Ask A Wench – Our First Historical Romance!

Ask a wenchNicola here, introducing this month’s Ask A Wench feature. The Wenches were chatting online, as we tend to do, and one of the topics we got talking about was the first historical romances that we ever read. As you might imagine, we discovered that there was some overlap in our reading experiences but also plenty of difference. We hope your enjoy this trip down our book-lined memory lane and we look forward to hearing what your first historical romance was!

Susan:

I haunted the old library in our small town in Upstate NY, with its marble floors, tall windows and polished wooden bookshelves. I worked my way from Ellen Tebbits and Pippi Longstocking to Jane Eyre and Ivanhoe and Treasure Island (Illustrated Classics for some of those, as I recall), and then I discovered Victoria Holt. Mistress of Mellyn was probably my first romance, albeit gothic, and I read as many of her books–and books like hers–that I could find. We moved and I went to high school in the DC area, and I hit a long phase of classic literature, and in college majored in art but took seminars in Melville and Lawrence and the Brontes and poetry. In graduate school I studied art history–but secretly read Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters and Mary Stewart. But I was immersed in graduate work, and though I had seen those "bodice rippers" in bookstores, I had never read one. 

Then I got married and we started a family–and I ended up on bedrest for months, waiting for Baby, on Wolfanddove
strict orders to rest and not stress myself out with studies. So I immersed myself in genre fiction, trying everything from sci fi and fantasy to mysteries. Friends brought books–including The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Finally I was hooked–it was medieval, it was good history, and it was exciting storytelling, with a hero and heroine I alternatively loved and wanted to bean over the head. I couldn't put it down. I read Shanna and more historical romance, and although I resumed graduate school and was otherwise reading Goodnight Moon more than any other book–I never forgot The Wolf and the Dove and the fun and joy of juicy paperback romance fiction. I read more romances, and one day I realized that I wanted to write one of my own, using the medieval history I'd been studying for years…  


Joanna here:

AngeliqueI guess my earliest Romance love was — and this is appropriate I suppose — a translation from the French, the Angelique books.  These were written by a husband-wife team, Serge and Anne Golon, published under the pseudonym Sergeanne Golon.   This was a series of ten or a dozen Big Fat Romance Epics.  (It was a time of Big Fat Romance Epics.)  The books were set in the time of Louis XIV.  We follow the heroine, a noble Frenchwoman, Angelique, and her husband and true love, Count Jeoffrey de Peyrac on their adventures across France, up and down the social scale, from Versailles to the back slums of Paris.  Then we take a left turn at Nice out to the Mediterranean.  Then we backtrack and head for . . . well . . . Canada.  Golon makes even that exciting.

Dashing adventure.  Good History.  A series of Lusty Lovers.  The king's bedroom. Pirates.  Storms at sea.  Escape from the harem.  Sandstorms.  Concealed identities. 
In short, everything I like in a Romance. 
My 12-year-old self was captivated.

They're still cracking good reads.

Cara/Andrea here:

I grew up in a houseful of readers, but romances were not on any of the TBR piles. My mother, an avid fan of The New Yorker magazine tended to read non-fiction and my brothers were huge sci-fi fans. I read a lot classic history adventures—Sir Walter Scott and Kenneth Roberts’s French and Indian Wars sagas. Then, when I was in high school, my mother was surprised to hear I hadn’t read Pride & Prejudice. She got a copy for me at the library . . .and I remember staying up until 2 am reading it that night.  I went on an Austen binge, but alas, as you know, there aren’t that many!

 So somehow I got sidetracked again into many other genres. It wasn’t until I moved to New York City The toll gate after college that I walked by an elderly street vendor selling who was selling used paperbacks. There was one called The Toll Gate by Georgette Heyer, which looked interesting. Now I was really hooked on the era. And then I discovered the Signet Regency line (and Topaz and Zebra) —Mary Jo Putney! Jo Beverley! Patricia Rice!  It was reading their wonderful stories and characters, and the fascinating world of the ton that inspired me to pick up a pen and try my hand at crafting a romance.

Jo:

I'm not sure what my first historical romance was, as I read a lot of historical fiction in what we'd now call YA, but they all had protagonists who were real people, and by my definition historical romance doesn't.  So my first historical romance was probably The Scarlet Pimpernel, and I then inhaled Heyer, but I'm going to go for Red Adam's Lady by Grace Ingram. This sits in my mind as my first "modern historical romance."  It's a medieval captured bride story, but the hero isn't one of those glowering macho dominators. He's a good guy. You can see my tastes were fixed early.

RedadamIt was a British book first published in 1973 and Woodiwiss's The Flame and the Flower was published in America in 1972, but given the divide back then between the two countries, and the time it took for books to travel, plus the time to get a book written and published I suspect they were each original concepts, so I consider the two books joint originators of the modern historical romance.

Grace Ingram wrote another book, Gilded Spurs, which I don't think as good, but it seems similar to some books she wrote previously as Doris Sutcliffe Adams.

Price of Blood (1966), Power of Darkness (1967), and No Man's Son (1969)

Under either name this author is a bit of a mystery. I wonder if she was a relative of Rosemary Sutcliff, who was a childhood favourite of mine, but it seems she didn't have siblings. Anyone know more about her? I wish someone would sort out the rights and bring out a new edition of Red Adam's Lady.

Anne here:

As a kid I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on, and that included historical fiction. But really the only historical romance I ever read until I was in my late 30's was Georgette Heyer. I discovered her through a friend when I was eleven, and borrowed These Old Shades from my local library and I loved it for the humor and the lively dialogue and the fun characters — the hero, in his silks and satins and high-heeled shoes — but as dark and masculine as you could get, the heroine in her male garb, with her passionate devotion to her Monseigneur and her hilarious disrespect for his eccentric brother, the disreputable Rupert. It was a world I happily embraced and though I read everything else Heyer wrote, and found other books of hers I loved more, These Old Shades remains my first — and we always remember our first, don't we? 

I also read authors like Catherine Gaskin, an English author who wrote Sara Dane — set in colonial Blake's reach Australia, and Blake's Reach, an English smugglers tale, and Madeleine Brent, a male author as it turned out, who penned wonderful romances set partially in the far flung outposts of Empire. My older married sister was a big buyer of magazines, and there I discovered Barbara Cartland, serialized. My sister also had a collection of Lucy Walker books — not historical, but still, old fashioned enough for me. They were stories set in the outback, with gentle English heroines and tough enigmatic Australian heroes. Much later — in my late 30's, I discovered American genre romance, which wasn't available in Australian bookshops. We had Mills and Boons (Harlequins) but the historicals weren't sold here. I remember coming across a small bookshop that imported romances from the US. There I discovered authors like Mary Balogh, Johanna Lindsay, our own Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley and many more. And I never looked back.

From Mary Jo:

American CaptainAs I kid, I always loved it when a book had a romance, whether it was a mystery or a historical novel or an adventure tale.  A romance and a happy ending made any story better.  I read and reread romantic historicals like Thomas Costain's The Black Rose and Edison Marshall's American Captain and Yankee Pasha. And Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles–be still, my heart!

Then in college I discovered Georgette Heyer and fell in love again, but Jo Beverley has just done a blog about her, so I'll move along to the first couple of genre historical romances I read.  Or more accurately, tried to read.  One was a loathsome Viking "romance" where the "hero" rapes the heroine, who struggles against him like a cute, helpless kitten until she relaxed and enjoyed it.  And what a woman she was! according to the rapist hero.  Did I mention loathsome?  I quit about two chapters in.  Maybe less. Nothing could redeem that book.

The other early historical romance I recall without fondness was actually a minor work by one of the famous early names in the business.  No rapes in that first chapter, but it was beyond stupid, with a bird brained heroine twittering about how good looking the hero was, how he was without flaw, and he'd be a perfect husband for her.  Perhaps that book got better, but I didn't stick around to find you.

It wasn't until years later, when I was writing traditional Regencies that were too long and too complicated for the genre, that I started reading historical romance.  And by then, I had a much better idea of what authors I might like!

