It was such a joy to read Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. I was too young to appreciate the period details and historical significance of the Little House series when I was a kid. I just loved the books for what they were. Entertaining! Now, editor Pamela Smith Hill includes Wilder's original, unpublished manuscript for the Little House series, along with an overwhelming amount of insider information, census data, annotations, diaries, manuscripts, letters, and photographs.
The beginning of the book follows Wilder's journey to publication. It is always a shock to discover that a series of books that is so beloved by millions, could have had a difficult time getting published. But it did! Wilder and her daughter Rose worked for years to bring the novels to fruition. But, as we all know, they were used to hard work.
Then, when you start reading the original manuscript, you'll be charmed and educated all over again. I loved reading Wilder's personal notes to her daughter and editor Rose Wilder Lane. They're written here and there through out the original manuscript. I'll let you discover those hidden gems on your own. And the conflicts of frontier life will shock and amaze all over again. Note to settlers of the past...if you find a mummified baby hanging in a tree... leave it there! You'll have to read the book to find out the rest of that haunting story.