Hot Best Seller

The Betsy-Tacy Companion: A Biography of Maud Hart Lovelace

Availability: Ready to download

Covers each of the Betsy-Tacy books and the autobiographical events from the series. Includes over 400 photos of Lovelace and friends and family members who appear as characters in these books.


Compare

Covers each of the Betsy-Tacy books and the autobiographical events from the series. Includes over 400 photos of Lovelace and friends and family members who appear as characters in these books.

30 review for The Betsy-Tacy Companion: A Biography of Maud Hart Lovelace

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Well. I'm certainly not surprised that I LOVED this book. It was five hundred pages of details and visits about "old friends" of mine, about whom I read in the Betsy-Tacy books. Since the books so closely paralleled MHL's own life, author Sharla Scannell Whalen pointed out the similarities and differences and, deliciously, filled out "the rest of the story" I simply couldn't put this book down--I inhaled it over the weekend. The author is a true Betsy-Tacy fan--one of the very fortunate little g Well. I'm certainly not surprised that I LOVED this book. It was five hundred pages of details and visits about "old friends" of mine, about whom I read in the Betsy-Tacy books. Since the books so closely paralleled MHL's own life, author Sharla Scannell Whalen pointed out the similarities and differences and, deliciously, filled out "the rest of the story" I simply couldn't put this book down--I inhaled it over the weekend. The author is a true Betsy-Tacy fan--one of the very fortunate little girls whose library had a set of Betsy-Tacy books. I feel great pity for all the little girls whose library did not. (My own family library now has a full set, but I can't convince my sons to read them! sigh) If I had to rate the "series" that I read obsessively as a little girl (Little House, Betsy-Tacy, Little Women, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables) Betsy-Tacy would probably come very very close to tying Little House for first place. I reread this series at least once a year for years. I wanted to be more like Betsy--more outgoing, less afraid. I too used a small trunk as a writing desk (although I never had the courage to send a story or poem out to anyone) The characters from Betsy-Tacy are almost as real to me as my own friends were. I find it interesting that of the above series, three were at least partially autobiographical, and all three of those had characters who set up permanent residence in my imagination and heart. So did Anne. While I loved Nancy Drew books, I rarely imagined Nancy as a friend. Anyway. Loved this book. Any Betsy-Tacy fan ought to.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    Augh! I really would love to read this, but so far the most affordable price I've found on the internet is about $80. Which is pretty good, sadly, considering the prices are generally somewhere between $100 and $200. *incredibly long sigh* I'm adding this to my list whose title is simply: "Books I Shall Continue to Scour the Net for Continuously as the Years March On". I really need my own publishing company. And a couple million dollars to buy publishing rights &c. Augh! I really would love to read this, but so far the most affordable price I've found on the internet is about $80. Which is pretty good, sadly, considering the prices are generally somewhere between $100 and $200. *incredibly long sigh* I'm adding this to my list whose title is simply: "Books I Shall Continue to Scour the Net for Continuously as the Years March On". I really need my own publishing company. And a couple million dollars to buy publishing rights &c.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Garlock