Writing this made me think about those early romantic historicals, so I just ordered an old copy of American Captain.  <G>

Pat:

I’m pretty certain that PRIDE AND PREJUDICE  and JANE EYRE were my first romances, proudly purchased with my allowance money through the Scholastic Library back when I was about nine. But they weren’t written as historical romances and really don’t count, although they influenced my reading and writing for the rest of my life.

KareninaI moved on to Zane Grey and fell in love with the romance of the western, but though they were historical, they weren’t romances unless man and horse counts. Almost all of my other romance reading through my teen and college years was probably contemporary. The Russian classics were romances, perhaps, but they were more tragedy than love story. ANNA KARENINA anyone? I never saw a Georgette Heyer. I was pretty much a literary snob by then, with limited reading time.

Flame flowerBut then I got married, had kids, moved to the country, and wasn’t working. That’s when I discovered paperback romance—through Kathleen Woodiwiss. So in that perspective, THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER was my first historical romance. I loved it. I’d never read books with sex or alpha males but I adored the history, the settings, the drama, even the characterization. Since I’d been reading overwritten passionate Russian soap operas, I didn’t see anything wrong with the purple prose. Once I’d read Woodiwiss, I knew what to do with all the history I’d been researching just for fun!

Nicola:

I don’t remember which book exactly was my first historical romance but like so many of the Wenches I loved reading books that had a romantic thread in them such as Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time and The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff.  It was my grandmother who introduced me to grown up historical romance (along with a lot of other useful things I learned from her such as ballroom dancing, how to grow rhubarb and how to play canasta!) She kept her romance novels locked away in a bedroom cupboard though whether this was because of a lack of space or a desire for no one to know she read them I’m not sure! She had Georgette Heyer in her collection, of course, and also Victoria Holt and Jean Plaidy and Barbara Cartland. The books I remember best though were a set of six in a gold box, one each for the wives of Henry VIII.

After that I discovered Mills & Boon Masquerade historicals and got into trouble for selecting one set in Alice the English Civil War, The King's Shadow, as a school prize. My headmistress most definitely did not approve of romance books! But I scoured the library for them and followed Georgette Heyer with Alice Cheywynd Ley, whose books I still have on my shelf today. The Beau and the Bluestocking is an all time favourite.

What about you? When did you discover historical romance? Which were the first books you read? Come and share your memories with us!  

 

270 thoughts on “Ask A Wench – Our First Historical Romance!”

  1. Some great choices here – but I too love Alice Chetwynd Ley (she introduced me to Horace Walpole via The Clandestine Betrothal),love her Regency Scandal too and Sylvia Thorpe and many others. That Corgi Georgian romance line was great!

    Reply
  2. Some great choices here – but I too love Alice Chetwynd Ley (she introduced me to Horace Walpole via The Clandestine Betrothal),love her Regency Scandal too and Sylvia Thorpe and many others. That Corgi Georgian romance line was great!

    Reply
  3. Some great choices here – but I too love Alice Chetwynd Ley (she introduced me to Horace Walpole via The Clandestine Betrothal),love her Regency Scandal too and Sylvia Thorpe and many others. That Corgi Georgian romance line was great!

    Reply
  4. Some great choices here – but I too love Alice Chetwynd Ley (she introduced me to Horace Walpole via The Clandestine Betrothal),love her Regency Scandal too and Sylvia Thorpe and many others. That Corgi Georgian romance line was great!

    Reply
  5. Some great choices here – but I too love Alice Chetwynd Ley (she introduced me to Horace Walpole via The Clandestine Betrothal),love her Regency Scandal too and Sylvia Thorpe and many others. That Corgi Georgian romance line was great!

    Reply
  6. Oh yes, I remember Strawberry Hill featuring in that story, Alison! I have so many from that Corgi line still on the shelves: Sheila Bishop, Mira Stables… Lovely traditional Regencies!

    Reply
  7. Oh yes, I remember Strawberry Hill featuring in that story, Alison! I have so many from that Corgi line still on the shelves: Sheila Bishop, Mira Stables… Lovely traditional Regencies!

    Reply
  8. Oh yes, I remember Strawberry Hill featuring in that story, Alison! I have so many from that Corgi line still on the shelves: Sheila Bishop, Mira Stables… Lovely traditional Regencies!

    Reply
  9. Oh yes, I remember Strawberry Hill featuring in that story, Alison! I have so many from that Corgi line still on the shelves: Sheila Bishop, Mira Stables… Lovely traditional Regencies!

    Reply
  10. Oh yes, I remember Strawberry Hill featuring in that story, Alison! I have so many from that Corgi line still on the shelves: Sheila Bishop, Mira Stables… Lovely traditional Regencies!

    Reply
  11. Ooh – I’m going to have to look into Catherine Gaskin’s books. There aren’t all that many historical romances with Australian settings!
    I don’t really know where my historical fiction reading ended and my historical romance reading began. I read all those big, epic phonebook-length books for years, and at some point I realised I was reading books with more focus on the romance than the wars.

    Reply
  12. Ooh – I’m going to have to look into Catherine Gaskin’s books. There aren’t all that many historical romances with Australian settings!
    I don’t really know where my historical fiction reading ended and my historical romance reading began. I read all those big, epic phonebook-length books for years, and at some point I realised I was reading books with more focus on the romance than the wars.

    Reply
  13. Ooh – I’m going to have to look into Catherine Gaskin’s books. There aren’t all that many historical romances with Australian settings!
    I don’t really know where my historical fiction reading ended and my historical romance reading began. I read all those big, epic phonebook-length books for years, and at some point I realised I was reading books with more focus on the romance than the wars.

    Reply
  14. Ooh – I’m going to have to look into Catherine Gaskin’s books. There aren’t all that many historical romances with Australian settings!
    I don’t really know where my historical fiction reading ended and my historical romance reading began. I read all those big, epic phonebook-length books for years, and at some point I realised I was reading books with more focus on the romance than the wars.

    Reply
  15. Ooh – I’m going to have to look into Catherine Gaskin’s books. There aren’t all that many historical romances with Australian settings!
    I don’t really know where my historical fiction reading ended and my historical romance reading began. I read all those big, epic phonebook-length books for years, and at some point I realised I was reading books with more focus on the romance than the wars.

    Reply
  16. Oh I agree – I love love love Red Adams Lady. I’ve held on to that book for years and re-read it from time to time. At some point in time I found the Lucy Walkers (when I was living in Tuscaloosa Alabama I think) and read all of them. True they weren’t historical but they felt like it because to me Australia was so far away.
    D.E. Stevenson – same thing. Especially all the ones set before WW II.
    Elswyth Thane – the series that goes from before the American Revolution through WW II.
    Madeleine Brent and M.M. Kaye – loved them.
    In High School and college (35 years ago) I belonged to a book club that sent out Regencies mostly but some Edwardian books. I think there were 4 or 6 each month. Margaret Sebastion, Mira Staples, Mary Jo Putney, etc, etc. I also loved Catherine Coulter and Joan Wolf when they wrote Regencies. Laura Matthews.
    And of course all the Georgette Heyers.
    I never did like the ones with all the rape and violence in them. Ughghghghggh…Once I learned which ones were like that, I avoided them like the plague.

    Reply
  17. Oh I agree – I love love love Red Adams Lady. I’ve held on to that book for years and re-read it from time to time. At some point in time I found the Lucy Walkers (when I was living in Tuscaloosa Alabama I think) and read all of them. True they weren’t historical but they felt like it because to me Australia was so far away.
    D.E. Stevenson – same thing. Especially all the ones set before WW II.
    Elswyth Thane – the series that goes from before the American Revolution through WW II.
    Madeleine Brent and M.M. Kaye – loved them.
    In High School and college (35 years ago) I belonged to a book club that sent out Regencies mostly but some Edwardian books. I think there were 4 or 6 each month. Margaret Sebastion, Mira Staples, Mary Jo Putney, etc, etc. I also loved Catherine Coulter and Joan Wolf when they wrote Regencies. Laura Matthews.
    And of course all the Georgette Heyers.
    I never did like the ones with all the rape and violence in them. Ughghghghggh…Once I learned which ones were like that, I avoided them like the plague.

