By Associated Press Reporter. Laura Ingalls Wilder penned one of the most beloved children's series of the 20th century, but her forthcoming autobiography will show devoted Little House On The Prairie fans a more realistic, grittier view of frontier living.
Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography - Wilder's unedited draft that was written for an adult audience and eventually served as the foundation for the popular series - is slated to be released by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press nationwide this fall. The not-safe-for-children tales include stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey. As a massively successful TV show in the 70s and 80s, Little House On The Prairie was aimed at all the family yet its original source material was much darker than what appeared on screen.
Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, herself a well-known author, tried and failed to get an edited version of the autobiography published throughout the early s. The original rough draft has been preserved at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri, for decades but hadn't been published. The children's series never presented a romanticized version of life on the prairie - in Little House In The Big Woods, Laura and her sister Mary gleefully help dissect the family pig before bouncing its inflated bladder back and forth in the yard.
But the series also left out or fictionalized scenes that Wilder deemed unsuitable for kids, including much of the time the family spent in Burr Oak, Iowa, and Walnut Grove, Minnesota, according to Pamela Smith Hill, a Wilder biographer and the lead editor on the autobiography.
Video courtesy of The Pioneer Girl Project. Laura Ingalls Wilder, left, penned one of the most beloved children's series of the 20th century, but her forthcoming autobiography paints a more realistic and grittier view of frontier living. Pioneer Girl: The original version of Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiography was likely written in the late s and will finally be published this fall.
Wilder details a scene from her childhood in Burr Oak, in which a neighbor of the Ingalls' pours kerosene throughout his bedroom, sets it on fire and proceeds to drunkenly drag his wife around by her hair before Wilder's father - Pa in the children's books - intervenes.
Scenes like that make Wilder's memoir sound like it's filled with scandal and mature themes, 'which isn't exactly true either,' according to Amy Lauters, an associate professor of mass media at Minnesota State University-Mankato. It was full of the everyday sorts of things that we don't care to think about when we think about history,' said Lauters, who has read the original manuscript and also is writing a book on Rose Wilder Lane. The real-life Caroline and Charles Ingalls, known as Ma and Pa in the series: Pioneer Girl includes stark scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey.
The original manuscript of Pioneer Girl was written on tablet paper with lead pencil. Wilder's story will likely do well in South Dakota, since the author moved to De Smet in the late s with her family, eventually meeting her future husband there. For fans, the autobiography is chance to see from where Wilder drew her inspiration, said Sandra Hume, a Wilder aficionado who published an internationally distributed newsletter for 10 years and now helps manage Laurapalooza, a conference dedicated to all things Wilder.
The autobiography preserves Wilder's original rough draft - misspellings, idiosyncrasies and all - but adds extensive annotations. Little House lovers can learn about the three girls that Wilder combined to create the Nellie Olson character, or how extensive the damage was in Minnesota during the grasshopper plague of the s, which forced Pa in On The Banks Of Plum Creek to set out in search of work.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Domestic abuse and love triangles gone awry: X-rated original version of Laura Ingalls' Little House On The Prairie memoir is finally set to be released this fall Hit TV series Little House On The Prairie was one of the most beloved children's shows of the 20th century It was based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiography Pioneer Girl Her original version included scenes of domestic abuse, love triangles gone awry and a man who lit himself on fire while drunk off whiskey The TV series left out or fictionalized scenes that Wilder deemed unsuitable for kids, but now her original manuscript is set to be published By Associated Press Reporter Published: GMT, 16 August Updated: GMT, 18 August e-mail View comments.
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