Thursday, 17 February 2011

BTT: Romance


Deb at Booking Through Thursday asks:

“What’s the most romantic book you’ve ever read? (Mind you, I don’t mean the hard-core stuff you hide in plain wrappers under your mattress. I mean True Love, Romance, deeply emotional, heart-tugging, and all that stuff.) And, secondly, did you like it? Is it your usual kind of reading, or did it take you by surprise?”

Sometimes, with questions like this, I guess one had better just go with the first answer that comes to mind. So I’ll do that.


Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I don’t have it; and it has been about 40 years since I first read it, and probably 35 since I last read it. I bought the film on DVD a few years ago though. I am not sure if I first saw the film before or after I read the book. That too would have been some time in my upper teens, at the cinema. What I do remember is borrowing the book from the town library. (We lived in a village outside town which had its own small library; which means I did not borrow this book until I had started going to school in town. Probably not until I was 16 and going to  secondary school in the town center. Possibly earlier, though: I had two weeks’ work practice at the library in town in 8th grade, at the age of 14.) I can see before my inner eye where in the library the book stood. It was bigger than a Bible, a comparison that came easily to mind because the text was printed in two columns on each page (first time I ever saw that except in a Bible) and it had a red library cover. I think I borrowed it at least twice within a few years time.

Then there is of course Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I reread that one only a couple of years ago. And Jane Austen’s novels: Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park. All read more than twice.

I have a feeling that over the years I must also have read a number of romances more or less copying Jane Eyre: Governess coming to manor house or castle to teach some widower’s children or a bachelor’s nieces, revealing deep dark family secrets, and happy end… But I can’t recall specific titles or authors.

… Oh, one name just fluttered by. Victoria Holt. Looking her up in Wikipedia now, I find to my astonishment that she wrote under several other pen names as well. Her real name was Eleanor Hibbert and it seems that during her life (1906-1993) she wrote well over 200 novels! Gosh. I had no idea. I guess I might have read half a dozen at the most.


  1. not a single book comes to mind in the romance dept, my favorites are not romances. in my early 20's i did read a lot of Victoria Holt and historical romance. her books got to where i could write the rest of the story without reading it, all the same. plus i read so much they all blend together and i remember them when someone bring them up.

  2. Lots I like, but I think Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is my favorite, though The Time Traveler's Wife made me cry.

  3. Both great romances of all times!

    Here is my BTT: Romance post!

  4. Yes, I have read Victoria Holt and knew about the pen names!! I have read hundreds of romantic gothic novels, the kind where the heroine goes to a big mansion to teach or some such other thing. I used to be hooked on them when I was younger and would read as many as one a day! But I think for most romantic I'm going to say Wuthering Heights, fabulous! Read it if you haven't. Several movies have been made of it, too.

  5. I've never read Gone With the Wind, I think I may have a copy somewhere I will have to dig it out. I am a sucker for romance. And Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favs.
    Here's my answer:

  6. Ginny... Hmm... Here's a link to a book review I wrote two years ago after having reread Wuthering Heights ...

    "Twenty years or more have probably passed since I first read Wuthering Heights. When I reread it now I had this question in my mind throughout the book: Why do people consider this a romantic love story? There is passion, certainly, but love...? Most of the passion comes out as possessive obsession and downright cruelty. --- "

  7. When they made The Horse Whisperer movie they completely changed the ending. The book ending was very sad, they lightend it up for the movie - totally ruined it.

  8. This was actually a difficult question for me. I just couldn't choose one. Check out my answer for this week's Booking Through Thursday.

  9. here's mine

  10. I read a lot of Victoria Holt as a teenager, you mentioning her brings back some memories :-)

    I guess my favorites are more contemporary...


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