1. The collective body of literary productions, embracing the entire results of knowledge and fancy preserved in writing; also, the whole body of literary productions or writings upon a given subject, or in reference to a particular science or branch of knowledge; as, the literature of biblical criticism; the literature of chemistry; and the like. 2. The class of writing distinguished for beauty of style or expression, as poetry, essays, or history, in distinction from scientific treatises, and works which contain positive knowledge; belles-lettres. — Webster, 1882
In recognition of the great contribution made to literature and to children and adults over the world with her accounts of pioneering in The Little House Series of Books for Children and in particular the heritage she left to the immediate area as the locale of four of those books, to make De Smet, as Little Town on the Prairie, widely known and visited by thousands each year, I, Merle Melstad, as Mayor of De Smet, do hereby proclaim the week of February 6-11 be designated and observed as LAURA INGALLS WILDER WEEK as the Hundredth Anniversary of the beloved writer born February 7, 1867, and ask that every effort be made to honor the memory of this daughter of the first family to reside on the townsite. I further express encouragement to the acquisition and preservation of whatever may further establish the heritage that has been given us by this much loved woman. – January 1967, Merle Melstad, Mayor of De Smet
Throughout the Little House books, Laura Ingalls Wilder occasionally quotes from or refers to other published works. Some are titles that are known to have been owned by the Ingalls or Wilder families; some of these books are on display at the heritage homesite museums.
Below are some of the publications or titles arranged by Little House title in which they occur. Click on the links to find more information about specific selections. Check back for updates!
Little House in the Big Woods.
The Polar and Tropical Worlds (called Pa’s big, green animal book), Chapter 5, “Sundays” (stories about lions, tigers, and white bears)
The Catechism, Chapter 5, “Sundays”
The Declaration of Independence, from Chapter 16, “Independence Day”
On the Banks of Plum Creek.
Millbank, mentioned in Chapter 13, “A Merry Christmas”, Chapter 17, “Moving In”, and Chapter 19, “The Fish-Trap”
The Polar and Tropical Worlds (called Wonders of the Animal World), mentioned in Chapter 17, “Moving In”
Unnamed children’s magazine, and a Mother Goose book, mentioned in Chapter 22, “Town Party”
Mary’s booklet with Bible pictures in it, from Mrs. Tower, Chapter 31, “Surprise”
The Long Winter.
The Polar and Tropical Worlds (the great auk from Pa’s big green book), mentioned in Chapter 5, “After the Storm” and Chapter 6, “Indian Summer”
“Bo-peep Has Lost Her Sheep” – mentioned as being known by Grace Ingalls in Chapter 22, “Cold and Dark”
“Supposed Speech of Regulus” – from Chapter 22, “Cold and Dark”
“Tubal Cain” – from Chapter 22, “Cold and Dark”
“The Swan’s Nest” – Chapter 22, “Cold and Dark”
“Paul Revere’s Ride” – from Chapter 22, “Cold and Dark”
The Polar and Tropical Worlds (lions from Pa’s big green book)from Chapter 22, “Cold and Dark”
Little Town on the Prairie.
Lost…, saying from Chapter 21, “The Madcap Days”
“The Sculptor Boy” – from Chapter 24, “The School Exhibition”
The Declaration of Independence – from Chapter 8, “The Fourth of July”
“The Lotus Eaters” – from Chapter 12, “Snug for Winter” and Chapter 19, “The Whirl of Gaiety”
Stories of the Moorland – from Chapter 19, “The Whirl of Gaiety”
“Maud” – from Chapter 20, “The Birthday Party”
These Happy Golden Years.
The Catechism, Chapter 14, “Holding Down a Claim”
The Polar and Tropical Worlds (Carrie and Grace looked at pictures in The Wonders of the Animal World), in Chapter 4, “Sleigh Bells”
The First Four Years.
Scott’s Poems and Tennyson’s Poems, mentioned in “The First Year”
Waverly Novels, loaned to Laura by a neighbor in “A Year of Grace”
On the Way Home.
Scott’s Poems and Tennyson’s Poems, mentioned by Rose Wilder Lane as books the Wilders owned, in “Part III”
Books Rose borrowed from school, and Laura read to all: William H. Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico and History of the Conquest of Peru; Daniel Pierce Thompson’s The Green Mountain Boys; Dinah Maria Mulock Craik’s John Halifax, Gentleman; James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, which includes The Deerslayer (1841), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Pathfinder (1840), The Pioneers (1823), and The Prairie (1827); and S. Laura Ensign’s Ancient, Medieval, and Modern History
West From Home.
“Art Smith’s Story” (republished as The Story of Art Smith) – mentioned in the undated letter from Rose to Laura in which Rose urged her mother to visit her in San Francisco
“Confessions of a Physician” – mentioned in the undated letter from Rose to Laura in which Rose urged her mother to visit her in San Francisco
“Ed Monroe, Man Hunter” – mentioned in letter dated September 11, 1915
“Sailors at Sea on the Zone” (reprinted in West From Home, with letter dated September 15, 1915)
“The People in Our Apartment House” – mentioned in letter dated September 28, 1915
“The Life of Henry Ford” (republished as Henry Ford’s Own Story)
literature (LTP 10; THGY 16)