the children's literature research collections


Selection from a small cache of letters in our collection written by Laura Ingalls Wilder between 1949 and 1952 to Evelyn Wenzel, a graduate student who was writing a Master’s thesis on Wilder’s books.

“The old spirit of sturdy independence seems to be vanishing. We all depend too much on others. As modern life is lived we have to do so and more and more the individual alone is helpless. One is always at the mercy of others instead of being sufficient unto himself. A conflict with nature and the elements is a clean fight, but a struggle against man and his contrivances is something very different. At times I have a homesick longing for the old days and old ways. However, I know there is no turning back. We must go on.”

The Evelyn Wenzel Collection of Correspondence from Laura Ingalls Wilder, Children’s Literature Research Collections, University of Minnesota Libraries