Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Betsy and the Great World and Betsy's Wedding

by Maud Hart Lovelace. Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009. Copy supplied by publisher. My love of these books was made known via twitter & that is how these lovely volumes came into my hands.

I reviewed Betsy's twentysomething books earlier. Exploring Europe on your own, setting up your own life, focusing on career, getting married -- Betsy's life isn't so different from anyone today; tho (as we know from the excerpts from The Betsy Tacy Companion, included as backmatter in this book) Lovelace shifted the "real" timeline.

Anna Quindlen's foreword is her 1993 speech to the Betsy-Tacy Society. It focuses on the feminism in Betsy's world, where Betsy's writing, her talent, her future success is never doubted by her family or friends. Betsy gets to have her cake and eat it, too; as Quindlen points out, "the most important thing about Betsy Ray is that she has a profound sense of confidence and her own worth." Hopefully, knowing Betsy helps her readers have those things. As I watch Mad Men, set in the early 1960s, I think of these last two volumes, written in the mid 1950s. And I think, I bet Peggy Olsen read these books; I'm sure Betty Draper did not.

Once again, the backmatter contains excerpts and photographs from The Betsy Tacy Companion; along with a brief "what happened to so and so" chapter.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Interesting tie to Mad Men. I love that show and I loved these books.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I just discovered these books for the first time - what fun!

Colleen said...

What a gorgeous cover! I'm so so so happy that these new editions are coming out. These two were, I think, my favorites. I just loved seeing how things turned out for Betsy & Joe and also that Betsy remained herself through it all.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I am so excited to see this book! I love the Betsy and Tacy books, and I can't wait to add this to my class library. Thanks for sharing this with us!