“Maud Lovelace is a person with a sincere likable manner and a happy youthful personality. There is a sparkle about her that makes it easy to see that she and fun-loving Betsy are practically one and the same. Born in Mankato, Minnesota, Maud Hart lived in a small yellow house just as Betsy did. She had two sisters and lived across the street from a large Irish family. This family had a little girl her age who had long red curls and used to hide her face with her hair when she felt especially shy. These are only a few of the similarities between the lives of Maud Hart and Betsy Ray.

Just as Betsy has, Mrs. Lovelace has almost always been busy writing something. Poetry or short stories were her earliest tries and later she became interested in historical novels for adults, and wrote five by herself and two others in which she collaborated with her husband.

Though in an old-fashioned setting, there is an ageless charm about the Betsy-Tacy books that makes them as modern as rock and roll. Years don’t make much difference in the behavior of teenagers. Girls still get excited over clothes and parties and have their secret methods with boys. And boys are still maddeningly unpredictable.

It wasn’t long after the first Betsy-Tacy book came out that Mrs. Lovelace began to hear from her readers. To her delight, Betsy was making so many friends that from ten to twelve letters were coming in every week … a figure that has remained fairly consistent throughout the years.

Mrs. Lovelace smiles when she speaks of the friends she and Betsy have made. Her childhood was an extraordinarily happy one and she feels deeply gratified to have been able to share it with so many children. She is genuinely proud of her collection of letters and snapshots. Always the letters are chummy and confiding as if Maud Lovelace were actually Betsy and their own age.”

Excerpts from an article written by Valerie Beardwood and printed in Elementary English, November 1959

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