    I love all the Betsy-Tacy books. I always have and I always will. As a young girl growing up in Minnesota in the 1970's, I wanted nothing more in the world than to find a way to go back in time and change the immortal trio of Betsy, Tacy and Tib into a quartet. As I grew older, I realized that Maud Hart Lovelace, with her warmth, generosity and writing talent, had given thousands of girls, and maybe some boys too, the opportunity of being that unseen, but very welcome and important fourth member I love all the Betsy-Tacy books. I always have and I always will. As a young girl growing up in Minnesota in the 1970's, I wanted nothing more in the world than to find a way to go back in time and change the immortal trio of Betsy, Tacy and Tib into a quartet. As I grew older, I realized that Maud Hart Lovelace, with her warmth, generosity and writing talent, had given thousands of girls, and maybe some boys too, the opportunity of being that unseen, but very welcome and important fourth member. And when I was young, I believed the stories I was reading, because they felt so real and were filled with such love; were Maud Hart's life as she had actually lived it. With only the names having been changed to protect those truly innocent characters. To my delight, after reading Ms Whalen's meticulously researched book I learned while much of the novels were based on real life and events, much had been changed and evolved to create a richer reading experience. Being as familiar as I was with the stories and the characters, I found the photos and stories; maps and memorabilia contained inside The Betsy-Tacy Companion as delightful and precious as if they were truly a part of my girlhood. Like any greedy girl, I wish more information had been available to Ms Whalen, but I can whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed the Betsy-Tacy books and wishes to learn more about the family and the friends upon whom this series is lovingly based. Thank you Ms Whalen, for letting me see the true faces and names of the characters I've loved for so long. And most of all; thank you Maud Hart Lovelace for sharing them with us. See you in Deep Valley! P.S. I still want to change that immortal trio to a quartet. Maudie, Bick, Midge and Kathy. Has kind of a ring to it, don't you think?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Published in the mid-90s, The Besty-Tacy Companion might best be described as a self-published love letter to the series. Clocking in at around 500 pages, it’s definitely not for those only slightly interested in the series. Ms. Whalen did her research, and the book is full of interesting facts and details about the real-life counterparts of Deep Valley and its denizens. The lack of an editor, however, is apparent in the writing and organization. For example, the level of detail is overkill in s Published in the mid-90s, The Besty-Tacy Companion might best be described as a self-published love letter to the series. Clocking in at around 500 pages, it’s definitely not for those only slightly interested in the series. Ms. Whalen did her research, and the book is full of interesting facts and details about the real-life counterparts of Deep Valley and its denizens. The lack of an editor, however, is apparent in the writing and organization. For example, the level of detail is overkill in some sections, and there’s not nearly enough about the larger cultural events of early 20th-century America. The Companion a fun read, but it’s also a good reminder of why formal education and training in reading, writing, and researching history matter. Generally speaking, a historian would have a better idea of the questions to ask, the pertinent details to include, and the larger analysis. While reading, my thoughts continually drifted to Pioneer Girl, the recent book about Laura Ingalls Wilder, which did a better job of combining different levels of details to give readers a more comprehensive picture of Laura’s world. The Betsy-Tacy Companion does fill a needed niche, and Ms. Whalen did some excellent research and secured some top-notch primary sources. For a historian or non-fiction author looking to make his or her mark, a second non-fiction book about Betsy-Tacy would be a welcome addition. Quasi-recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    So Sharla is crazy, and a borderline stalker, but this was really fun to read. I think I'm the only person to really appreciate this. A lot of good information (Winona was actually modeled on a few different people, but Maud Hart Lovelace decided to cut down on her characters. Or maybe it was Irma...I should reread it) and a lot of stupid information (dates were recorded wrong! Silly Maud Hart Lovelace!) But it was SUCH a great present (thanks Soph!)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Ultimately interesting to Maudophiles. I would have rated it higher if she hadn't dissed Aunt Dolly.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    So I’ve read this more than once and it was still interesting again. Definitely for the diehard Betsy fan. We just visited Mankato to see Betsy’s house and now I want to read the whole series again!😍

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Honestly, I think the Companion is a little bit embarrassing. There are also times when I disagree with Whalen's interpretation of events (within the text, that is)--which is fine, we know from group reads that we all read the text differently at times--but Whalen puts it forward as the only way to read it. Back when the Companion was only a rumored future-project we were all excited, and it was exciting to find out some "what really happened" stuff when it first came out, but now I realize how m Honestly, I think the Companion is a little bit embarrassing. There are also times when I disagree with Whalen's interpretation of events (within the text, that is)--which is fine, we know from group reads that we all read the text differently at times--but Whalen puts it forward as the only way to read it. Back when the Companion was only a rumored future-project we were all excited, and it was exciting to find out some "what really happened" stuff when it first came out, but now I realize how much more interesting it is just to read the books, as-is. The editing is REALLY bad, and I found that once I got over the feeling of "it's so interesting to know what happened to people!", there wasn't much left of interest. There's an inordinate amount of text on things I couldn't care less about (not that I remember any examples, really... the houses of minor characters, stuff like that) and some interesting things that go unexplored. I would be more interested in a thoughtful analysis of the books, with SOME "what's real/what's not", than what's practically a laundry list of "really were" and "really did".

