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Bibliographic Description

Title: Betsy-Tacy

Author: Maud Hart Lovelace

Illustrator: Lois Lenski

Publisher:  Thomas Y. Crowell Company

Date: 1940

First edition: The copy examined is a first edition with no indication of which printing; it may be a first printing. It is a larger formet and has the Lenski endpaper illustrations. Another similar copy of the first edition has the words “third printing” in its dust jacket.

Editor at Crowell: Elizabeth Riley

Format: red cloth, hardcover with dust jacket and endpapers printed with Lenski illustration of the Hill Street neighborhood

Image of cover art – Color illustrations by Lois Lenski showing Betsy and Tacy, hand in hand, a house, flowers, trees, birds, on a blue background.

Pagination: 113 pages

Dedication: “To Bick and Merian” (Bick is Frances Kinney, Maud’s best friend, on whom the character Tacy is based. Merian is Lovelace’s daughter to whom she first told the stories.)

Illustrations: 47 and front and back endpapers; of varying size: some cover more than one page, some are about one inch high; black and white, originally ink pen (several signed originals are on display at the Blue Earth County Library, Lovelace Wing)

Sample illustration

Size of cover: 22.7 cm high and 17 cm wide

Size of text: 0.47625 cm height, 0.3175 cm length

General physical appearance of book: font is very similar to Times New Roman font, 14 point; it is very readable, oversize for children aged 5-8 years.
Image of sample page:

Paper: Originally high quality but 71 years later it is yellowing.

Binding is sewn. It is in very good condition for a 71 year old book.

Text, image on cover and spine:

Endpapers: The early printings of the first four books of the series are larger than later printings and these larger printings have printed endpapers, front and back. They are printed with a black and white illustration by Lois Lenski of the High Street neighborhood, including Betsy and Tacy’s houses. Lenski visited Mankato while preparing the illustrations in order to see the actual setting of the book, since Deep Valley in modeled on the Mankato of Maud’s childhood.

Title page transcription:



Maud Hart Lovelace




Lois Lenski


Thomas Y. Crowell Company

New York  :  1940

Title page verso transcription:

Copyright  1940


All rights reserved. No part of this book may

be reproduced in any form except by a reviewer

who may quote brief passages in a review to be

printed in a magazine or newspaper.



Image of title page:

The original manuscript for the first edition is held by HarperCollins Publishers. (Crowell was sold to Dun & Bradstreet in 1968, which was purchased by Harper & Row in 1978. Harper & Row is now part of HarperCollins.)

Which archives holds/collections hold the papers/archives of the author and/or illustrator?

1) The estate of Maud Hart Lovelace contains manuscripts, correspondence, and memorabilia. The executor of the estate is Andrea Shaw, a close friend of Merian Lovelace Kirchner (daughter of the author). Shaw has had the collection digitized and the original materials are being processed by the Kerlan Collection. Generally, only the digital versions of the materials will be available. Contact the Kerlan Collection for more information (see #2 below). Materials relating to Maud’s adult novels will be housed at the Historical Society of Minnesota.

In July 2012 the Kerlan Collection will have a special presentation about the Maud Hart Lovelace Collection. There is more information at www,betsy-tacysociety.org under “News and Events” and “The Winding Hall of Fate”. See the agenda for Minneapolis for time and date.

2) The Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota, Elmer L. Andersen Library, Minneapolis

3) Blue Earth Library (Mankato, Minnesota), Maud Hart Lovelace Wing:

  • Deep Valley Mural
  • Permanent Showcase with Rotating Display (containing the glass pitcher that Frances Kinney have to Maud on her fifth birthday)
  • Original Lenski illustrations
  • Autographed collection of Lovelace books
  • Scrapbook

4) Blue Earth County Historical Society, Heritage Center, Mankato, Minnesota

  • Betsy Bride Doll (two life-sized dolls traveled around the country when Betsy’s Wedding was released
  • Permanent Display that includes original copies of Lovelace’s books and other publications

5) The Betsy-Tacy Society owns Maud Hart Lovelace’s and Frances Kenney (Tacy)’s childhood homes (333 and 332 Center Street, Mankato Minnesota). They have Lovelace books, many photographs of the people represented in the books, several pieces of furniture and items that were owned by the Hart and Lovelace families, such as Thomas Hart’s footstool and the brass bowl.

Finding Aid of the Maud Hart Lovelace Papers:



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