Laddie – Gene Stratton-Porter
A Tale of Indiana—a picture straight from life, showing the home circle of the Stantons and telling the love story of Laddie, the big brother of the Stanton family, and Pamela Pryor, an English girl. The book is full of poetry and of that love of nature that goes hand in hand with the author’s idealism. The vividness of the home life quite lays hold of one so that he cries out: “Here, indeed, is a true story!”
Few will forget the charm of the home wedding when Shelley Stanton was married, or the delicious moment when Leon, facing the congregation in the little Methodist Church, recited his thirteen texts, addressing each one to a member of the church for whom he had selected it with diabolical care. Here again, as in “Freckles,” “A Girl of the Limberlost,” and “The Harvester,” one has that sense of being very close to the heart of nature, in flower and bird; and very close to the heart of man, in the purest and best emotions of life.
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Short biography of the author (from Wikipedia):
She was born Geneva Grace Stratton in Wabash County, Indiana near Lagro. She was the twelfth and last child born to Mary and Mark Stratton. They had a farm. Early on, her family shortened her name to Geneve, and she later shortened it further to Gene.
Despite not finishing high school, Stratton became an avid reader and a lifelong scholar of ecology and wildlife.
Stratton married Charles Dorwin Porter in 1886. Of Scots-Irish descent, he was the son of a doctor and became a pharmacist, with stores in Geneva and Fort Wayne, Indiana. They had one daughter, Jeannette, born in 1887.
To be closer to his businesses, the Porters built a large home in Geneva. They named the Queen Anne-style rustic home as “Limberlost Cabin,” after the nearby swamp where Stratton-Porter liked to explore.
She also spent much time photographing in the Limberlost Swamp. She set two of her most popular novels here, and it was the subject of many of her works of natural history. She became known as “The Bird Lady” and “The Lady of the Limberlost” to friends and readers.
Between 1888 and 1910, local farmers encouraged agricultural development by draining the wetlands using a steam-powered dredge. The “reclaimed” area was cultivated as farmland from 1910 to 1992. Because its habitat had been disrupted, it frequently flooded, destroying crops along with the flora and fauna documented in Stratton-Porter’s books.
In 1992, the marshland was purchased by five cooperating foundation and organizations. They renamed this section as the Loblolly Wetlands and began work to restore the land and habitat.
After the Limberlost Swamp was developed, Stratton-Porter sought new inspiration. In 1912, she used profits from her best-selling novels to purchase 120 acres on Sylvan Lake in Rome City (Noble County), Indiana. She constructed her beloved “Cabin at Wildflower Woods,” which she also called “Limberlost North”.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.