  9. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    Never has a better biography been written. The author did some hardcore thorough research and boy did it pay off. I haven't even read it in quite a while but it does my heart good just thinking about it. Oh Sharla Whalen, if only I could be like you. I am forever thankful.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sab

    Have read all the volume-related excerpts attached to each book in the series; the full BT Companion is winging its way to me from Amazon as we speak. Expect full and totally uncritical review slash Mankato travelogue posthaste.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I love Maud Hart Lovelace and Betsy-Tacy. Maud is a great author who wrote such a wonderful series of book that unfortunately not enough people have read. I loved learning more about Maud and her family and friends. LOVED IT!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chiara

    I had to go to the library for this out-of-print book, but it was worth it. Just like, a 500 page wikipedia entry for the Betsy-Tacy books (with pictures!!!), which is just what I wanted. Separately, it was fun/interesting to look up all the old-houses on Google Earth....

  13. 5 out of 5

    Priscilla

    This is one of the best biographies I have ever read. The author's research is so thorough and it was so fun to read about the real people behind the Betsy-Tacy series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    June Geiger

    I will be *currently re-reading* this book for as long as I live. For the Betsy-Tacy obsessed only. Others will shake their heads at all the "needless" details and "random" information:)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Every true Maud Hart Lovelace fan should own a copy of this book and take it with you when you visit Mankato, Minnesota!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Moore