    Reply
  18. Oh I agree – I love love love Red Adams Lady. I’ve held on to that book for years and re-read it from time to time. At some point in time I found the Lucy Walkers (when I was living in Tuscaloosa Alabama I think) and read all of them. True they weren’t historical but they felt like it because to me Australia was so far away.
    D.E. Stevenson – same thing. Especially all the ones set before WW II.
    Elswyth Thane – the series that goes from before the American Revolution through WW II.
    Madeleine Brent and M.M. Kaye – loved them.
    In High School and college (35 years ago) I belonged to a book club that sent out Regencies mostly but some Edwardian books. I think there were 4 or 6 each month. Margaret Sebastion, Mira Staples, Mary Jo Putney, etc, etc. I also loved Catherine Coulter and Joan Wolf when they wrote Regencies. Laura Matthews.
    And of course all the Georgette Heyers.
    I never did like the ones with all the rape and violence in them. Ughghghghggh…Once I learned which ones were like that, I avoided them like the plague.

    Reply
  19. Oh I agree – I love love love Red Adams Lady. I’ve held on to that book for years and re-read it from time to time. At some point in time I found the Lucy Walkers (when I was living in Tuscaloosa Alabama I think) and read all of them. True they weren’t historical but they felt like it because to me Australia was so far away.
    D.E. Stevenson – same thing. Especially all the ones set before WW II.
    Elswyth Thane – the series that goes from before the American Revolution through WW II.
    Madeleine Brent and M.M. Kaye – loved them.
    In High School and college (35 years ago) I belonged to a book club that sent out Regencies mostly but some Edwardian books. I think there were 4 or 6 each month. Margaret Sebastion, Mira Staples, Mary Jo Putney, etc, etc. I also loved Catherine Coulter and Joan Wolf when they wrote Regencies. Laura Matthews.
    And of course all the Georgette Heyers.
    I never did like the ones with all the rape and violence in them. Ughghghghggh…Once I learned which ones were like that, I avoided them like the plague.

    Reply
  20. Oh I agree – I love love love Red Adams Lady. I’ve held on to that book for years and re-read it from time to time. At some point in time I found the Lucy Walkers (when I was living in Tuscaloosa Alabama I think) and read all of them. True they weren’t historical but they felt like it because to me Australia was so far away.
    D.E. Stevenson – same thing. Especially all the ones set before WW II.
    Elswyth Thane – the series that goes from before the American Revolution through WW II.
    Madeleine Brent and M.M. Kaye – loved them.
    In High School and college (35 years ago) I belonged to a book club that sent out Regencies mostly but some Edwardian books. I think there were 4 or 6 each month. Margaret Sebastion, Mira Staples, Mary Jo Putney, etc, etc. I also loved Catherine Coulter and Joan Wolf when they wrote Regencies. Laura Matthews.
    And of course all the Georgette Heyers.
    I never did like the ones with all the rape and violence in them. Ughghghghggh…Once I learned which ones were like that, I avoided them like the plague.

    Reply
  21. Nicola, your granny obviously ROCKED!
    Reading my fellow Wenches comments reminds me of so many other authors I loved: Catherine Gaskin in any of her books (I KNOW MY LOVE is another with an Australian setting.) All the Madeline Brents. The Victoria Holts, and numerous other Gothic writers. So many others….

    Reply
  22. Nicola, your granny obviously ROCKED!
    Reading my fellow Wenches comments reminds me of so many other authors I loved: Catherine Gaskin in any of her books (I KNOW MY LOVE is another with an Australian setting.) All the Madeline Brents. The Victoria Holts, and numerous other Gothic writers. So many others….

    Reply
  23. Nicola, your granny obviously ROCKED!
    Reading my fellow Wenches comments reminds me of so many other authors I loved: Catherine Gaskin in any of her books (I KNOW MY LOVE is another with an Australian setting.) All the Madeline Brents. The Victoria Holts, and numerous other Gothic writers. So many others….

    Reply
  24. Nicola, your granny obviously ROCKED!
    Reading my fellow Wenches comments reminds me of so many other authors I loved: Catherine Gaskin in any of her books (I KNOW MY LOVE is another with an Australian setting.) All the Madeline Brents. The Victoria Holts, and numerous other Gothic writers. So many others….

    Reply
  25. Nicola, your granny obviously ROCKED!
    Reading my fellow Wenches comments reminds me of so many other authors I loved: Catherine Gaskin in any of her books (I KNOW MY LOVE is another with an Australian setting.) All the Madeline Brents. The Victoria Holts, and numerous other Gothic writers. So many others….

    Reply
  26. If we’re not counting Austen or the Brontes, the very first historical romance (fiction?) I read was Gwen Bristow’s Celia Garth. It was my mother’s book and I fell in love with the picture of Celia on the dust jacket. I still have that book and re-read it occasionally.
    That was the first and only of the genre until seven or eight years ago when one of my Phantom of the Opera friends *made* me read Balogh’s The Secret Pearl for the obvious Phantom tie-in. I’ve never looked back and I am completely hooked!
    P. S. YEA, Jo!! I love The Scarlet Pimpernel, both the book and the movie with Anthony Andrews.

    Reply
  27. If we’re not counting Austen or the Brontes, the very first historical romance (fiction?) I read was Gwen Bristow’s Celia Garth. It was my mother’s book and I fell in love with the picture of Celia on the dust jacket. I still have that book and re-read it occasionally.
    That was the first and only of the genre until seven or eight years ago when one of my Phantom of the Opera friends *made* me read Balogh’s The Secret Pearl for the obvious Phantom tie-in. I’ve never looked back and I am completely hooked!
    P. S. YEA, Jo!! I love The Scarlet Pimpernel, both the book and the movie with Anthony Andrews.

    Reply
  28. If we’re not counting Austen or the Brontes, the very first historical romance (fiction?) I read was Gwen Bristow’s Celia Garth. It was my mother’s book and I fell in love with the picture of Celia on the dust jacket. I still have that book and re-read it occasionally.
    That was the first and only of the genre until seven or eight years ago when one of my Phantom of the Opera friends *made* me read Balogh’s The Secret Pearl for the obvious Phantom tie-in. I’ve never looked back and I am completely hooked!
    P. S. YEA, Jo!! I love The Scarlet Pimpernel, both the book and the movie with Anthony Andrews.

    Reply
  29. If we’re not counting Austen or the Brontes, the very first historical romance (fiction?) I read was Gwen Bristow’s Celia Garth. It was my mother’s book and I fell in love with the picture of Celia on the dust jacket. I still have that book and re-read it occasionally.
    That was the first and only of the genre until seven or eight years ago when one of my Phantom of the Opera friends *made* me read Balogh’s The Secret Pearl for the obvious Phantom tie-in. I’ve never looked back and I am completely hooked!
    P. S. YEA, Jo!! I love The Scarlet Pimpernel, both the book and the movie with Anthony Andrews.

    Reply
  30. If we’re not counting Austen or the Brontes, the very first historical romance (fiction?) I read was Gwen Bristow’s Celia Garth. It was my mother’s book and I fell in love with the picture of Celia on the dust jacket. I still have that book and re-read it occasionally.
    That was the first and only of the genre until seven or eight years ago when one of my Phantom of the Opera friends *made* me read Balogh’s The Secret Pearl for the obvious Phantom tie-in. I’ve never looked back and I am completely hooked!
    P. S. YEA, Jo!! I love The Scarlet Pimpernel, both the book and the movie with Anthony Andrews.

    Reply
  31. Joanna the Angelique books I had forgotten about them !I remember scouring the scond hand book shops for them !In my teens all my books came from the secondhand shop or the library!
    I think my first historical romance must be the Scarlet Pimpernel I read it when I was home from school with the flu and remember not being able to put it down despite having a crushing headache!I progressed from there to Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe and The Talisman ) then I found Barbara Cartland and best of all Georgette Heyer.In between I read anything I could get my hands on that invovled horses swords and women in long skirts !!- My reading tastes haven’t changed much !

