West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915 (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915 (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)


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A selection of letters by Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband in which she describes the highlights of her visit to the West Coast in 1915.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780808510802
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 10/28/1976
Series: Little House Series
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 939,777
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 1080L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in Little House in the Big Woods. She and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. Later, Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There, believing in the importance of knowing where you began in order to appreciate how far you've come, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier. For millions of readers Laura lives on forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little House books.

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1867

Date of Death:

February 10, 1957

Place of Birth:

Pepin, Wisconsin

Place of Death:

Mansfield, Missouri

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In the spring of 1915 Laura's only daughter Rose wrote to her on the stationery of the newspaper for which she was a reporter

The Bulletin
San Francisco, Calif

Mrs. A. J. Wilder
Rocky Ridge Farm
Mansfield, Missouri

Dearest Mama Bess--

I simply can't stand being so homesick for you any more.

You must plan to come out here in July or, at latest, August. You've simply GOT to, so let me hear no argument about it. I know how you felt about being disappointed before, because I felt every bit as bad, I guess badder, because I was terribly disappointed for myself and twice as disappointed for you, and sore besides because I could not manage better. But this time I am quite sure it can be managed. Unless something very catastrophic happens, like war, or another earthquake, or something.

It won't be as I planned to have you out, because we haven't the machine [automobile] now, and both Gillette [Rose's husband] and I are working, and there isn't so awfully much money. But we can have a pleasant time together, anyway. You can see San Francisco and the Fair, and meet my friends, and we can play together all the time that I'm not working. I have worked this job into a sort of movable feast, so that I don't have to be in the office any regular hours, and you can go with me on lots of my outside work -- I can arrange for you to have an aeroplane flight if you like, and we can eat in all the little interesting restaurants.

I have it figured out that sometime in July I will be able to send you the fare, and while you are here and maybe right along afterward I can send you $5 a week to make up forwhat you will lose in chickens, etc., by the trip. I should think by that time all the little ones would be out of the way, and there wouldn't be so much work with them. The strawberries will be gone, and the pressure of work won't be so bad. You will miss most of the very hot weather, too.

I think by getting away from it all for awhile, and playing around with a bunch of people who are writing and drawing and otherwise being near-artists, you will get an entirely new viewpoint on things there, and be able to see a lot of new things to write when you go back. If the farm-paper market is closed, there are scads of other markets open. I got an invitation to submit stories to an eastern magazine the other day which I could turn over to you. I haven't time to write for it myself -- it is only a little magazine, but would probably pay $50 or so for a story. When you get things to running so that the farm work won't take up so much time you can do things like that. And with the notes and mortgages paid off and your lovely home all built, you and Papa can take things easier. Next year you can maybe get off and make a little trip together to Louisiana or someplace. The way it looks to me, there are only the debts to clear off and you will have a self-supporting home and can use the little extra sums -- the bunches of money, like from the apples or strawberries -- that come in, to play with.

Anyway, please plan to come out here in July or August, and get the work in shape so you can leave it for three months.

Don't get any new clothes, because we can get those here, except underwear. Suits and things are as cheap here as there, and perhaps the styles would be different-we can get things in a few days from the shops, and then when you go back your things will all be new to the people there. Bring warm things, because it will be cool here-you will wear a suit all the time except in the evening, and probably most of the time then-we don't dress up in the evening except on a rare occasion like a box-party, or something. I have a wonderful dressmaker, who can whip things into shape and astonish you, so don't bother making over anything, just bring it along. I was thinking maybe your rose silk would be pretty with a black lace over it and some coral beads. If you get anything, get some shoes and slippers from Sears Roebuck -- they cost out of sight here. Don't bring any extra hats, because by July everyone here will be- wearing fall hats and we can get one here. Bring your furs and warm underwear and gloves and shoes, that's all.

I will not talk much about what we will do, because then you will be disappointed when you get here. But we can visit, and play around in Chinatown together some, and you can meet the people I know, and have an aeroplane flight. And you can get acquainted with San Francisco.. I am glad you are from the Ozarks, because everything is hills here. It will be foggy and windy and dusty and gray and you will not like San Francisco while you are here, and then when you go away you will always want to come back. 'Tis ever thus. If you like you shall eat an octopus. I promise that.

What do you think of the Art Smith story? It is going fairly well. What do you think of the "Confessions of a Physician"? I think it is awful rot, myself, but the whole Bulletin staff thinks it is splendid stuff. I don't know that anyone else does. I will probably be back on the staff of Bessie's [women's] page sometime in June. I don't mind, it is a soft snap. I will write her another story and loaf all the time.

