In what began as a fun-spirited popularity survey about North American children’s book icons, the Laura Ingalls vs. Anne of Green Gables debate has degenerated into a nasty girl fight.
Then, Christopher Czajka, a historical consultant for Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, launched what may be the most visceral defense of Laura since Ingalls herself tricked Nellie into swimming in a leech-infested creek.
In an exclusive screed for Culture Schlock readers, Christopher writes:
“On any given day, Laura Ingalls Wilder could kick Anne of Green Gables’ butt across the street. First of all, she was a real person. Not an fictional character modeled, physically, after a notorious stripper (really, now, who writes a children’s book and bases the heroine on Evelyn Nesbit?)
“Laura was as tough as nails. . .enduring blizzards, tornadoes, plagues of grasshoppers, near-starvation. . . and all without unravelling a braid. If only we could put Anne and her cunning little hat in a Dakota claim shanty when it’s forty degrees below zero. Then we’d see what would happen, we would.
“I have just returned from a LITTLE HOUSE festival near Mount Rushmore, where I ran a trivia contest to promote LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, THE MUSICAL. There were people of all ages in prairie drag. There’s a reason why die-hard LITTLE HOUSE fans are called Bonnetheads. . .they show up for events, you see, in their bonnets. And there are legions of them. They make pilgrimages to historic sites. They can recite lines of the TV series. They do in-depth historical research into the people and places mentioned in Laura’s books.
“And there are a LOT more Laura fans than Anne fans, at least in the United States. Trust me on this.”
We’re not educated enough to understand the allusion to the stripper and Evelyn Nesbit — and we feel we’d be deceiving you if we Googled it and pretended we did — but it’s pretty clear that Mr. Czajka is not complimenting the Babe from the Gables.
No matter which side of the Anne/Laura rivalry you come to this blog from, it is your moral responsibility to vote. Here’s where you can take a stand.