    Reply
  32. Joanna the Angelique books I had forgotten about them !I remember scouring the scond hand book shops for them !In my teens all my books came from the secondhand shop or the library!
    I think my first historical romance must be the Scarlet Pimpernel I read it when I was home from school with the flu and remember not being able to put it down despite having a crushing headache!I progressed from there to Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe and The Talisman ) then I found Barbara Cartland and best of all Georgette Heyer.In between I read anything I could get my hands on that invovled horses swords and women in long skirts !!- My reading tastes haven’t changed much !

    Reply
  33. Joanna the Angelique books I had forgotten about them !I remember scouring the scond hand book shops for them !In my teens all my books came from the secondhand shop or the library!
    I think my first historical romance must be the Scarlet Pimpernel I read it when I was home from school with the flu and remember not being able to put it down despite having a crushing headache!I progressed from there to Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe and The Talisman ) then I found Barbara Cartland and best of all Georgette Heyer.In between I read anything I could get my hands on that invovled horses swords and women in long skirts !!- My reading tastes haven’t changed much !

    Reply
  34. Joanna the Angelique books I had forgotten about them !I remember scouring the scond hand book shops for them !In my teens all my books came from the secondhand shop or the library!
    I think my first historical romance must be the Scarlet Pimpernel I read it when I was home from school with the flu and remember not being able to put it down despite having a crushing headache!I progressed from there to Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe and The Talisman ) then I found Barbara Cartland and best of all Georgette Heyer.In between I read anything I could get my hands on that invovled horses swords and women in long skirts !!- My reading tastes haven’t changed much !

    Reply
  35. Joanna the Angelique books I had forgotten about them !I remember scouring the scond hand book shops for them !In my teens all my books came from the secondhand shop or the library!
    I think my first historical romance must be the Scarlet Pimpernel I read it when I was home from school with the flu and remember not being able to put it down despite having a crushing headache!I progressed from there to Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe and The Talisman ) then I found Barbara Cartland and best of all Georgette Heyer.In between I read anything I could get my hands on that invovled horses swords and women in long skirts !!- My reading tastes haven’t changed much !

    Reply
  36. I’d forgotten Angelique, and Marianne as well. And I loved Sir Walter Scott. I simply loved historicals from a very early age, and SF next. The mundane world has always come low down on my list, which is probably why I live in imaginary ones as a writer!

    Reply
  37. I’d forgotten Angelique, and Marianne as well. And I loved Sir Walter Scott. I simply loved historicals from a very early age, and SF next. The mundane world has always come low down on my list, which is probably why I live in imaginary ones as a writer!

    Reply
  38. I’d forgotten Angelique, and Marianne as well. And I loved Sir Walter Scott. I simply loved historicals from a very early age, and SF next. The mundane world has always come low down on my list, which is probably why I live in imaginary ones as a writer!

    Reply
  39. I’d forgotten Angelique, and Marianne as well. And I loved Sir Walter Scott. I simply loved historicals from a very early age, and SF next. The mundane world has always come low down on my list, which is probably why I live in imaginary ones as a writer!

    Reply
  40. I’d forgotten Angelique, and Marianne as well. And I loved Sir Walter Scott. I simply loved historicals from a very early age, and SF next. The mundane world has always come low down on my list, which is probably why I live in imaginary ones as a writer!

    Reply
  41. I think I still have my copy of Red Adam’s Lady! A favorite of mine. Notorious Angel was another (written by Jennifer Blake as Patricia Maxwell, when I bought it anyway…). Woodiwiss–a total fave. Flame and the Flower had me reading it through til 3 a.m. I have Wolf and the Dove in every possible format (hardcover, paperback and e-book)! My absolute first was a Heyer, Masqueraders, I think.

    Reply
  42. I think I still have my copy of Red Adam’s Lady! A favorite of mine. Notorious Angel was another (written by Jennifer Blake as Patricia Maxwell, when I bought it anyway…). Woodiwiss–a total fave. Flame and the Flower had me reading it through til 3 a.m. I have Wolf and the Dove in every possible format (hardcover, paperback and e-book)! My absolute first was a Heyer, Masqueraders, I think.

    Reply
  43. I think I still have my copy of Red Adam’s Lady! A favorite of mine. Notorious Angel was another (written by Jennifer Blake as Patricia Maxwell, when I bought it anyway…). Woodiwiss–a total fave. Flame and the Flower had me reading it through til 3 a.m. I have Wolf and the Dove in every possible format (hardcover, paperback and e-book)! My absolute first was a Heyer, Masqueraders, I think.

    Reply
  44. I think I still have my copy of Red Adam’s Lady! A favorite of mine. Notorious Angel was another (written by Jennifer Blake as Patricia Maxwell, when I bought it anyway…). Woodiwiss–a total fave. Flame and the Flower had me reading it through til 3 a.m. I have Wolf and the Dove in every possible format (hardcover, paperback and e-book)! My absolute first was a Heyer, Masqueraders, I think.

    Reply
  45. I think I still have my copy of Red Adam’s Lady! A favorite of mine. Notorious Angel was another (written by Jennifer Blake as Patricia Maxwell, when I bought it anyway…). Woodiwiss–a total fave. Flame and the Flower had me reading it through til 3 a.m. I have Wolf and the Dove in every possible format (hardcover, paperback and e-book)! My absolute first was a Heyer, Masqueraders, I think.

    Reply
  46. Look at all those books! For me it was by accident. I was a Sophomore in high school and had to pick a book to read and summarize for English class. It was super hilarious that I picked up a Stephanie Laurens book. A Cynster series book: What Price Love?
    It was a super fabulous book and I had a great time summarizing it for my male English teacher. LOL
    Of course the next books I picked up were the rest of the books in the series but Julia Quinn came next with her, Ten Things I Love About You, and Eloise James’s Duchess By Night and Shana Galen’s Lord and Lady Spy, then Ashley March and Madeline Hunter, Julie Anne Long, Sarah MacLean, Christina Dodd…. Yup down the line it goes!
    But the very first romance I read (and summarized for my English class, accidentally again) was Barbara Delinsky’s Twilight Whisper.

    Reply
  47. Look at all those books! For me it was by accident. I was a Sophomore in high school and had to pick a book to read and summarize for English class. It was super hilarious that I picked up a Stephanie Laurens book. A Cynster series book: What Price Love?
    It was a super fabulous book and I had a great time summarizing it for my male English teacher. LOL
    Of course the next books I picked up were the rest of the books in the series but Julia Quinn came next with her, Ten Things I Love About You, and Eloise James’s Duchess By Night and Shana Galen’s Lord and Lady Spy, then Ashley March and Madeline Hunter, Julie Anne Long, Sarah MacLean, Christina Dodd…. Yup down the line it goes!
    But the very first romance I read (and summarized for my English class, accidentally again) was Barbara Delinsky’s Twilight Whisper.

    Reply
  48. Look at all those books! For me it was by accident. I was a Sophomore in high school and had to pick a book to read and summarize for English class. It was super hilarious that I picked up a Stephanie Laurens book. A Cynster series book: What Price Love?
    It was a super fabulous book and I had a great time summarizing it for my male English teacher. LOL
    Of course the next books I picked up were the rest of the books in the series but Julia Quinn came next with her, Ten Things I Love About You, and Eloise James’s Duchess By Night and Shana Galen’s Lord and Lady Spy, then Ashley March and Madeline Hunter, Julie Anne Long, Sarah MacLean, Christina Dodd…. Yup down the line it goes!
    But the very first romance I read (and summarized for my English class, accidentally again) was Barbara Delinsky’s Twilight Whisper.

