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The First Four Years

The First Four Years

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The First Four Years

оценки:
4/5 (39 оценки)
Длина:
126 pages
1 hour
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Издано:
Mar 8, 2016
ISBN:
9780062484116
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The ninth and final book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured Little House series—now available as an ebook! This digital version features Garth Williams’s classic illustrations, which appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now, and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers.

And so Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventure as a little pioneer girl ends, and her new life as a pioneer wife and mother begins.

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts

Издатель:
Издано:
Mar 8, 2016
ISBN:
9780062484116
Формат:

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Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the Little House books based on her own experiences growing up on the Western frontier. Just like the characters in her stories, Laura and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest and experienced many of the same adventures. She finally settled down in Mansfield, Missouri, with her husband Almanzo, where she lived until she was ninety years old.

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The First Four Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

PROLOGUE

THE FIRST YEAR

THE SECOND YEAR

THE THIRD YEAR

A YEAR OF GRACE

EXCERPT FROMLITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ILLUSTRATOR

BOOKS BY LAURA INGALLS WILDER

CREDITS

COPYRIGHT

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER

INTRODUCTION

This tale begins where These Happy Golden Years ends. It tells of the struggle of Laura and Almanzo Wilder during their first years of marriage and is the next chapter in the story begun in Laura’s childhood eight books earlier. Its events occur before those described in On the Way Home—Laura’s diary account of the little family’s adventures when they moved by wagon from Dakota Territory to Missouri in 1894.

The manuscript of The First Four Years was discovered among Laura’s papers. She had penciled it in three orange-covered school tablets bought long ago from the Springfield Grocer Company for a nickel each. Laura wrote the first drafts of her previous books in the same way. My own guess is that she wrote this one in the late 1940’s and that after Almanzo died, she lost interest in revising and completing it for publication. Because she didn’t do so, there is a difference from the earlier books in the way the story is told.

An important part tells of the birth and childhood of Rose, Laura and Almanzo’s daughter. Rose was my dearest friend and mentor. I met Rose when I was a young boy and later became her lawyer. My wife and I were close to her for many years. She gave me the manuscript of this book for safekeeping, and after her death in 1968, I brought it to Harper & Row (now HarperCollins). After considerable thought about the countless children and adults who have read the Little House books, and concern for what Rose and Laura might have wanted, the editors at Harper and I all agreed that Laura’s original draft should be published as she had first written it in her orange notebooks.

Rose grew up to be a famous author who carried on Laura’s pioneer spirit by having many adventures in America and abroad. She wrote a number of fascinating books about this country and about faraway places like Albania, and she became well known the world over. But Rose grew up in a time when ladies did not consciously seek fame. She chose to shed light on the lives of others instead of her own, and so this book about her mother, her father, and herself had to wait until after her death to be published.

Rose (who became Mrs. Rose Wilder Lane) led a full and busy life. After her mother died, she wrote the setting for On the Way Home. She also wrote a number of magazine articles, some of which were published as the Woman’s Day Book of American Needlework. She worked at length on a major book yet to be published, and she was sent to Vietnam as a war correspondent in 1965 when she was seventy-eight years old! Rose read constantly and knew more about any subject I can think of than any person I ever knew. A week before she was to set off on a world tour at age eighty-one, her heart stopped suddenly, at her home of thirty years in Danbury, Connecticut. The night before, she had sat up in jovial and lively conversation with friends after making them a baking of her famous bread.

But what happened after those events described in both The First Four Years and On the Way Home—after Laura, Almanzo, and Rose reached The Land of the Big Red Apple?

There in the Ozarks, Almanzo built by hand, with care and precision, a charming country house on land that Laura later named Rocky Ridge Farm. They lived and successfully farmed right there for long and happy lifetimes, Almanzo’s ending in 1949 at age ninety-two, and Laura’s in 1957 at age ninety. Their home was made sturdily to last for always, and the lucky people who go to Mansfield, Missouri, may see that happy home with its fossils in its chimney rock, much furniture handmade by Almanzo, and many other treasures. Pa’s violin, Mary’s organ, and Laura’s lovely sewing box are there as well as some of Rose’s possessions. Rocky Ridge Farm is now a permanent nonprofit exhibit. If you go, the curators, who loved and knew the Wilders personally, will take you around and tell you details that may not be in the Little House books, to help you better to know Laura, Almanzo, and Rose.

We all wish there were more of Laura’s stories. We have come to know and cherish their qualities of character and spirit. They have entered our lives and given them meaning. But if there cannot be more, may we make life stories of our own worthy of hers.

