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This year marks the 150th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birth in 1867. During the Great Depression, her Little House books—children’s fiction based on her childhood in Kansas and the upper Midwest—became best sellers, and they have remained popular since. These books were a collaboration with her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Historian John Fry will discuss what the books and Wilder’s other writings reveal about Wilder’s faith and what the depictions of Christianity in the Little House books reveal about Wilder and Lane’s collaboration.

About the speaker

John J. Fry is an Academic Dean and Professor of History at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois.  He is the author of The Farm Press, Reform, and Rural Change: 1895-1920 (Routledge, 2005) and the editor of Laura Gibson Smith’s Almost Pioneers: One Couple’s Homesteading Adventure in the West (Globe-Pequot, 2013).  He grew up on a farm in Western Pennsylvania, but now lives half a block away from the city of Chicago in Blue Island, Illinois.

This is the annual lecture for the Mellema Program in Western American Studies. It is also part of the monthly history colloquia series. These lectures are open to the Calvin community - students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends - and all are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Come early to enjoy refreshments and conversation, and feel free to ask questions or join the discussion at the end.

February 2017
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