    Reply
  49. Look at all those books! For me it was by accident. I was a Sophomore in high school and had to pick a book to read and summarize for English class. It was super hilarious that I picked up a Stephanie Laurens book. A Cynster series book: What Price Love?
    It was a super fabulous book and I had a great time summarizing it for my male English teacher. LOL
    Of course the next books I picked up were the rest of the books in the series but Julia Quinn came next with her, Ten Things I Love About You, and Eloise James’s Duchess By Night and Shana Galen’s Lord and Lady Spy, then Ashley March and Madeline Hunter, Julie Anne Long, Sarah MacLean, Christina Dodd…. Yup down the line it goes!
    But the very first romance I read (and summarized for my English class, accidentally again) was Barbara Delinsky’s Twilight Whisper.

    Reply
  50. Look at all those books! For me it was by accident. I was a Sophomore in high school and had to pick a book to read and summarize for English class. It was super hilarious that I picked up a Stephanie Laurens book. A Cynster series book: What Price Love?
    It was a super fabulous book and I had a great time summarizing it for my male English teacher. LOL
    Of course the next books I picked up were the rest of the books in the series but Julia Quinn came next with her, Ten Things I Love About You, and Eloise James’s Duchess By Night and Shana Galen’s Lord and Lady Spy, then Ashley March and Madeline Hunter, Julie Anne Long, Sarah MacLean, Christina Dodd…. Yup down the line it goes!
    But the very first romance I read (and summarized for my English class, accidentally again) was Barbara Delinsky’s Twilight Whisper.

    Reply
  51. As a kid I was curious and would try anything, but my favorites were horse and dog stories, for the love between the animal and his human; they were never lonely when they were together. Then I discovered astronomy and I wanted to learn all I could about that (which wasn’t much then), and from then to science fiction. I loved the discovery and adventure and the wide open possibilities of science fiction, and I still do, but my favorite science fiction stories always had relationships in them — not necessarily love, but friendship, loyalty, affection.
    I think the first book I read that I would class as a romance was Mara, Daughter of the Nile. It had the alien culture (Egypt) and the adventure of science fiction, but it was also a love story. In those days I couldn’t afford to buy a copy (and there was no amazon to make ordering books really easy if you had the money which we didn’t), but I read and reread it – I’d turn it in at the library, wait a day and then check it out again. Which is why I have an ex lib copy on my shelves because it reminds me of me at the beginning.
    As time wore on I read Jane Eyre and Austen and other female 19th century novelists, but I was in school and reading them as Literature, not as romances. It wasn’t until a friend loaned me some 1970s gothics that I read for the spooky parts until I realized that the romance meant just as much for me. I found Heyer and Tolkien (lots of romance in Tolkien!) in a grocer’s spinner rack. Remington Steele started its run, so I had a visual for many of the heroes. Then I found the Signets (I was attracted by the higher literary quality of that line) and the Fawcetts (light comedy) and the Zebras (a mixed bag) and on and on. They were an escape mostly; I wouldn’t deny that — but a needed one. I was working hard and progress was slow, but half an hour at lunch with Heyer or Balogh or Metzger was always refreshing. Still is.

    Reply
  52. As a kid I was curious and would try anything, but my favorites were horse and dog stories, for the love between the animal and his human; they were never lonely when they were together. Then I discovered astronomy and I wanted to learn all I could about that (which wasn’t much then), and from then to science fiction. I loved the discovery and adventure and the wide open possibilities of science fiction, and I still do, but my favorite science fiction stories always had relationships in them — not necessarily love, but friendship, loyalty, affection.
    I think the first book I read that I would class as a romance was Mara, Daughter of the Nile. It had the alien culture (Egypt) and the adventure of science fiction, but it was also a love story. In those days I couldn’t afford to buy a copy (and there was no amazon to make ordering books really easy if you had the money which we didn’t), but I read and reread it – I’d turn it in at the library, wait a day and then check it out again. Which is why I have an ex lib copy on my shelves because it reminds me of me at the beginning.
    As time wore on I read Jane Eyre and Austen and other female 19th century novelists, but I was in school and reading them as Literature, not as romances. It wasn’t until a friend loaned me some 1970s gothics that I read for the spooky parts until I realized that the romance meant just as much for me. I found Heyer and Tolkien (lots of romance in Tolkien!) in a grocer’s spinner rack. Remington Steele started its run, so I had a visual for many of the heroes. Then I found the Signets (I was attracted by the higher literary quality of that line) and the Fawcetts (light comedy) and the Zebras (a mixed bag) and on and on. They were an escape mostly; I wouldn’t deny that — but a needed one. I was working hard and progress was slow, but half an hour at lunch with Heyer or Balogh or Metzger was always refreshing. Still is.

    Reply
  53. As a kid I was curious and would try anything, but my favorites were horse and dog stories, for the love between the animal and his human; they were never lonely when they were together. Then I discovered astronomy and I wanted to learn all I could about that (which wasn’t much then), and from then to science fiction. I loved the discovery and adventure and the wide open possibilities of science fiction, and I still do, but my favorite science fiction stories always had relationships in them — not necessarily love, but friendship, loyalty, affection.
    I think the first book I read that I would class as a romance was Mara, Daughter of the Nile. It had the alien culture (Egypt) and the adventure of science fiction, but it was also a love story. In those days I couldn’t afford to buy a copy (and there was no amazon to make ordering books really easy if you had the money which we didn’t), but I read and reread it – I’d turn it in at the library, wait a day and then check it out again. Which is why I have an ex lib copy on my shelves because it reminds me of me at the beginning.
    As time wore on I read Jane Eyre and Austen and other female 19th century novelists, but I was in school and reading them as Literature, not as romances. It wasn’t until a friend loaned me some 1970s gothics that I read for the spooky parts until I realized that the romance meant just as much for me. I found Heyer and Tolkien (lots of romance in Tolkien!) in a grocer’s spinner rack. Remington Steele started its run, so I had a visual for many of the heroes. Then I found the Signets (I was attracted by the higher literary quality of that line) and the Fawcetts (light comedy) and the Zebras (a mixed bag) and on and on. They were an escape mostly; I wouldn’t deny that — but a needed one. I was working hard and progress was slow, but half an hour at lunch with Heyer or Balogh or Metzger was always refreshing. Still is.

    Reply
  54. As a kid I was curious and would try anything, but my favorites were horse and dog stories, for the love between the animal and his human; they were never lonely when they were together. Then I discovered astronomy and I wanted to learn all I could about that (which wasn’t much then), and from then to science fiction. I loved the discovery and adventure and the wide open possibilities of science fiction, and I still do, but my favorite science fiction stories always had relationships in them — not necessarily love, but friendship, loyalty, affection.
    I think the first book I read that I would class as a romance was Mara, Daughter of the Nile. It had the alien culture (Egypt) and the adventure of science fiction, but it was also a love story. In those days I couldn’t afford to buy a copy (and there was no amazon to make ordering books really easy if you had the money which we didn’t), but I read and reread it – I’d turn it in at the library, wait a day and then check it out again. Which is why I have an ex lib copy on my shelves because it reminds me of me at the beginning.
    As time wore on I read Jane Eyre and Austen and other female 19th century novelists, but I was in school and reading them as Literature, not as romances. It wasn’t until a friend loaned me some 1970s gothics that I read for the spooky parts until I realized that the romance meant just as much for me. I found Heyer and Tolkien (lots of romance in Tolkien!) in a grocer’s spinner rack. Remington Steele started its run, so I had a visual for many of the heroes. Then I found the Signets (I was attracted by the higher literary quality of that line) and the Fawcetts (light comedy) and the Zebras (a mixed bag) and on and on. They were an escape mostly; I wouldn’t deny that — but a needed one. I was working hard and progress was slow, but half an hour at lunch with Heyer or Balogh or Metzger was always refreshing. Still is.

