The Misdemeanors of Nancy (1902) by Eleanor Hoyt ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This book is comprised of stories that were serialized in the New York Sun and Everybody’s Magazine. This is not an ongoing story, but standalone snapshots of things that happen to Nancy, much of it being told by Nancy herself to Bobby, ‘the man who comes often’. Bobby is obviously her main squeeze, but the stories are told in a sort of vague, lighthearted way, so that you don’t know if she will finally settle down with anyone. The whole thing is told in such a way that makes you want to put on fancy early 1900s clothes, don big hats, and go to tea with friends.
Nancy is a proper, well-to-do young woman and very respectable. Nancy is well-read and educated and even speaks French. All men fall at her feet in adoration. Why, she’s even had five men propose to her! Not at the same time, of course. No matter how silly or cheeky she is, people forgive Nancy, because she is pretty and charming. And we love her too, no matter how she likes to portray herself.
The author of Misdemeanors of Nancy, Eleanor Hoyt, had three of her novels adapted into film. These three films are Pegeen (1920) starring Bessie Love, How Could You, Jean? (1918) starring Mary Pickford, and For Love of Mary Ellen (1915) starring Georgie Stone.
Misdemeanors of Nancy was Ms. Hoyt’s first book published, before she was married in 1904 and became Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd. This is a worthy addition to anyone’s library, and an enjoyable book with closed chapters that makes reading in small increments very easy.