not only am I also a Laura Ingalls junkie, but I love Tennyson, and have a collection of old books. How amazing and wonderful that you have a book so similar to the one described.

    My kids stil talk about how we used to read the Laura Ingalls books together. My set is worn out too.

    God bless, Fiona

  26. Mrs. H

    History comes alive when your children see that you have a book that Laura Ingalls Wilder had.

    I hope that you’ll be able to visit my neck of the woods (or prairie!) to see where the Ingalls lived in southeast Kansas. Independence, KS is where it is. Here’s the website for our museum:
    The Ingalls’ doctor was buried here in Independence, in the town cemetary.
    We are practically a hop, skip and a jump away from Mansfield, MO.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Search Posts

Blog Categories

Archives by Date