Roger Lea MacBride

Charlottesville, Virginia

July, 1970

PROLOGUE

The stars hung luminous and low over the prairie. Their light showed plainly the crests of the rises in the gently rolling land, but left the lower draws and hollows in deeper shadows.

A light buggy drawn by a team of quick-stepping dark horses passed swiftly over the road which was only a dim trace across the grasslands. The buggy top was down, and the stars shone softly on the dark blur of the driver and the white-clothed form in the seat beside him, and were reflected in the waters of Silver Lake that lay within its low, grass-grown banks.

The night was sweet with the strong, dewy fragrance of the wild prairie roses that grew in masses beside the way.

A sweet contralto voice rose softly on the air above the lighter patter of the horses’ feet, as horses and buggy and dim figures passed along the way. And it seemed as if the stars and water and roses were listening to the voice, so quiet were they, for it was of them it sang.

"In the starlight, in the starlight,

At the daylight’s dewy close,

When the nightingale is singing

His last love song to the rose;

In the calm clear night of summer

When the breezes gently play,

From the glitter of our dwelling

We will softly steal away.

Where the silv’ry waters murmur

By the margin of the sea,

In the starlight, in the starlight,

We will wander gay and free."

For it was June, the roses were in bloom over the prairie lands, and lovers were abroad in the still, sweet evenings which were so quiet after the winds had hushed at sunset.

THE FIRST YEAR

It was a hot afternoon with a strong wind from the south, but out on the Dakota prairie in 1885 no one minded the hot sunshine or the hard winds. They were to be expected: a natural part of life. And so the swiftly trotting horses drawing the shining black-top buggy swung around the corner of Pearson’s livery barn, making the turn from the end of Main Street to the country road Monday afternoon at four o’clock.

Looking from a window of the low, three-room claim shanty a half mile away, Laura saw them coming. She was basting cambric lining to the bodice pieces of her new black cashmere dress and had just time to put on her hat and pick up her gloves when the brown horses and the buggy stopped at the door.

It was a pretty picture Laura made standing at the door of the rough claim shanty, the brown August grass under her feet and the young cottonwoods standing in their square around the yard.

Her dress of pink lawn with its small sprigs of blue flowers just cleared her toes. The skirt was full, and tucked to the waist. The little tight waist with long sleeves and high neck had a bit of lace at the throat. The sage-green, rough-straw poke bonnet lined with blue silk softly framed her pink cheeks and her large blue eyes with the bangs of her brown hair above them.

Manly said nothing of all this, but he helped her into the buggy and tucked the linen lap robe carefully about her to keep off the dust. Then he tightened the reins and they dashed away for an unexpected weekday afternoon drive. South twelve miles across bare prairie to lakes Henry and Thompson, along the narrow neck of land between them where chokecherries and wild grapes grew. Then over the prairie again east and north to Spirit Lake fifteen miles away. Forty or fifty miles in all, but always around the square to come home.

The buggy top was up to make a shade from the heat of the sun; the horses’ manes and tails flew out on the wind;

