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Laura Ingalls Wilder - Author of the "Little House in the Big Woods" book series
The enormously popular "Little House in the Big Woods" children's book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder preserved in our minds the nostalgic images of one-room schoolhouses. Laura had actually attended and taught in a one-room school in the 1870s and 1880s.
Wilder did not start to write until the 1930s, when her first effort - an autobiography - failed to find a publisher. So Wilder turned to historical fiction, much of it set in a one-room school. Depression-era readers thrilled as the young protagonist Laura was whipped by her teacher, recited "the whole of American history" at a school performance, and eventually became a "schoolmarm" herself.
The Wilder series would enjoy another burst of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s when a successful television adaptation ("Little House on the Prairie") brought renewed attention to the one-room schoolhouse.
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