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Betsy and the Great World

(Betsy-Tacy #9)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,984 ratings  ·  186 reviews
It's the trip of a lifetime. Betsy Ray, 21 years old, is heading off for a solo tour of Europe. From the moment she casts off, her journey is filled with adventure—whether she's waltzing at the captain's ball, bartering for beads in Madeira, or sipping coffee at a bohemian cafe in Munich.

It's rich fodder for a budding young writer, and Betsy's determined to make the most o
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published December 31st 1969 by Thomas Y. Crowell (first published 1952)
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Christine I do not think so, maybe try audible but as it is quite old and not too well-known I really doubt it.

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  4,984 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Betsy and I are fighting right now. You see, I just can't forgive her for lousing it up with Joe. Of course we all know it'll work out right in the end because, in the words of that annoying girl from Sleepless in Seattle they're "MFEO." But for now, I call you out Betsy Ray. You have permission to do the same for me when I inevitably make my own romantic blunders. That is, you could, if you were a real person. Who would probably be dead from old age by now. Regardless.

I'm also fighting with Joe
Sep 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
09/2015 -stet

09/2012 Wendy asked me to review this from the point of view of someone without a passport, so...
I love visiting pre-WWI Europe with Betsy, much the way I love visiting pre-WWII Greece with Gerald Durrell. I think that I will never see post WWII anything save the US, and it does make me sad, though I do think I get as much out of reading as a lot of people get out of actually being there.

I love Betsy here although her dependence on men (any man! the passing man, the friendly nephew
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I missed Deep Valley so much, but I loved reading about Betsy's adventures abroad! I especially enjoyed her time in Italy. I loved Marco! Betsy was a strong woman to not fall in love with him - such a romantic italian. I mean, I LOVE Joe, don't get me wrong, but reading about Marco also gave me butterflies. She had a hard choice to make. She ultimately made the right choice, and now I can have Marco to myself.

It was interesting to read the book knowing that WWI was right around the corner. There
Carmen Maloy
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I have to say that this is probably my least favorite of the series. I still love it, but there are things lacking such as all the fun surrounding the "crowd" and Betsy's beloved Deep Valley. That being said, it's still a great book and a must read. At twenty-one, Betsy is on the verge of a great adventure. She embarks on a tour of Europe - when Europe was a new horizon for a young writer to see. Betsy soon discovers that she is growing up (she is courted by a dashing Italian during her trip abr ...more
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just wonderful. I like the German part best, although the shipboard part is great too (view spoiler). 1/2 a star off because the ending is rushed (Betsy's gang in London was too abruptly introduced for me to care anything about them). Also, while I liked the descriptions of Venice, I was unconvinced by Marco, who has all the depth of characterization of Flat Stanley.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

And then I cried when she did so it's fine.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Betsy Tacy Fans
Opening three years after the events of Betsy and Joe , the previous installment of Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy~Tacy series, Betsy and the Great World sees its lovable heroine - now twenty-one years old, and about to be a junior in college - head off for a trip to Europe. Crossing the Atlantic on the Columbic ocean-liner, living in a student pension in Munich, exploring Venice with a handsome young man, and facing the onset of World War I with her friends in London, Betsy has many exciting adv ...more
J. Boo
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betsy's travels and her minor adventures are great fun, but her love life isn't. I suspect that's because whenever Lovelace relays something that actually happened to her, or happened to one of her close group of friends, she does a smashing job, but she tends to flounder when she needs to make something up out of whole cloth. (Though, not having a thorough grounding in Lovelaceiana, it is also possible that I'm attributing to reality only the things that happened which I liked, and chalking up ...more
Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
JANUARY 1914. In those last halcyon days just before the world went mad, Betsy boarded the S.S. Columbic with dreams of living in Europe for the following year.

AUGUST 1914. While Betsy was living in England, the Great War began.

This novel is autobiographical, like all the books in the Betsy-Tacy series. Just like Betsy, Maud Hart Lovelace started a magnificently gorgeous European tour in January 1914, was living in London when World War I started, and had to return home to the US early. She live
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with wanderlust
Shelves: re-read, the-tomes
Still haven't been to Venice, but I re-read this while in Rome.

5-14-2009 review:
Oh how I love this book. I re-read it in preparation for my trip to (part of) the Great World. I especially love it because Betsy travels alone, something that I enjoy very much. Maud gives us everything with this one: the joys and frustrations of travel; culture & geography lessons; ROMANCE; yearnings for a bath; exciting news from a far-away friend. Not to mention the foreshadowing of the Great War and, oh, did I m
I think this is my very favorite Betsy book out of all of them. I will also add that the authoress's descriptions of Europe are colorful and delightful, making this a good book to encourage your child to read for some history.:) ...more
Love-hate relationship is too strong a phrase for this book. How about love-annoyed? Then again, I seem to have had that with Betsy all along in the series. The annoyed part was related to the male aspect. Again, that seems to be a trend. Yet it was a very good growing up part for Betsy and I think these were some of the greatest lessons in that area she has gained in the series. (I suppose that is like life for us, though--we learn more in various areas as we get older and have more experiences ...more
Kellyn Roth
This is probably my least favorite of the older Betsy-Tacy books. Just because Joe isn't really in it. Yes, the ending is really sweet ... but for most of the story (view spoiler)

I do love all the descriptions of different people and places. It really makes you want to visit Europe ... though not nowadays. I basically want to travel back to the pre-WW1 era just to visit Europe. Because I feel like it j
Marcy Wynhoff
"After Commencement Day, the World!" Joe said. "With Betsy."
Oops. Joe forgot about Betsy being a flirt,(enter new guys)and about Betsy's social distractions.
Dropping out of college to travel made this a wonderful book..a look at Europe in the early 1900's before the War. Traveling alone around N.Africa, middle east and Europe was a brazen thing for a young lady to do even if she had escorts in place. The only thing that made Tib not being a part of this due to marriage and baby tolerable is that
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We skip two years before this book begins, during which time Betsy went to University, hated it, dropped out, and lost touch with Joe when he went off to Harvard. And so, Bob Ray being the kind father that he is, offers a "snoggestion" that Betsy take some time to explore Europe.