With much love,
West from Home. Copyright © by Laura Wilder. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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West From Home: Letters Of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915 (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
bookczuk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful collection of letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband when she went to visit their daughter, Rose, in San Francisco in 1915. It was the time of the the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and thus provides a view of both the ordinary and the spectacular in that city where so many of us have left our hearts. As a history lover, I really liked the glimpses of the time. As a reader, I liked seeing one of my favorite childhood authors in a different light. As someone interested in writing and former journalist, I found the bits about Rose's career and the paths of writing at the time fascinating. Plus, there were pictures! One hundred twenty five pages of lovely.
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: Dearest Mama Bess-- I simply can't stand being so homesick for you any more.When I was six, my mother handed me Little House in the Big Woods, and I never looked back. I still love Laura Ingalls Wilder's tales of her childhood and still get the giggles when I think of the mouse giving Pa a bald spot. When I ran across this book at Paperback Swap, I thought it was time for a Half Pint Fix.Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, became a journalist and moved to California. Rose became very homesick for her mother and finally saved up the money for Laura to board a train and come for a visit. Laura's visit coincided with San Francisco's World's Fair celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. This book contains the letters Laura wrote home to her husband, Almanzo during her stay.I loved this book for its glimpse into a San Francisco that had just rebuilt itself after the 1906 earthquake, and for its insights into Laura the adventurer, Laura the woman who was thinking about starting to write, Laura the mother, and Laura the wife who never stopped worrying about her husband alone on their farm in Missouri. This is a book for all those, like me, who have fond memories of Little Houses.
rainbowdarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laura Ingalls Wilder's books have been a part of my life since I was a child, so it probably comes as no surprise that I would be interested in some of the supplemental books that have been subsequently released. This one did not live up to expectations. I had thought that perhaps the letters would provide interesting perspective into the lives of the characters involved, but the things that Laura chose to write about and the things that I was expecting to read about did not often intersect. The writing style is familiar, and it's clear that her style in the letters written is more similar to that in her books than in her journals (From On the Way Home). The letters give a well-described picture of some aspects of the Exibition in San Francisco, but a lot of portions of the time she spent in the city is left unwritten which leaves gaping holes in not only the continuity but in the overall picture. The collection of letters is nice, but it leaves me feeling like something is missing, so I can't in good faith say that it's something that I will definitely re-read.
wordygirl39 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a big fan, but this is kind of a sweet little journey story. And, since I love Laura and San Francisco, I enjoyed it enough.
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book contains a series of letters from Laura to Almanzo about her trip to visit Rose in San Francisco and her time there. She gives descriptions of both the city and the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition that really bring us back in time. The book also contains an article by Laura, a few letters from Rose, and a general introduction to San Francisco and the exhibition.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting view of the west, and early San Francisco, in particular. Laura is all grown up and an aspiring writer and journalist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SunshineNY More than 1 year ago
If you are nostalgic for a simpler time, this book is a wonderful glimpse into the past. Laura visits her daughter in San Francisco during the 1915 World's Fair. She chronicles her train ride there, her frequent visits to the Fair, and some letters to Almonzo. The book also includes black and white photos of the Fair, Laura, and the Golden Gate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book of letters was so terrible I couldn't finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
These letters of her trip to the World's Fair and her her diary of her trip from Dekota to Missouri (On the Way Home) are wonderfully informative to the point of what they are, letters and a diary. What wonderful reads they could have been had she taken them herself to make books of them. How she could have fleshed them out to further charm and inform us is only a dream now. Would that she could have known what a gold mine she had stuck away in storage boxes. But, alas, as she said, 'Never complain of what you have.' We can be thankful for the bounty she has given us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is good, but the other reviewer is wrong, Laura did not have to worry about becoming an old maid. Think of all the men who wanted rides with her in Happy Golden Years. You can tell she really loved Almanzo and if you dont think so pick up the books and read them all again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a child I read about Laura as a child and now as an adult I see what she thought of Rose and Rose's husband - who seems to be a cad and not pulling his weight. I want to know why did Laura marry Almanzo an older man? How did Almanzo go from a rich young man to an impoverished husband? Did Laura love him or was she jealous of Nellie Olsen? Was Laura afraid of becoming an old maid? The letters add more questions than they answer - why did sister Mary go to colege and then not work or marry even if she was blind? How did Pa and Almanzo survive failure after failure and disappointment after disappointment? It was a fascinating trip into the mind of a young girl who was fun loving to a very different woman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked it alot.