    The pictures are neat, but the writing is tons of boring blah. I wish there was a better MHL bio out there.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    “Maud created a vivid powerful fictional scene from a few bright paint pots in her memory...Her privacy, to a certain extent, she forfeited by writing more than ten magically autobiographical books [which] will (hopefully) live forever on library shelves and in home ‘shrines.’” Whalen follows her research trail with “lovingly relentless interest...And sharing this curious enjoyment with Betsy from book to book makes us love her more and brings us close to the real person beneath the thin veneer “Maud created a vivid powerful fictional scene from a few bright paint pots in her memory...Her privacy, to a certain extent, she forfeited by writing more than ten magically autobiographical books [which] will (hopefully) live forever on library shelves and in home ‘shrines.’” Whalen follows her research trail with “lovingly relentless interest...And sharing this curious enjoyment with Betsy from book to book makes us love her more and brings us close to the real person beneath the thin veneer of the character.” Whalen’s The Betsy-Tacy Companion is proof of Maud’s assertion “that nothing dies, that everything comes back in beauty.” One of the profoundest surprises I discovered in The Companion was Maud’s deep faith. “The most important part of religion isn’t any church. It’s down in your own heart. Religion is in your thoughts, and in the way you act from day to day, in the way you treat other people. It’s honesty, and unselfishness, and kindness. Especially kindness.” (Heaven to Betsy) Thoughts on Prayer “I believe in praying as I believe in breathing. An involuntary procedure, prayer runs along with the day, following the convolutions of work and play, duties, problems, and delights… It is my way to turn to God at any hour, with a small joy as well as with a sorrow, with plans, hopes, thanks--even wishes. Not that I expect Him to stay the course of the planets while He grants my often misguided petitions. But since He is love and is everything, ‘nearer than hands and feet,’ one may share everything with Him, and there is a blessed release in doing so. What He gives, I earnestly believe, in response to such spontaneous prayers, is strength, insight, appreciation, serenity, but above all a continuing reassurance of His presence. As for formal prayers, they differ naturally according to one’s faith. But I love to say upon awaking the opening verses of the greater doxology. They include the whole world and seep away pettiness as the sun is sweeping away shadows, focusing one’s thoughts on the glory of the unseen creator, the One who gives us the gift of life.” As an elementary teacher myself, I was amused to discover my namesake: “A young Swedish pill named Miss Erickson came to reach Latin at Deep Valley High...who was indeed just out of college (in excuse of Miss Erickson’s villainy).” I resonated with Maud’s educational philosophy. “Children cannot begin to write too young...they should keep diaries of everyday events, of their school days. Such early memories will provide invaluable assistance to them as adults, should they choose to pursue a career in writing…I think every educated person should speak at least three languages. It is absolutely necessary for artistic work in any line of writing, singing, professional work, and for business or traveling it is indispensable...it makes one so infinitely broader…It doesn’t pay to bow down to convention...I only paid for learning the useful lesson that to yield to the imbecilic demands of a degenerate society is moral cowardice and is properly punished by providence...This day is the one you have long looked forward to...Chances are all about you, and all you have to do is reach out and take them. Every day is a fresh beginning, every sunrise is but a new birth for you and the rest of us--the beginning of a new existence and a great chance to put to new and higher uses the knowledge you have gained...hearty wishes for continued success in your life work, whatever it may be...hang [your diploma] where you will see them daily, so that they will be constant reminders of your determination to make each day a new beginning of a newer, brighter, and truer life for yourselves and those about you.” “The heroine of one of Maud’s short stories constructed a list of things she must do to transform herself...The list included: ‘Call yourself Claire instead of Clara. Make your hair a “crowning glory.” Be dainty. Acquire a low laugh. Shroud your past in mystery. Keep your hands exquisitely manicured. Learn some French phrases. Exploit your femininity. Persist.” Thanks to Whalen’s comprehensive biography, I will forever aspire to transform myself into the best Betsy-Tacy Companion I can be.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    2017: The editing and single minded focus of how the author's interpretations were The Only Way grated, but so great for research, remembering and pictures! I'm so glad I can easily ILL this. 2008: Okay, I absolutely understand the criticism of this book. Even in my enthusiasm, the writing style was grating and I was highly annoyed with her habit of underlining words to force the reader to emphasize them. But I really, totally, absolutely loved it. I think that's largely because I was so unfamil 2017: The editing and single minded focus of how the author's interpretations were The Only Way grated, but so great for research, remembering and pictures! I'm so glad I can easily ILL this. 2008: Okay, I absolutely understand the criticism of this book. Even in my enthusiasm, the writing style was grating and I was highly annoyed with her habit of underlining words to force the reader to emphasize them. But I really, totally, absolutely loved it. I think that's largely because I was so unfamiliar with the stories behind the stories that I wanted to know everything - even the addresses of characters I could only vaguely recall. (Okay, well, that may be overstating it. I could have lived without the addresses.) I also flat out adored the pictures, especially those of the Crowd. Love! I'm still debating on purchase, though. $40 is a lot for a book that I will likely never read with the same enthusiasm again. Still, if I bought it from the Society then they benefit, and it may be a handy resource. Maybe Christmas.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    As a Betsy-Tacy fan, I requested this book from ILL and was thrilled when my library located it for me. I loved learning more background of the 10 Betsy-Tacy books (plus 3 peripheral books), though it WAS more detail than I was looking for- so I read some sections of the book more quickly than others (did the dates match up with the actual calendar - i.e. was January 8 really on a Tuesday that year?; did Betsy/Maud really have the furniture she described in her bedroom? Is the schoolhouse still As a Betsy-Tacy fan, I requested this book from ILL and was thrilled when my library located it for me. I loved learning more background of the 10 Betsy-Tacy books (plus 3 peripheral books), though it WAS more detail than I was looking for- so I read some sections of the book more quickly than others (did the dates match up with the actual calendar - i.e. was January 8 really on a Tuesday that year?; did Betsy/Maud really have the furniture she described in her bedroom? Is the schoolhouse still standing? etc), but I loved all the photographs of Maud and her friends and finding out how everyone ended up later in life. Fascinating. This quote sums up the book perfectly, as the author is analyzing a tiny detail of the book series: "If I have to explain why it is so amusing to analyze such trivia, you shouldn't be reading this book." I had to laugh when I read this sentence, but I decided I am a true Betsy-Tacy fan and am glad I read this whole book. The author did an incredible amount of research!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tzivi