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  • (5/5)
    This book tells the story of Laura and Manly's wedding and the establishment and destruction of two homesteads; one by fire and one by drought. It also is the story of the birth of their daughter, Rose as well as their son, who only lived a few months. Just great reading at any age! 144 pages
  • (2/5)
    This book starts very differently than all the rest of the ones in the series! So much so, that it almost feels like a different author to me! The first 14-15 pages of this book are basically a repeat from the end of the last book, with some different details, but not enough to warrant the summary. And the author didn't do this with the other books, so what gives? Also, as this is also the shortest book in the series, it seems odd to give so much space to material that we've already read! AND, she writes her husband's name as "Manly" and not "Almanzo" as she used in the other books. "Manly"? I don't think that name was used at all before! So strange... I'd also like to point out that the phrase, "The rich get their ice in the summer, the poor get theirs in the winter", gets used so many times that the actual story is even shorter! What the heck?This book ends the series with a big old thud. It is interesting to know what happened, but the writing is so brief, and the detail so sparse, that it seems like such a let down. In one instance, there is no mention of Laura's being pregnant until the day she gives birth! Again, I don't know the actual details of this book, but it almost reads like an outline of ideas for an actual full length Little House book! I definitely became a fan of Little House from reading this series, but again, I feel pretty let down by this last installment.
  • (5/5)
    Laura is a smart, beautiful and quirky young lady. She lives with her husband Manly in a quaint little house in the country. In the beginning, Laura and Manly get married, oh how I love it when two people get together in love. In the country Laura and Manly have to face lots of hardships, like wild storms and even a new baby! Can Laura and Manly make it through? You'll have to read to find out. I really like this book. I like it because it shows that love and hard work will always prevail. Readers who want something down to earth but still exciting will love this book.
  • (5/5)
    Revisited childhood read, review to follow
  • (3/5)
    I wasn't as impressed with her stories of life as grown-up -- suppose because I was a child.
  • (5/5)
    This (along with These Happy Golden Years) was my favorite of the little house series. I LOVED the way Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her courtship and marriage to Almanzo. There was something beautiful, romatic, and simple about these books.
  • (2/5)
    So bleak that it feels like a letdown after the delightful These Happy Golden Years.
  • (4/5)
    Reading this makes you realize why these sorts of stories usually end at the wedding. Still, it was Little House and it was a good read.
  • (2/5)
    Not a full book, just a posthumously printed collection that wasn't completed. Read aloud to the boys in the car.
  • (4/5)
    The last book in Laura's series wasn't published until after the death of both Laura and her daughter, Rose. It picks up where These Happy Golden Years leaves off and tells of the beginning of Laura and Almanzo (Manly) Wilder's marriage. They decide to farm for a few years, and a whole manner of things go wrong with their crop. It's pretty depressing, really, but they manage to be happy and hopeful all the same. This entire series is important for young readers because of its perspective and window into the daily life of those living on the American frontier in the late 1800's. Comparisons and contrasts can be made to our society and way of life and discussions can be had about which aspects are better or worse. Appreciation of the relative comfort of the average person's life today due to technological advances can be had, as well as an analysis of whether comfort = happiness, or even correlates.
  • (3/5)
    Unrelievedly depressing and told at some distance further than arm's length. Interesting period detail, but so many sad things happen I can understand why Wilder didn't publish this with the rest of the series. I didn't get any real sense of who Laura was as the writing was so dispassionate as to be almost off-putting.
  • (3/5)
    This was a nice conclusion, I suppose, but I definitely didn't like it as well as the other books. I suppose because it was so brief and zoomed thru four years, not like her other books with such attention to detail. I was heart broken for her, though, to learn her son died and about the house fire. Heavens, she was younger than I when it happened...22 or so.
  • (2/5)
    Wilder did not edit this book for publication and it shows. It is, however, an interesting story of the early years of her marriage.
  • (3/5)
    The final book in the series follows the first four years of Laura and Almanzo's marriage and the birth of their daughter Rose, as they try to make a living as farmers on the prairie. Published long after both Laura and Rose had died, it lacked the polish of a finished book (and possibly the editing that Rose helped out with in the earlier books.)
  • (5/5)
    And with this book, the american classic story comes to an end. I found great pleasure in reading these wonderful books and will treasure Laura's epic family saga.
  • (5/5)
    See your favorite little girl grow up to be a mother of a growing family. The last book in the Laura series.
  • (4/5)
    Oh, this was a hard book to read. Poor Almanzo and Laura couldn't seem to catch a break. The best thing to come out of the first four years was their little girl, Rose. The story ends on a positive note, but despite that, I couldn't help feel that the overall story was melancholy.
  • (4/5)
    Wilder did not finish revising this story for publication before her death, and it has a slightly different flavour than the other books in her series. It starts out with the story of her marriage that was described in "These Happy Golden Years," but without much embellishment and with a focus on Laura's worry about the struggles of marrying a farmer. The remainder of this novel lays bare the raw emotion that Laura must have experienced in coming to grips with her new adult life as a wife and mother during a series of economic trials, stripping away the fairy tale of "happily ever after" marriage and motherhood. While my life experiences have been completely different, I could totally relate my feelings on living on my own for the first time with what Laura was going through. This is a brutally honest portrayal of what pioneer life was really like; it lacks the polish of the other books in the Little House series, along with their sense that, thanks in part to Ma and Pa, everything would always be all right, but it displays the strength of character and attitude that must have characterised struggling farmers at the time, and perhaps still does to this day.