    Reply
  55. As a kid I was curious and would try anything, but my favorites were horse and dog stories, for the love between the animal and his human; they were never lonely when they were together. Then I discovered astronomy and I wanted to learn all I could about that (which wasn’t much then), and from then to science fiction. I loved the discovery and adventure and the wide open possibilities of science fiction, and I still do, but my favorite science fiction stories always had relationships in them — not necessarily love, but friendship, loyalty, affection.
    I think the first book I read that I would class as a romance was Mara, Daughter of the Nile. It had the alien culture (Egypt) and the adventure of science fiction, but it was also a love story. In those days I couldn’t afford to buy a copy (and there was no amazon to make ordering books really easy if you had the money which we didn’t), but I read and reread it – I’d turn it in at the library, wait a day and then check it out again. Which is why I have an ex lib copy on my shelves because it reminds me of me at the beginning.
    As time wore on I read Jane Eyre and Austen and other female 19th century novelists, but I was in school and reading them as Literature, not as romances. It wasn’t until a friend loaned me some 1970s gothics that I read for the spooky parts until I realized that the romance meant just as much for me. I found Heyer and Tolkien (lots of romance in Tolkien!) in a grocer’s spinner rack. Remington Steele started its run, so I had a visual for many of the heroes. Then I found the Signets (I was attracted by the higher literary quality of that line) and the Fawcetts (light comedy) and the Zebras (a mixed bag) and on and on. They were an escape mostly; I wouldn’t deny that — but a needed one. I was working hard and progress was slow, but half an hour at lunch with Heyer or Balogh or Metzger was always refreshing. Still is.

    Reply
  56. My parents got the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I remember eagerly devouring every Victoria Holt and Catherine Gaskin that they published. (It wasn’t romance, but I also loved the Mrs. ‘arris mysteries.) Our library had a small rack for paperback books. When I exhausted our library’s selection of YA by the age of 13, my mom let me read Barbara Cartland, but wasn’t so sure of Boons and Mills. She decided the medical stories weren’t to racy and later on after sampling a selection, let me read any Harlequin. I especially enjoyed the Signet Regency Romances.

    Reply
  57. My parents got the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I remember eagerly devouring every Victoria Holt and Catherine Gaskin that they published. (It wasn’t romance, but I also loved the Mrs. ‘arris mysteries.) Our library had a small rack for paperback books. When I exhausted our library’s selection of YA by the age of 13, my mom let me read Barbara Cartland, but wasn’t so sure of Boons and Mills. She decided the medical stories weren’t to racy and later on after sampling a selection, let me read any Harlequin. I especially enjoyed the Signet Regency Romances.

    Reply
  58. My parents got the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I remember eagerly devouring every Victoria Holt and Catherine Gaskin that they published. (It wasn’t romance, but I also loved the Mrs. ‘arris mysteries.) Our library had a small rack for paperback books. When I exhausted our library’s selection of YA by the age of 13, my mom let me read Barbara Cartland, but wasn’t so sure of Boons and Mills. She decided the medical stories weren’t to racy and later on after sampling a selection, let me read any Harlequin. I especially enjoyed the Signet Regency Romances.

    Reply
  59. My parents got the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I remember eagerly devouring every Victoria Holt and Catherine Gaskin that they published. (It wasn’t romance, but I also loved the Mrs. ‘arris mysteries.) Our library had a small rack for paperback books. When I exhausted our library’s selection of YA by the age of 13, my mom let me read Barbara Cartland, but wasn’t so sure of Boons and Mills. She decided the medical stories weren’t to racy and later on after sampling a selection, let me read any Harlequin. I especially enjoyed the Signet Regency Romances.

    Reply
  60. My parents got the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I remember eagerly devouring every Victoria Holt and Catherine Gaskin that they published. (It wasn’t romance, but I also loved the Mrs. ‘arris mysteries.) Our library had a small rack for paperback books. When I exhausted our library’s selection of YA by the age of 13, my mom let me read Barbara Cartland, but wasn’t so sure of Boons and Mills. She decided the medical stories weren’t to racy and later on after sampling a selection, let me read any Harlequin. I especially enjoyed the Signet Regency Romances.

    Reply
  61. My first historical romance was Roselynde by Roberta Gellis. She is probably still my favorite. I learned a lot of history from her books and they are beautifully written.

    Reply
  62. My first historical romance was Roselynde by Roberta Gellis. She is probably still my favorite. I learned a lot of history from her books and they are beautifully written.

    Reply
  63. My first historical romance was Roselynde by Roberta Gellis. She is probably still my favorite. I learned a lot of history from her books and they are beautifully written.

    Reply
  64. My first historical romance was Roselynde by Roberta Gellis. She is probably still my favorite. I learned a lot of history from her books and they are beautifully written.

    Reply
  65. My first historical romance was Roselynde by Roberta Gellis. She is probably still my favorite. I learned a lot of history from her books and they are beautifully written.

    Reply
  66. This sounds like my own reading history. Even searching the secondhand bookshops sounds so familiar.
    And — yes — I can still sit down and happily read Ivanhoe and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

    Reply
  67. This sounds like my own reading history. Even searching the secondhand bookshops sounds so familiar.
    And — yes — I can still sit down and happily read Ivanhoe and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

    Reply
  68. This sounds like my own reading history. Even searching the secondhand bookshops sounds so familiar.
    And — yes — I can still sit down and happily read Ivanhoe and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

    Reply
  69. This sounds like my own reading history. Even searching the secondhand bookshops sounds so familiar.
    And — yes — I can still sit down and happily read Ivanhoe and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

    Reply
  70. This sounds like my own reading history. Even searching the secondhand bookshops sounds so familiar.
    And — yes — I can still sit down and happily read Ivanhoe and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

    Reply
  71. Y’know — I had entirely forgotten Mara, Daughter of the Nile. I loved that book. Very adventurous and a great love story.

    Reply
  72. Y’know — I had entirely forgotten Mara, Daughter of the Nile. I loved that book. Very adventurous and a great love story.

    Reply
  73. Y’know — I had entirely forgotten Mara, Daughter of the Nile. I loved that book. Very adventurous and a great love story.

    Reply
  74. Y’know — I had entirely forgotten Mara, Daughter of the Nile. I loved that book. Very adventurous and a great love story.

    Reply
  75. Y’know — I had entirely forgotten Mara, Daughter of the Nile. I loved that book. Very adventurous and a great love story.

    Reply
  76. I loved all of the Gellis books. A couple of them are still on my Keeper Shelves — and I have only about fifty books on my Keeper Shelves.
    And yes, I learned a lot of history from those books.

    Reply
  77. I loved all of the Gellis books. A couple of them are still on my Keeper Shelves — and I have only about fifty books on my Keeper Shelves.
    And yes, I learned a lot of history from those books.

    Reply
  78. I loved all of the Gellis books. A couple of them are still on my Keeper Shelves — and I have only about fifty books on my Keeper Shelves.
    And yes, I learned a lot of history from those books.

    Reply
  79. I loved all of the Gellis books. A couple of them are still on my Keeper Shelves — and I have only about fifty books on my Keeper Shelves.
    And yes, I learned a lot of history from those books.

    Reply
  80. I loved all of the Gellis books. A couple of them are still on my Keeper Shelves — and I have only about fifty books on my Keeper Shelves.
    And yes, I learned a lot of history from those books.

