As Laura Ingalls Wilder anticipated, her widely loved stories of her prairie childhood have become much more than a nostalgic blend of myth, memories, and autobiography. As John Miller reveals, they have much to tell us about the historical realities of day-to-day living and attitudes in the nineteenth century. History and literature are closely intertwined, Miller contends. Here he illustrates how Wilder's novels enhance our understanding of history and how, simultaneously, a historical perspective framed Wilder's fiction. He shows how Wilder interwove content and form to produce a sentimental and compelling yet nuanced and believable picture of family life on the agricultural frontier.