  • (4/5)
    The last book typically included in the Little House series is the least like the others. As it was never edited, it lacks the polish that the other books have, and is more frank than any of the others about some of the harder aspects of life for the young Wilder family. It deals with drought and hard weather, plagues, disease and debt. Laura and Almanzo deal with a lot in that first four years of their married life, trying to make things thrive on their claim in De Smet four the three year trial of farming (stretched to four for a 'grace' period). Despite some of the positive things that happen for them in this book, this is definitely the saddest of the series. It is good, but not something that I could see myself going back to when I want something sweet and light-hearted.
  • (4/5)
    The prose is unpolished, and it is quite clear that Wilder was not finished with this manuscript. In comparison with her early works, it falls flat. However I am VERY glad that they went ahead and published this "unfinished" work. It was a delight following up on what happened to Laura after the last book in the Little House series. There are some very amusing and tender scenes to be found within. Overall, a delightful insight into another time and place.
  • (4/5)
    The story of Almanzo and Laura in their first four years of marriage, including the birth of Rose and the death of their son.
  • (5/5)
    this is an easy read and was fun to read
  • (5/5)
    Laura and Almonzo discuss marriage. They marry and this is the account of the first four years of their life on the prarie. This includes the trials and tribulations of being newlyweds, having a child, and them working on the farm on the prarie to provide for their family.The plot of the book was to show how people lived in early times. I liked the characters of Laura and Alanzo how real they seemed for the setting of the story. The theme kept my interest when reading it. I really like this book. I always watched the show as a child and reading it made it all that more real. I like these books that show how people made it in the turn of the 20th century.You could use this book as activities for a classroom having them draw what they think the prarie would look like. They could also write a reflection saying if they would like to live at that time and why or why not.
  • (5/5)
    The style and rhythm of this book is slightly different from the rest of the series. At her death, Laura left it handwritten and unfinished. It was printed as is, without final revising and polishing. The story of the first years of marriage for Laura and Almanzo is a fitting conclusion to a much loved series, told with love and courage.
  • (5/5)
    This was always my favorite of the Little House, perhaps because it is so very raw. Wilder never finished editing the story, so it is more like a rough draft. I find, however, that the scenes in this book stand out more in my mind than any of the other books. Perhaps this is because this book was meant for adults, not children, and you can feel the desperation and perseverance in every page. Definitely not a sugar-coated story.
  • (3/5)
    Rose Wilder Lane (Laura and Almanzo's daughter) cobbled this manuscript together from her mother's notebooks after her death. This is a diary, really, beginning with the wedding we read in These Happy Golden Years to the family's leaving Dakota for Missouri. I hated this book as a child--hated it. I felt cheated out of my happy ending! You see right from the start that though Laura and Almanzo cared for each other, they were just going to have a lot of problems. Many reviewers and historians of pioneer literature have written about the women who took on the frontier and how they, and not the men, were really the strongest players. Laura, like Cather, Jewett, Aldrich, and Rolvaag, shows us in this book the terrible cost of that life and the strength of the women who could survive it and even thrive. But this isn't a fun book to read.
  • (5/5)
    I always loved this one when I was a kid, even though it's rather sad at the end. What sitcks out in my mind is the joy of the beginning of the novel, and the beautiful house Almanzo built for Laura.
  • (3/5)
    This book is the last of the "Little House" series, chronicling the first four years of Mrs. Wilder's marriage. Actually, it was an unfinished manuscript that was published over a decade after her death. As such, it reads less like a novel and more like a fleshed out plotline. The previous "Little House" books tend to flow better and tend to carry a sense of optimism about them. "The First Four Years", in contrast, is rather depressing. Whereas in the previous novels, Almanzo Wilder comes across as a capable, resourceful man, in this book he's quite the nebbish, full of unwarranted optimism. Nothing against nebbishes, but I'm wondering why the change. Perhaps if Mrs. Wilder had finished the book, the character would have been more recognizable. Or maybe it's just that we're finally getting a look at the real Almanzo. Who knows? Anyway, if you've made it this far in the series, you'll want to check out "The First Four Years" to see what happens. And then you'll grumble that nobody wrote about the next four years.--J.
  • (5/5)
    This book tells the story of Laura and Manly's wedding and the establishment and destruction of two homesteads; one by fire and one by drought. It also is the story of the birth of their daughter, Rose as well as their son, who only lived a few months. Just great reading at any age! 144 pages
  • (4/5)
    The final book in the series is very short and covers only a brief glimpse into Laura’s new life with Manly and her daughter Rose. Their struggles to get a successful crop, avoid storms, and survive blizzards makes this book a bit bleaker than the others. I missed scenes with Pa and Ma. The pace also felt rushed, like she was skimming over their lives. There were memorable scenes, like Rose’s birth, a visit from a group a Indians, etc. As always, her simple descriptions of their life were my favorite parts. The book feels a bit like an after thought and I almost wish the series had ended with These Happy Golden Years.*After doing a bit of research, I found that this final book was published almost 30 years after the rest of the series.