Three of them, actually. Diane, Stephanie, and Cici all correctly guessed the answer to yesterday’s trivia question: Charlotte Tucker (Quiner Holbrook), maternal grandmother of Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Which is to say: Ma’s ma.) Charlotte was born in 1809 along with Edgar Allen Poe and a whole bunch of other notable personages, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and Abraham Lincoln (as Ryane pointed out). Also Louis Braille, British statesman William Gladstone, Charles Darwin, and Felix Mendelssohn. Quite a year for history, I’d say.
My girls discovered the 1809 connection when we read Abraham Lincoln’s World by Genevieve Foster. (If you don’t know the Foster books, you’ll want to check them out—they are an engaging and fascinating look at various historical periods, each one digging in deep to world history during the lifetime of a key historical figure like Lincoln, Washington, William Penn, or Columbus. They make terrific read-alouds for a wide age range. I’ll be reading Augustus Caesar’s World to my gang during the upcoming year.)
We were excited to realize that Abe Lincoln was born just a few months before our good friend Charlotte Tucker. For me, Lincoln is so firmly connected to the Civil War that I had never given a moment’s thought to what was going on in the world when he was growing up. The War of 1812! Madison and Monroe! Jefferson was still alive, for decades! Do you ever think of Lincoln and Jefferson as having overlapped?
Anyway, Charlotte is the person I mentioned yesterday who is so very important to me. After writing books about her, she feels in some ways like another one of my own little girls. Same with her mother, Martha. Perhaps even more so with Martha because I’ve written about her both as a child and as a mother.
I know I said I’d give a signed book to the first person to get the right answer, but the three Charlotte answers came in so close together that what the heck, you all win. Email me your address and the name or names you’d like me to put in the book (you? your kids?), and I’ll send you each a copy. Also let me know if there’s a particular Charlotte or Martha book you’d like to receive.
Thanks to all who proffered a guess!
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early 20th century historical fiction reading list