Saturday, July 17, 2010

Betsy in Spite of Herself

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

The words of William Shakespeare as quoted in the book I just finished Betsy in Spite of Herself.

I'm so glad that I stumbled serendipitously on this series last year. How can it be that a book about a young women written just over a century ago can feel so modern? Betsy Ray has ambitions that I did not expect a lady living in the early 20th century to have (not prioritising marriage above her writing career, her disinterest in acquiring domestic skills, her strong desire to see the 'great world' and her wish to live a varied and rich life).

Now this has me turned onto exploring the works of Louisa May Alcott and Jane Austen to read more about women's lives 'back then.' Other recommendations welcome.

And the quote above? Betsy finds out in the most interesting way that it's not worth anything pretending to be anything other than who you really are.

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