So this book differs from the rest of the series, set alternately on an ocean liner across the Atlantic, in Italy, in Munich, in Paris, and in London. Betsy makes friends, falls in love with an Italian musician, socializ
emma grace
Reread March 12, 2019

Read August 30, 2013
Beth Bonini
When I was a teenager, I was in love with the idea of the 'year abroad' - not so much backpacking and hostels, but more along the lines of the glorious European Grand Tour. Who knows what books formed my romantic notions, but I'm sure this would have been one of them. This novel, the penultimate in the Betsy-Tacy series, is an anomaly in some ways: no Tacy and Tib, very little of the Ray family, and almost nothing of Joe Willard. The family closeness, the Ray family rituals, the seasonal traditi ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, breaking it down:

I wouldn't have picked it up out of a store, probably - or out of the library. But I'm really glad I read it. I think I would have loved it when I was 10 or 11. The friendships would have kept me reading the whole series, I expect.

It really played the long game with Joe (and the resolution I know happened because of the tip-off of the next book's title in the back of this one is a good conclusion).

I think it's always interesting to write with a foreknowledge of circumstanc
Abigail  F
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An old favorite, and the perfect comfort read for moving abroad. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t specifically tried to find a flat it Taviton Street just because of this book. There’s no one like Betsy Ray!
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved that this book took her to places that I am exploring right now and perfectly describes the up and down emotions that come from living in another land
Jul 18, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Betsy-Tacy books but this was the most boring book in the series. It could have been written and summed up in one chapter. I hope the last book does not disappoint.
enjoyed this much more than I thought I would; I didn't care much for it the first time I read it 20 or so years ago, but liked it lots this time around. ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Betsy and the Wide World" is not one of Ms. Lovelace's finest. The reason: After Betsy's absence from a couple of the intervening Deep Valley books, she returns to the scene essentially unchanged from what she was in high school. And even after her European tour described in this Wide World book, she remains unchanged. I am sorry to conclude that, to me, Betsy is an unlikeable and boring girl. She was more interesting when her age was in the single digits.

In Betsy and the Great World, we dive w
Ms. B
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, series, ya
This was the one I wasn't interested in when I was a young teen because I thought what could be more boring than to read about someone's trip around the world? Plus, there would be no Tacy nor Tib. Then, I got older and read this. I adored it in my twenties.
Betsy drops out of college and travels Europe for a year. College hasn't really changed in the last 80 + years. Dropping out of college for lack of interest in academics. Traveling Europe before settling down.
Upon this most recent reread, I
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I tend to read this book when I am homesick, because it starts with Betsy setting off for a year in Europe, and she is terribly homesick. But as the chapters go by, she gets over it - and so do I. She always makes me appreciate living in Europe again.

But it isn't always the most successful cure, because as soon as I finish this book, I of course have to read Betsy's Wedding, which describes her wonderful homecoming, and then the adventure of married life.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites--read over and over
Logan Hughes
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for the later Betsy books, and this one is one of my favorites. It's two years after Betsy's high school graduation and in the interim, she has given college the old college try, left due to illness, and chosen not to go back. Instead, she is using the rest of her college money to travel the world and get experiences to write about. We follow Betsy on an trip through Europe. There's a new crew and new dramas in each place. Of course, being who she is, she flirts with a purser on the ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Betsy has had a hard couple of years. Between an argument with Joe, which they have not reconciled, and a medical emergency that caused her to leave college, she's feeling defeated. So her wonderful family suggests that she do a European tour! None of her family is able to go, but with her sister's connections and helpful friends of the family, Betsy has safe places to stay as she explores Spain, Germany, Italy, France and England. So is off on a grand adventure in 1914!

I have a lot of ground t

Although Betsy and the Great World sometimes feels a bit too much like reading someone’s travel diary for my liking, it’s also the first book that is truly different from its predecessors: for the first time, Betsy leaves the comfort of her Deep Valley home and isn’t surrounded by a crowd of adoring and supportive friends and family, and the result is her having to struggle to find her own way in a foreign land. Of course, given the series’ comfortable tone, Betsy’s troubles never last long but ...more
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Maud Hart Lovelace was born on April 25, 1892, in Mankato, Minnesota. She was the middle of three children born to Thomas and Stella (Palmer) Hart. Her sister, Kathleen, was three years older, and her other sister, Helen, was six years younger. “That dear family" was the model for the fictional Ray family.

Maud’s birthplace was a small house on a hilly residential street several blocks above Mankat

Other books in the series

Betsy-Tacy (10 books)
  • Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy, #1)
  • Betsy-Tacy and Tib (Betsy-Tacy, #2)
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill (Betsy-Tacy, #3)
  • Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy, #4)
  • Heaven to Betsy (Betsy-Tacy, #5)
  • Betsy in Spite of Herself (Betsy-Tacy, #6)
  • Betsy Was a Junior (Betsy-Tacy, #7)
  • Betsy and Joe (Betsy-Tacy, #8)
  • Betsy's Wedding (Betsy-Tacy, #10)

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