Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Romancing the Romance

When did the romance novel begin? Wiki says:

One of the earliest romance novels was Samuel Richardson's popular 1740 novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, which was revolutionary on two counts: it focused almost entirely on courtship and did so entirely from the perspective of a female protagonist. In the next century, Jane Austen expanded the genre, and her Pride and Prejudice is often considered the epitome of the genre. Austen inspired Georgette Heyer, who introduced historical romances in 1921. A decade later, British company Mills and Boon began releasing the first category romance novels. Their books were resold in North America by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, which began direct marketing to readers and allowing mass-market merchandisers to carry the books.

Have any of you ever read Pamela? I have heard of it, but never read it.

Wiki also says:

Novels in this genre place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."

I have occasionally read a romance type novel without a happy ending. Somehow, it just isn't nearly as satisfying. Maybe it is too much like 'real life'. I feel the same about movies. There are some movies that just wouldn't be worth watching if it wasn't for the ending~where everything finally worked out for everyone involved.

What about you~do you have a favorite book that doesn't have a happy ending, but you love it so much it doesn't matter?

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