    Reply
  81. I’ve always said that my first historical romance was Lisa Kleypas’s Stranger In My Arms, which I picked up haphazardly from the library as a teen due to its pretty cover. But, if we’re strictly talking about any story with a heavy romance element within a historical setting, then it’s probably The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, which I read in Chinese as a kid. I’ve also read many other children’s stories with romance, as well as Jane Austen’s works way before I read a “modern” historical romance.
    Sometimes, I also tell people that A Night Like This by Julia Quinn is my first historical romance, in that it’s book which induced me to really start reading romance novels, regularly and copiously, to eventually become a reviewer of historical romance. So I’ve had a lot of “firsts.”
    Reading this post has given me some great reading suggestions. Thanks for sharing your first historical romance. 🙂

    Reply
  82. I’ve always said that my first historical romance was Lisa Kleypas’s Stranger In My Arms, which I picked up haphazardly from the library as a teen due to its pretty cover. But, if we’re strictly talking about any story with a heavy romance element within a historical setting, then it’s probably The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, which I read in Chinese as a kid. I’ve also read many other children’s stories with romance, as well as Jane Austen’s works way before I read a “modern” historical romance.
    Sometimes, I also tell people that A Night Like This by Julia Quinn is my first historical romance, in that it’s book which induced me to really start reading romance novels, regularly and copiously, to eventually become a reviewer of historical romance. So I’ve had a lot of “firsts.”
    Reading this post has given me some great reading suggestions. Thanks for sharing your first historical romance. 🙂

    Reply
  83. I’ve always said that my first historical romance was Lisa Kleypas’s Stranger In My Arms, which I picked up haphazardly from the library as a teen due to its pretty cover. But, if we’re strictly talking about any story with a heavy romance element within a historical setting, then it’s probably The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, which I read in Chinese as a kid. I’ve also read many other children’s stories with romance, as well as Jane Austen’s works way before I read a “modern” historical romance.
    Sometimes, I also tell people that A Night Like This by Julia Quinn is my first historical romance, in that it’s book which induced me to really start reading romance novels, regularly and copiously, to eventually become a reviewer of historical romance. So I’ve had a lot of “firsts.”
    Reading this post has given me some great reading suggestions. Thanks for sharing your first historical romance. 🙂

    Reply
  84. I’ve always said that my first historical romance was Lisa Kleypas’s Stranger In My Arms, which I picked up haphazardly from the library as a teen due to its pretty cover. But, if we’re strictly talking about any story with a heavy romance element within a historical setting, then it’s probably The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, which I read in Chinese as a kid. I’ve also read many other children’s stories with romance, as well as Jane Austen’s works way before I read a “modern” historical romance.
    Sometimes, I also tell people that A Night Like This by Julia Quinn is my first historical romance, in that it’s book which induced me to really start reading romance novels, regularly and copiously, to eventually become a reviewer of historical romance. So I’ve had a lot of “firsts.”
    Reading this post has given me some great reading suggestions. Thanks for sharing your first historical romance. 🙂

    Reply
  85. I’ve always said that my first historical romance was Lisa Kleypas’s Stranger In My Arms, which I picked up haphazardly from the library as a teen due to its pretty cover. But, if we’re strictly talking about any story with a heavy romance element within a historical setting, then it’s probably The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge, which I read in Chinese as a kid. I’ve also read many other children’s stories with romance, as well as Jane Austen’s works way before I read a “modern” historical romance.
    Sometimes, I also tell people that A Night Like This by Julia Quinn is my first historical romance, in that it’s book which induced me to really start reading romance novels, regularly and copiously, to eventually become a reviewer of historical romance. So I’ve had a lot of “firsts.”
    Reading this post has given me some great reading suggestions. Thanks for sharing your first historical romance. 🙂

    Reply
  86. Loved hearing how you all first found your way to historical romance.
    Honestly, I can’t remember my first historical romance. I read a lot of scifi that around the age of 11 or so, purely for the adventure but also hoping somewhere in the pages I could find some romance, too. Eventually all the science-y stuff began to bore me, and I realized outside of Star Wars there weren’t that many ‘science fiction heroine saves the day’ stories floating around. This was early nineties, and either I was going to the wrong book stores at that age, or am correctly remembering SciFi was still largely the bastion of the major Male Writers: Heinlan, Ben Bova, Asimov, etc. I did read Mars from Ben Bova, and kept hoping the plucky marine biologist would fall for the hero. She didn’t. Or at least there was no kissing described, which was equally disappointing.
    This led me to start reading fantasy. Marion Zimmer Bradley (which maybe we could call historical romance? if we’re bending the definition), etc, which I read for a really, really long time. And then finally, if found Nora Roberts, which somehow gave me the gumption to start reading all those historical romance books with the embarrassing covers. SO HAPPY that happened! The book covers were rarely indicative of the content, there were interesting people with complex motives described within and usually lots of kissing (which I was usually impatiently waiting for anyway, in other genres), and anyhow, I never looked back.

    Reply
  87. Loved hearing how you all first found your way to historical romance.
    Honestly, I can’t remember my first historical romance. I read a lot of scifi that around the age of 11 or so, purely for the adventure but also hoping somewhere in the pages I could find some romance, too. Eventually all the science-y stuff began to bore me, and I realized outside of Star Wars there weren’t that many ‘science fiction heroine saves the day’ stories floating around. This was early nineties, and either I was going to the wrong book stores at that age, or am correctly remembering SciFi was still largely the bastion of the major Male Writers: Heinlan, Ben Bova, Asimov, etc. I did read Mars from Ben Bova, and kept hoping the plucky marine biologist would fall for the hero. She didn’t. Or at least there was no kissing described, which was equally disappointing.
    This led me to start reading fantasy. Marion Zimmer Bradley (which maybe we could call historical romance? if we’re bending the definition), etc, which I read for a really, really long time. And then finally, if found Nora Roberts, which somehow gave me the gumption to start reading all those historical romance books with the embarrassing covers. SO HAPPY that happened! The book covers were rarely indicative of the content, there were interesting people with complex motives described within and usually lots of kissing (which I was usually impatiently waiting for anyway, in other genres), and anyhow, I never looked back.

    Reply
  88. Loved hearing how you all first found your way to historical romance.
    Honestly, I can’t remember my first historical romance. I read a lot of scifi that around the age of 11 or so, purely for the adventure but also hoping somewhere in the pages I could find some romance, too. Eventually all the science-y stuff began to bore me, and I realized outside of Star Wars there weren’t that many ‘science fiction heroine saves the day’ stories floating around. This was early nineties, and either I was going to the wrong book stores at that age, or am correctly remembering SciFi was still largely the bastion of the major Male Writers: Heinlan, Ben Bova, Asimov, etc. I did read Mars from Ben Bova, and kept hoping the plucky marine biologist would fall for the hero. She didn’t. Or at least there was no kissing described, which was equally disappointing.
    This led me to start reading fantasy. Marion Zimmer Bradley (which maybe we could call historical romance? if we’re bending the definition), etc, which I read for a really, really long time. And then finally, if found Nora Roberts, which somehow gave me the gumption to start reading all those historical romance books with the embarrassing covers. SO HAPPY that happened! The book covers were rarely indicative of the content, there were interesting people with complex motives described within and usually lots of kissing (which I was usually impatiently waiting for anyway, in other genres), and anyhow, I never looked back.

    Reply
  89. Loved hearing how you all first found your way to historical romance.
    Honestly, I can’t remember my first historical romance. I read a lot of scifi that around the age of 11 or so, purely for the adventure but also hoping somewhere in the pages I could find some romance, too. Eventually all the science-y stuff began to bore me, and I realized outside of Star Wars there weren’t that many ‘science fiction heroine saves the day’ stories floating around. This was early nineties, and either I was going to the wrong book stores at that age, or am correctly remembering SciFi was still largely the bastion of the major Male Writers: Heinlan, Ben Bova, Asimov, etc. I did read Mars from Ben Bova, and kept hoping the plucky marine biologist would fall for the hero. She didn’t. Or at least there was no kissing described, which was equally disappointing.
    This led me to start reading fantasy. Marion Zimmer Bradley (which maybe we could call historical romance? if we’re bending the definition), etc, which I read for a really, really long time. And then finally, if found Nora Roberts, which somehow gave me the gumption to start reading all those historical romance books with the embarrassing covers. SO HAPPY that happened! The book covers were rarely indicative of the content, there were interesting people with complex motives described within and usually lots of kissing (which I was usually impatiently waiting for anyway, in other genres), and anyhow, I never looked back.

    Reply
  90. Loved hearing how you all first found your way to historical romance.
    Honestly, I can’t remember my first historical romance. I read a lot of scifi that around the age of 11 or so, purely for the adventure but also hoping somewhere in the pages I could find some romance, too. Eventually all the science-y stuff began to bore me, and I realized outside of Star Wars there weren’t that many ‘science fiction heroine saves the day’ stories floating around. This was early nineties, and either I was going to the wrong book stores at that age, or am correctly remembering SciFi was still largely the bastion of the major Male Writers: Heinlan, Ben Bova, Asimov, etc. I did read Mars from Ben Bova, and kept hoping the plucky marine biologist would fall for the hero. She didn’t. Or at least there was no kissing described, which was equally disappointing.
    This led me to start reading fantasy. Marion Zimmer Bradley (which maybe we could call historical romance? if we’re bending the definition), etc, which I read for a really, really long time. And then finally, if found Nora Roberts, which somehow gave me the gumption to start reading all those historical romance books with the embarrassing covers. SO HAPPY that happened! The book covers were rarely indicative of the content, there were interesting people with complex motives described within and usually lots of kissing (which I was usually impatiently waiting for anyway, in other genres), and anyhow, I never looked back.

