Quotes from Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy Novels

Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace

Maud Hart Lovelace (1892-1980) sold her first story to the New York Times at age eighteen. She dropped out of college to travel to Europe and write, becoming known for the Betsy-Tacy series, which generations of readers have loved for their simple, old-fashioned charm. Here are some quotes from a selection of those novels.


“Isn’t it mysterious to begin a new journal like this? I can run my fingers through the fresh clean pages but I cannot guess what the writing on them will be.” (Betsy in Spite of Herself, 1946)


“Good things come, but they’re never perfect; are they? You have to twist them into something perfect.” (Betsy and the Great World, 1952)


“The most important part of religion isn’t in any church. It’s down in your own heart. Religion is in your thoughts, and in the way you act from day to day, in the way you treat other people. It’s honesty, and unselfishness, and kindness. Especially kindness.” (Heaven to Betsy, 1945)


“Was life always like that? she wondered. A game of hide and seek in which you only occasionally found the person you wanted to be?” (Betsy and the Great World, 1952)


“What would life be like without her writing? Writing filled her life with beauty and mystery, gave it life…and promise.” (Heaven to Betsy, 1945)


“You might as well learn right now … that the poorest guide you can have in life is what people will say.” (Heaven to Betsy, 1945)


“When there are boys you have to worry about how you look, and whether they like you, and why they like another girl better, and whether they’re going to ask you to something or other. It’s a strain.” (Betsy in Spite of Herself, 1946)


“The silence in the room had width, height, depth, mass and substance.” (Betsy in Spite of Herself, 1946)


“I’ve got to stop thinking about myself so much–about how I look, how I’m impressing someone, whether I’m popular or not. I’ve got to start thinking about other people, all the people I meet.”  (Betsy and Joe, 1948)


Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace first edition cover

See also: Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace 


“She thought of the library, so shining white and new; the rows and rows of unread books; the bliss of unhurried sojourns there and of going out to a restaurant, alone, to eat.” (Besty and Tacy Go Downtown)


“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” (Besty-Tacy and Tib)


“She tried to act as though it were nothing to go to the library alone. But her happiness betrayed her. Her smile could not be restrained, and it spread from her tightly pressed mouth, to her round cheeks, almost to the hair ribbons tied in perky bows over her ears.” (Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown)


“The most important part of religion isn’t in any church. It’s down in your own heart. Religion is in your thoughts, and in the way you act from day to day, in the way you treat other people. It’s honesty, and unselfishness, and kindness. Especially kindness.” (Heaven to Besty)


“In silence the three of them looked at the sunset and thought about God.” (Besty-Tacy and Tib)


“They soon stopped being ten years old. But whatever age they were seemed to be exactly the right age for having fun.” (Betsy and Tacy Go Over The Big Hill)


The Black Angels by Maud Hart Lovelace

You might also enjoy: The Black Angels (1926) by Maud Hart Lovelace 


“You have two numbers in your age when you are ten. It’s the beginning of growing up.” (Betsy and Tacy Go Over The Big Hill)


“But if you’re going to be a writer,” he went on, “you’ve got to read. Good books. Great books. The classics.” (Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown)


“The older I get the more mixed up life seems. When you’re little, it’s all so plain. It’s all laid out like a game ready to play. You think you know exactly how it’s going to go. But things happen…” (Betsy and Joe)


 

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