Maud Hart Lovelace

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Winning Nomination

This author of the Betsy-Tacy book series captured an era in Minnesota history and gave girls a role model of an independent young woman who followed her dreams.
~Carol Klitzner, Rego Park, NY

Runner-up Nominations

Maud Hart Lovelace transformed the world by introducing thousands yea, millions! of children and adults to the wonders and joys of growing up in Deep Valley, a fictionalized version of Mankato, Minnesota at the turn of the century through the beloved Betsy-Tacy series. Of all the 4,000 books in my personal library, my well-loved Betsy-Tacy books are the most treasured.
~Susan Wagenhals, Buffalo, MN

She brings to life early 20th-century Mankato in her semi-autobiographical books. She conveys what a wonderful place it was and paints vivid pictures of life at that time.
~Jacqueline Ritchie, Rensselaer, IN

Her stories of everyday life in Mankato in the early 1900s give all who read her books a glimpse into the past through the eyes of a very observant writer!
~Linda Shaw, Inver Grove Hts, MN

Maud Hart Lovelace, author of the Betsy-Tacy books: Minnnesota author whose books described her era in the same way that the Laura Ingalls books did for the pioneer era. She used her Mankato home town as the setting for her books.
~Lynn Casey, St Paul, MN

I liked her books.
~Celia Huber, Fridley, MN

Maud wrote about her childhood in Mankato, MN and as people worldwide have read her books, they have sampled a slice of turn-of-the-century life with a dollop of Minnesota!
~Linda Shaw, Inver Grove Heights, MN

Betsy-Tacy Series, set in Minnesota about two best friends. Writer grew up in Minnesota. A popular series when I was in elementary school, at least. Set in the 40s, it tells a lot about a Minnesota town.
~Isabella Dawis




A storied childhood

Maud Hart Lovelace's career began with a bedtime story. She used to lull her daughter to sleep with stories of her childhood in Mankato, Minnesota. The town was only forty years old when Maud was born, and what Maud remembered was playing on the hills surrounding the town, viewing the Minnesota River from atop the hills, and, of course, the friends and family members that enlivened her days.

In 1940, Lovelace published a book, Betsy-Tacy, based on her childhood memories. In the book, Mankato became "Deep Valley" and Maud became "Betsy," and a host of other remembered places and people became part of her tales. Lovelace was already a published author by the time she wrote Betsy-Tacy. Her first novel, The Black Angels, was published in 1926, followed three years later by Early Candlelight. But it was the stories she wrote using her own diaries, letters, and prodigious memory that truly captured readers' imaginations. She never intended Betsy-Tacy to begin a series, but because of its success, she continued to write. The series begins when Betsy and her friends turn five, takes them through high school and college, and ends with Betsy's wedding. A volume was published every year until 1955. Lovelace published many books in her lifetime, including thirteen in the Betsy-Tacy series, four others for children, and eight for adults.

In recent years, the formation of a Betsy-Tacy Society has brought renewed interest to the series. A bronze plaque on a stone bench at the top of Center Street in Mankato reads, "To honor Maud Hart Lovelace, who here began the childhood daydreams that one day would be our window to the past."

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