[Alternative Muses] A Tip-Top Birthday Trio: Dickens, Ingalls Wilder, Lewis

The literary Gods certainly favoured the 7th of February, at least during the 19th century. Charles Dickens, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Sinclair Lewis were born on that day. Impressive, right?

Charles Dickens and His Characters by William Holbrook Beard

Charles Dickens and His Characters by William Holbrook Beard.  Birth year: 1812.

“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder. Birth year: 1867.

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”

Sinclair Lewis, 1914

Sinclair Lewis, 1914. Birth year: 1885.

“Every man is a king so long as he has someone to look down on.”

17 thoughts on “[Alternative Muses] A Tip-Top Birthday Trio: Dickens, Ingalls Wilder, Lewis

    • Really? That is an interesting bit of background info about your book. Did you keep to that or go off on a different direction? Of course, when I finally read your book (and I will, I promise) I will be able to figure that out for myself…


      • You’d never guess it from the cover, right? Haha. Laura’s depiction of bittersweet family life and her obvious love for the families in her books….I think in that sense I was writing in her spirit. I knew from the beginning I wanted to do a series because once I fall in love with characters I want to spend a LONG time with them. I loved how Laura almost always had a Christmas chapter in each of the Little House books–I try to do the same–though my Christmases are more dysfunctional 🙂 Also Laura’s simple writing style appealed to me.


      • No, indeed I wouldn’t! To be honest, I have not read a LIW book in a long, long time. I read and enjoyed them very much when I was a tiny tot, and owned copies of at least one or two. The television show was on when I was teensy, and I loved, loved, loved it. I’m pretty sure I saw the show before I read the books, which is highly unusual for me. Of course, I didn’t learn to read until I was three, and the show was already on then.


      • I saw the show first too and loved it but as I got older I was sort of turned off by Michael Landon’s portrayal of Pa (too much crying for me). It actually kept me from reading the books, but when I did I realized something that is almost always the case–the books are so much better than the show–especially Pa! The show was kind of sappy but the books are not at all and Garth Williams illustrations get me every time. he was a genius.


      • Oh, the books are undoubtedly better. I am pretty sure I binge-read all of them in a day or two, when I was maybe five. Then went right back and continued watching the television show every week. 🙂 I know that I read the books again a few times. Haven’t read any since, but I did enjoy them! Of course, if I had children I would definitely read LIW’s books to them!


      • As an adult I read them to children and appreciated them even more. To know that she wrote them after most of her family was already dead makes them more poignant. And to think she couldn’t finish the final one because she was too heartbroken when Almanzo died….


      • There’s this part you may not remember in one of the books when Laura and her sister are walking along and she sees Almanzo for the first time (only very briefly). As readers we know they end up together. I love how she hints at something that doesn’t come into full bloom until a few books later.


      • I do not remember that! I am not quite the connoisseur of the Little House books like you. I guess I should probably re-read them one of these days. 🙂


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