Thursday, February 17, 2011

BTT: Romance

gwtwtara

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.

200px-Gone_with_the_Wind_cover 

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.

10 comments:

  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.

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

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  3. Both great romances of all times!

    Here is my BTT: Romance post!

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  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.

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  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.
    Sally.
    Here's my answer:
    http://theelifylop.blogspot.com/2011/02/booking-through-thursday-6.html

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  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. --- "

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  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.
    Sally.

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  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.

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  9. here's mine http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/02/booking-through-thursday_17.html

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  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... http://mostraum.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/booking-through-thursday-romantic/

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