Rose Wilder Lane (December 5, 1886 – October 30, 1968) was an American journalist, travel writer, novelist, and political theorist. She is noted—with Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson—as one of the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement.

Rose Wilder Lane was the first child of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder (and their only child to survive into adulthood). Lane's early years were difficult ones for her parents, the result of successive crop failures, illnesses and chronic economic hardships. During her childhood, Rose moved with her family several times, living with relatives in Minnesota and then Florida, briefly returning to De Smet, South Dakota, before the family finally settled in Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894, where her parents eventually established a dairy and fruit farm. Lane attended high schools in Mansfield and Crowley, Louisiana, (where her father's sister, Eliza Jane Wilder Thayer, had settled), graduating in 1904. Her intellect and ambition were demonstrated by her ability to compress three years of Latin into one, and by graduating at the top of her high school class in Crowley. Despite this academic success, her parents' financial situation placed college out of reach and her formal schooling was over.

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Rose Wilder Lane Poems

Rose Wilder Lane Quotes

The question is whether personal freedom is worth the terrible effort, the never-lifted burden and risks of self-reliance.
Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968), U.S. author. As quoted in The Ghost in the Little House, prologue, by William V. Holtz (1993). Said in 1936.
I somehow always have this idea that as soon as I can get through this work that's piled up ahead of me, I'll really write a beautiful thing. But I never do. I always have the idea that someday, somehow, I'll be living a beautiful life. And that, too ... [ellipsis in source]
Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968), U.S. author. As quoted in The Ghost in the Little House, ch. 8, by William V. Holtz (1993). Written sometime in the 1920s.
Making the best of things is ... a damn poor way of dealing with them.... My whole life has been a series of escapes from that quicksand [ellipses in source].
Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968), U.S. author. As quoted in The Ghost in the Little House, ch. 3, by William V. Holtz (1993). In letters to Guy Moyston dated August 25, 1924, and July 11, 1925. The daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the famous "Little House" books for children, Lane had grown up very poor.

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