Celebrate Little Women season with our new cookbook and these Little Women paper doll coloring sheets! You can download and print your own Beth here. (Meg is here; Jo is here; and Amy will be making her appearance soon.)
Though I love Beth as a character, she’s definitely the most difficult March sister to make a paper doll of. Since she’s a shy girl of simple tastes who doesn’t get out much, she doesn’t wear super-fun clothes, and a lot of her potential outfits and props are really, well, depressing. (A nightgown for the sickbed? A bottle of belladonna? A bird cage with a poor departed Pip in it?) That’s why I decided to make a pre-scarlet fever Beth doll.
Passages from Little Women about Beth March:
Elizabeth, or Beth, as everyone called her, was a rosy, smooth-haired, bright-eyed girl of thirteen, with a shy manner, a timid voice, and a peaceful expression which was seldom disturbed. Her father called her ‘Little Miss Tranquility’, and the name suited her excellently, for she seemed to live in a happy world of her own, only venturing out to meet the few whom she trusted and loved. (Chapter 1: “Playing Pilgrims”)
Beth had a headache and lay on the sofa, trying to comfort herself with the cat and three kittens. (Chapter 4: “Burdens”)
Long, quiet days she spent, not lonely nor idle, for her little world was peopled with imaginary friends, and she was by nature a busy bee. There were six dolls to be taken up and dressed every morning, for Beth was a child still and loved her pets as well as ever. Not one whole or handsome one among them, all were outcasts till Beth took them in, for when her sisters outgrew these idols, they passed to her because Amy would have nothing old or ugly. Beth cherished them all the more tenderly for that very reason, and set up a hospital for infirm dolls. No pins were ever stuck into their cotton vitals, no harsh words or blows were ever given them, no neglect ever saddened the heart of the most repulsive, but all were fed and clothed, nursed and caressed with an affection which never failed. One forlorn fragment of dollanity had belonged to Jo and, having led a tempestuous life, was left a wreck in the rag bag, from which dreary poorhouse it was rescued by Beth and taken to her refuge. Having no top to its head, she tied on a neat little cap, and as both arms and legs were gone, she hid these deficiencies by folding it in a blanket and devoting her best bed to this chronic invalid. (Chapter 4: “Burdens”)
“Is Beth the rosy one, who stays at home good deal and sometimes goes out with a little basket?” asked Laurie with interest.
“Yes, that’s Beth. She’s my girl, and a regular good one she is, too.” (Chapter 5: “Being Neighborly”)
“Laurie told me how fond Mr. Laurence used to be of the child who died, and how he kept all her little things carefully. Just think, he’s given you her piano. That comes of having big blue eyes and loving music,” said Jo, trying to soothe Beth, who trembled and looked more excited than she had ever been before. (Chapter 6: “Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful”)
THE HISTORY OF A SQUASH
Once upon a time a farmer planted a little seed in his garden, and after a while it sprouted and became a vine and bore many squashes. One day in October, when they were ripe, he picked one and took it to market. A grocerman bought and put it in his shop. That same morning, a little girl in a brown hat and blue dress, with a round face and snub nose, went and bought it for her mother. She lugged it home, cut it up, and boiled it in the big pot, mashed some of it with salt and butter, for dinner. And to the rest she added a pint of milk, two eggs, four spoons of sugar, nutmeg, and some crackers, put it in a deep dish, and baked it till it was brown and nice, and next day it was eaten by a family named March.
T. TUPMAN (Chapter 10: “The P.C. and P.O.”)
So Beth lay down on the sofa, the others returned to their work, and the Hummels were forgotten. An hour passed. Amy did not come, Meg went to her room to try on a new dress, Jo was absorbed in her story, and Hannah was sound asleep before the kitchen fire, when Beth quietly put on her hood, filled her basket with odds and ends for the poor children, and went out into the chilly air with a heavy head and a grieved look in her patient eyes. (Chapter 17: “Little Faithful”)