Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Celebrate the reprinting of Maud Hart Lovelace’s The Black Angels October 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:35 AM
Historical artist David Geister painted the new cover art for The Black Angels, reprinted by Minnesota Heritage Publishing.

Historical artist David Geister painted the new cover art for The Black Angels, reprinted by Mankato-based Minnesota Heritage Publishing.

THE OLDER I GET, the more appreciative I become of history. Funny how that happens.

With that said, I direct you to a historical novel, The Black Angels, first published in 1926 and now reprinted in a limited edition by Mankato-based Minnesota Heritage Publishing. See www.mnheritage.com

This Saturday, Oct. 17, the re-release of Mankato author Maud Hart Lovelace’s The Black Angels will be celebrated at the Betsy-Tacy houses, 332 and 333 Center Street in Mankato. Lovelace is best known for her Betsy-Tacy book series. See my blog, “Betsy-Tacy books debut as Modern Classics,” posted Sept. 29 on Minnesota Prairie Roots.

Now, I have not yet read The Black Angels, so I am going on good faith that this historical novel will match my expectations for a quality book by one of my favorite Minnesota authors. Set in fictional Cloudman (Mankato), Minn., in the days before the Civil War, this novel tells the story of a traveling opera troupe. Lovelace bases the troupe on the Andrews Opera Company, which performed throughout the Midwest in the mid to late 1800s. The Andrews family, at one time, lived near Mankato. Lovelace also patterns one of the characters after her Uncle Frank, who left home and for awhile joined an opera troupe.

You can learn more about the book by attending Saturday’s book release party from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. The event includes a Black Angels vignette at 1 p.m. Historical artist David Geister of Minneapolis, who painted the cover for the reprint edition, will be signing books. See www.davidgeister.com.

Adding to the festivities will be the burning of the mortgage for the Betsy-Tacy houses. The Betsy-Tacy Society owns the childhood homes of Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy in the book series) and her friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney (Tacy in the books). For more information, go to www.betsy-tacysociety.org.

This dust jacket graced the third printing of The Black Angels by Grosset & Dunlap of New York.  The artist is unknown. The John Day Company first published the book in 1926 with a plain yellow calico cloth cover.

This dust jacket graced the third printing of The Black Angels by Grosset & Dunlap of New York in 1926. The artist is unknown. The John Day Company first published the book, also in 1926 , with a plain yellow calico cloth cover.

Thanks to Julie A. Schrader of Minnesota Heritage Publishing for sharing the book cover images with Minnesota Prairie Roots readers.