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

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,033 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 515 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by Portalington Press
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Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
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 ...more
Jan 13, 2012 marked it as to-read
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.
Kathleen Garlock
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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!) ...more
Aug 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ultimately interesting to Maudophiles. I would have rated it higher if she hadn't dissed Aunt Dolly. ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
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!😍
Sep 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All BT enthusiasts, although they would know about it already
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. ...more
Sep 08, 2007 marked it as to-read
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.
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
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!
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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....
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
June G
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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:) ...more
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Every true Maud Hart Lovelace fan should own a copy of this book and take it with you when you visit Mankato, Minnesota!
Sarah Moore
Apr 14, 2014 marked it as gave-up
The pictures are neat, but the writing is tons of boring blah. I wish there was a better MHL bio out there.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
“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 ...more
Sep 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Kiirsi Hellewell
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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."
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Steph (loves water)
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: could-not-finish
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. ...more
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great resource in exploring the lives of Maud's friends and family in Mankato. ...more
CmPete Tucker
Aug 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
The ultimate companion for us ultimate fans!
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