Friday, February 7, 2020

A Spreadsheet!

Oh World Citizens, I am SUCH a fan of emails that treat my Betty-obsession like a study written up for the Lancet. Our dear Betty Anonymous had a question and then dug into it like a treacle tart. Here are her conclusions:

We're ready to learn, Professor.

What are the Ratios in the Canon: RDD+Nurse, RBD+Nurse, RDD+Non-Nurse,

Over on our Facebook page, Betty Sutapa said it seemed to her "that the RDDs mostly encounter
heroines from the nursing profession whereas RBDs mostly encounter heroines from non-nursing
professions/stay-at-home heroines". And she wanted to know if her perception was correct.

Taking a leaf out of Betty van den Betsy’s book, I’ve made my business to find out the exact numbers,
which I couldn’t have done without her awesome spreadsheet: 
This spreadsheet will leave you breathless. It really will.


Nurse/RDD 70 couples

Nurse/RBD 5 couples  
Heidelberg Wedding
Never Say Goodbye
Once for All Time
Romantic Encounter
Summer Idyll

Nurse/Non-Medical Hero 2 couples
Heaven around the Corner
Judith willed herself to find competency in a man who didn't know how to suture.

Non-Nurse/RDD 22 couples

Non-Nurse/RBD 32 couples

Non-Nurse/ Non-Medical Hero 4 couples
All Else Confusion
A Girl to Love
Roses and Champagne
Year’s Happy Ending

135 STORIES, in total:
She totted up the sums on the underside of her crisp apron.

Of the heroines 77 are nurses, 58 are not.
On the heroes‘ side, we have 92 RDDs, 37 RBDs, and 6 Non-Medical men.

In 70 novels, or ~52% of the Canon, Nurses are paired with RDDs.
That means 76% of the RDDs marry Nurses.

Nurses paired with RBDs are to be found in 5 novels only, or ~4%. 
That’s only 13.5% of the RBDs.

22 of the couples, or ~16%, are pairings of RDDs and Non-Nurses.
That’s 24% of the RDDs.

In 32 stories, or ~24% of The Great Betty’s oeuvre, RBDs end up marrying Non-Nurses. 
That’s 86.5% of the RBDs!

Not every man is a doctor.

In 2 stories only, or ~1.5%, do we have Nurses marrying Non-Medical Heroes.
And in 4 stories, almost 3% of the Canon, Non-Nurses marry Non-Medical Heroes.

That means exactly ⅓ of the Non-Medical Heroes marry nurses, ⅔ of the Non-Medical Heroes end up married to Non-Nurses.

I counted student nurses as nurses.

Nanny by Chance: non-nurse/short stint as student nurse/non-nurse — I counted her as a non-nurse.

Among the non-nurses, we have a physiotherapist, a heroine who spent part of the novel working as
an orderly at a hospital, one who jobbed on a geriatric ward, and a couple of nurse’s aids.


  1. Betty Barbara says "Well done, Betty Anonymous!"
    Thanks for doing all that tallying. So Betty Sutapa was correct!

  2. What a fun deep dive!

    Betty Michele

  3. Oh my goodness... you are amazing Betty Keira!

  4. This is a very necessary work and oh, so satisfying to behold. Am I disgraced if I ask what the acronyms stand for?

    1. Not disgraced at all Betty Josey! We often use RDD and RBD for Rich Dutch Doctor and Rich British Doctor. MOC is marriage of convenience. PBN is Poor British Nurse...

  5. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

    Pat, a lady from Texas who's found so much comfort with Betty

  6. Hope you are all well, too. TGB has been such a comfort these last few months. She’s inspirational in so many ways!

  7. 😲👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

  8. This is math I can get behind!

  9. Betty Ruth here. Wow I am so happy to see the famous spreadsheet available to all to peruse! The first time I heard about it I was thinking what a great idea it was, and then during a walk I went down a rabbit hole of wondering how many columns it would require for all the pets, their names, children and their names and so on and the mind boggled.