It is recorded that Maud Hart was born on April 25, 1892 in Mankato, MN, but it wasn't until fifty years later that she found out she was actually born on the 26th of April. The Harts had an aunt named Maud, who they dearly loved, and whose birthday was on April 25. They decided that if their baby was a girl and born on Aunt Maud's birthday then the baby would be named Maud. And so when baby Maud was born at 12:30 a.m. on April 26, they fudged the date and made it April 25. And so Maud Hart Lovelace's birthday is still legally recorded as April 25, 1892.
When Maud was five years old a new family moved onto her street. It wasn't long before she met her soon to be lifelong best friend - Frances "Bick" Kenney - otherwise known as Tacy Kelly later on. Maud had an interest in writing from a very young age. She would write poems, play, and all types of stories. When Maud was ten years old she began submitting stories and had a booklet of poems printed. By the age of eighteen she sold her first short story to The Los Angeles Times.
After Maud graduated from high school in 1910, her family moved to Minneapolis and Maud enrolled in the University of Minnesota. In 1914 she traveled to Europe and spent some time in England before World War I broke out. In 1917 Maud married Delos Lovelace, who was a newspaper reporter and later a writer of short stories. Maus'd first novel was published in 1926 with five more historical novels following and two others after that which she collaborated with her husband on.
Delos and Maud had their first daughter Merian in 1931. Merian loved to hear her mother tell bedtime stories about her childhood, which gave Maud the idea to write them down. And so Betsy Tacy was born. Maud did not think she would be writing a whole series on Betsy Tacy, but readers asked for more so Maud responded with a total of ten books in the series. The stories are based closely on Maud's life and actual events that occurred. She had kept diaries throughout high school and would use those to keep the events of Betsy and Tacy as true to life as she could.
In the latter years of Maud's life, after Delos died in 1967, Maud spent a good deal of time with Bick. They traveled all over Europe to trace Bick's family roots. In 1969 Bick passed away and 11 years after that on March 11, 1980 Maud Hart Lovelace died from complications of pneumonia. Although the characters from the beloved Betsy Tacy books have passed, Maud's legacy lives on through the generations of readers who adore her stories.
Beardwood, V. (Nov. 1959). "Betsy-Tacy stories: Books to grow on." Elementary English Review, 36: 465-470.
Pfeffer, S. B. (1999). "Who were they really? The true stories behind famous characters." Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press.
Whalen, S. S. (1995). The Betsy-Tacy Companion: A Biography of Maud Hart Lovelace. Whitehall, PA: Portalington Press.