    It may be surprising that I loved this book, being that it is not my typical fare which is mostly historical fiction with a good dash of romance sprinkled through the pages. This was, however, a non-fiction about it one of my favorite series of historical romance with a good dose of romance sprinkled through it. So I did love it. I borrowed it from the library and after I started I tried to see if I could buy it online, but the price I saw was 135 dollars. And I like to buy my books used, for fi It may be surprising that I loved this book, being that it is not my typical fare which is mostly historical fiction with a good dash of romance sprinkled through the pages. This was, however, a non-fiction about it one of my favorite series of historical romance with a good dose of romance sprinkled through it. So I did love it. I borrowed it from the library and after I started I tried to see if I could buy it online, but the price I saw was 135 dollars. And I like to buy my books used, for five dollars or less. So I'm not going to own this book anytime soon. Maybe I'll buy it if my daughter asks for it as a graduation present. It was a lot of fun to read about the very real characters and their counterparts. I do think that this was written with some very heavily tinted rose colored glasses on. It did gloss over hardships, but altogether it was a beautifully researched, enjoyable read. I'm ready for a trip to Mankato.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'll probably get kicked out of the BT Society! This book is amazing in the amount of research and the sheer number of pictures. HOWEVER, I personally feel it is in need of a serious editor. A friend and I sat down and counted the number of times the words "actually" and "really" and gave up in disgust. Another thing that bothered me was when SSW brought up interesting important things about the people and then let them drop with nary another word. So yes, I am glad this book was written, and I o I'll probably get kicked out of the BT Society! This book is amazing in the amount of research and the sheer number of pictures. HOWEVER, I personally feel it is in need of a serious editor. A friend and I sat down and counted the number of times the words "actually" and "really" and gave up in disgust. Another thing that bothered me was when SSW brought up interesting important things about the people and then let them drop with nary another word. So yes, I am glad this book was written, and I own it and like it -- I just wish it had been more carefully crafted. (And now I am waiting for the BT hit squad to arrive and take me out.)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Astoundingly thorough biography of Maud Hart Lovelace, author of the Betsy-Tacy series. Huge collection of photos of the real-life people who appeared as characters in the novels, their homes, landmarks fans of the book will recognize, and maps of Mankato (aka Deep Valley). There is a chapter about each of the books in the series, with comparisons to Maud’s life through her writing and the recollections of others. Clearly written by someone who is a huge fan. Lots of fun to read, although overwh Astoundingly thorough biography of Maud Hart Lovelace, author of the Betsy-Tacy series. Huge collection of photos of the real-life people who appeared as characters in the novels, their homes, landmarks fans of the book will recognize, and maps of Mankato (aka Deep Valley). There is a chapter about each of the books in the series, with comparisons to Maud’s life through her writing and the recollections of others. Clearly written by someone who is a huge fan. Lots of fun to read, although overwhelming to keep the real-life names straight, especially where a character was a composite of more than one person.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kiirsi Hellewell

    I've been dying to read this for years and finally got my hands on a copy through inter-state library loan. It was great in many ways, but the little mistakes and typos bothered me, especially when there was contradictory information about the "real people" behind the Betsy-Tacy books (a chapter would state something about one of the people, then another chapter would say the complete opposite about them). Still, I'm extremely glad the authors did the research and took the time to write this. And I've been dying to read this for years and finally got my hands on a copy through inter-state library loan. It was great in many ways, but the little mistakes and typos bothered me, especially when there was contradictory information about the "real people" behind the Betsy-Tacy books (a chapter would state something about one of the people, then another chapter would say the complete opposite about them). Still, I'm extremely glad the authors did the research and took the time to write this. And the photos are priceless!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I really enjoyed this book, and more than a decade after buying it, I still refer to it every so often, especially if I am re-reading a Betsy-Tacy book. I do agree that it could have been better edited, but that's my only criticism. I'm not sure why someone reviewed this and called it "depressing."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    Enjoyable but overly detailed. I was much interested to find out that Maud, unlike Betsy, didn't meet her husband in high school, but I had to wade through baby pictures of her friends to do it. The biographer has to create a forest, not just get lost in the trees.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steph (loves water)

    Just didn't get this book. I did enjoy the descriptions of the houses and the towns, I love architechture, but for the most part, I cant plow through another 300+ pages of a BT/Maud Hart Lovelace comparison/contrast. Will return this to the library for a true blue BT fan.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Perfectly fine book, but definitely for the MASSIVE Betsy-Tacy fan. Because I read them only casually (and a long time ago!), I could not enjoy the parallels the author draws between the books and Lovelace's life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Fascinating reading for fans of the Betsy-Tacy series. I loved the photos of people and places. It is very detailed and I found some parts overwhelmingly meticulous (particularly who lived where), but the level of research that went into this book is amazing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tacykelly

    This book is a great resource in exploring the lives of Maud's friends and family in Mankato.

  30. 5 out of 5

    CmPete Tucker

    The ultimate companion for us ultimate fans!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.