    Reply
  91. Also, Mary Jo: I also read a ‘Viking’ novel some years ago, that I also found really rough to get through. The book I read was not a ‘historical romance’, it was supposed to be more straight up historical. It was a YA, and I was growing beyond the YA age bracket at that time, but I found a lot of really thoughtful, compelling pieces were being published under the YA category in the mid and late 90s (I think YA publishing is now a very different place?). The Viking piece I read was about a young Irish woman who was captured as the slave of a Viking lord. And she was stuck on the Viking lord’s boat for the duration of the novel. I feel like rape happened repeatedly to the heroine, and she didn’t love the Viking lord, but somehow she dealt with it anyway, and a weird sort of relationship forms. It was a bit Stockholm Syndrome, if I’m remembering it right, which was uncomfortable/depressing. And at the end of the of the tale she gets taken back to the Viking Lord’s homeland as his slave/mistress. And the reader sees her fate in the epilogue: she describes giving birth to his child, and for some reason the child is born free, but she dies a slave, never again seeing her homeland.
    It was incredibly well researched (I don’t remember the name of the author or the title), but also incredibly depressing. Particularly because I’d grown up wanting to read books about women who saved themselves, and the heroine tries to escape more than once in the book but failed repeatedly, and in the end accepts her servitude. Around the same time I’d also read a YA book about a girl who got the plague (called The Dark Light by Mette Newth, also a beautifully written, very SAD tale, translated from Norwegian into English), and so reading the two back to back was a lot to take. I haven’t read YA in years, but I suspect it’s a very different landscape now (or at least what you find pushed on the shelves is!)

    Reply
  92. Also, Mary Jo: I also read a ‘Viking’ novel some years ago, that I also found really rough to get through. The book I read was not a ‘historical romance’, it was supposed to be more straight up historical. It was a YA, and I was growing beyond the YA age bracket at that time, but I found a lot of really thoughtful, compelling pieces were being published under the YA category in the mid and late 90s (I think YA publishing is now a very different place?). The Viking piece I read was about a young Irish woman who was captured as the slave of a Viking lord. And she was stuck on the Viking lord’s boat for the duration of the novel. I feel like rape happened repeatedly to the heroine, and she didn’t love the Viking lord, but somehow she dealt with it anyway, and a weird sort of relationship forms. It was a bit Stockholm Syndrome, if I’m remembering it right, which was uncomfortable/depressing. And at the end of the of the tale she gets taken back to the Viking Lord’s homeland as his slave/mistress. And the reader sees her fate in the epilogue: she describes giving birth to his child, and for some reason the child is born free, but she dies a slave, never again seeing her homeland.
    It was incredibly well researched (I don’t remember the name of the author or the title), but also incredibly depressing. Particularly because I’d grown up wanting to read books about women who saved themselves, and the heroine tries to escape more than once in the book but failed repeatedly, and in the end accepts her servitude. Around the same time I’d also read a YA book about a girl who got the plague (called The Dark Light by Mette Newth, also a beautifully written, very SAD tale, translated from Norwegian into English), and so reading the two back to back was a lot to take. I haven’t read YA in years, but I suspect it’s a very different landscape now (or at least what you find pushed on the shelves is!)

    Reply
  93. Also, Mary Jo: I also read a ‘Viking’ novel some years ago, that I also found really rough to get through. The book I read was not a ‘historical romance’, it was supposed to be more straight up historical. It was a YA, and I was growing beyond the YA age bracket at that time, but I found a lot of really thoughtful, compelling pieces were being published under the YA category in the mid and late 90s (I think YA publishing is now a very different place?). The Viking piece I read was about a young Irish woman who was captured as the slave of a Viking lord. And she was stuck on the Viking lord’s boat for the duration of the novel. I feel like rape happened repeatedly to the heroine, and she didn’t love the Viking lord, but somehow she dealt with it anyway, and a weird sort of relationship forms. It was a bit Stockholm Syndrome, if I’m remembering it right, which was uncomfortable/depressing. And at the end of the of the tale she gets taken back to the Viking Lord’s homeland as his slave/mistress. And the reader sees her fate in the epilogue: she describes giving birth to his child, and for some reason the child is born free, but she dies a slave, never again seeing her homeland.
    It was incredibly well researched (I don’t remember the name of the author or the title), but also incredibly depressing. Particularly because I’d grown up wanting to read books about women who saved themselves, and the heroine tries to escape more than once in the book but failed repeatedly, and in the end accepts her servitude. Around the same time I’d also read a YA book about a girl who got the plague (called The Dark Light by Mette Newth, also a beautifully written, very SAD tale, translated from Norwegian into English), and so reading the two back to back was a lot to take. I haven’t read YA in years, but I suspect it’s a very different landscape now (or at least what you find pushed on the shelves is!)

    Reply
  94. Also, Mary Jo: I also read a ‘Viking’ novel some years ago, that I also found really rough to get through. The book I read was not a ‘historical romance’, it was supposed to be more straight up historical. It was a YA, and I was growing beyond the YA age bracket at that time, but I found a lot of really thoughtful, compelling pieces were being published under the YA category in the mid and late 90s (I think YA publishing is now a very different place?). The Viking piece I read was about a young Irish woman who was captured as the slave of a Viking lord. And she was stuck on the Viking lord’s boat for the duration of the novel. I feel like rape happened repeatedly to the heroine, and she didn’t love the Viking lord, but somehow she dealt with it anyway, and a weird sort of relationship forms. It was a bit Stockholm Syndrome, if I’m remembering it right, which was uncomfortable/depressing. And at the end of the of the tale she gets taken back to the Viking Lord’s homeland as his slave/mistress. And the reader sees her fate in the epilogue: she describes giving birth to his child, and for some reason the child is born free, but she dies a slave, never again seeing her homeland.
    It was incredibly well researched (I don’t remember the name of the author or the title), but also incredibly depressing. Particularly because I’d grown up wanting to read books about women who saved themselves, and the heroine tries to escape more than once in the book but failed repeatedly, and in the end accepts her servitude. Around the same time I’d also read a YA book about a girl who got the plague (called The Dark Light by Mette Newth, also a beautifully written, very SAD tale, translated from Norwegian into English), and so reading the two back to back was a lot to take. I haven’t read YA in years, but I suspect it’s a very different landscape now (or at least what you find pushed on the shelves is!)

    Reply
  95. Also, Mary Jo: I also read a ‘Viking’ novel some years ago, that I also found really rough to get through. The book I read was not a ‘historical romance’, it was supposed to be more straight up historical. It was a YA, and I was growing beyond the YA age bracket at that time, but I found a lot of really thoughtful, compelling pieces were being published under the YA category in the mid and late 90s (I think YA publishing is now a very different place?). The Viking piece I read was about a young Irish woman who was captured as the slave of a Viking lord. And she was stuck on the Viking lord’s boat for the duration of the novel. I feel like rape happened repeatedly to the heroine, and she didn’t love the Viking lord, but somehow she dealt with it anyway, and a weird sort of relationship forms. It was a bit Stockholm Syndrome, if I’m remembering it right, which was uncomfortable/depressing. And at the end of the of the tale she gets taken back to the Viking Lord’s homeland as his slave/mistress. And the reader sees her fate in the epilogue: she describes giving birth to his child, and for some reason the child is born free, but she dies a slave, never again seeing her homeland.
    It was incredibly well researched (I don’t remember the name of the author or the title), but also incredibly depressing. Particularly because I’d grown up wanting to read books about women who saved themselves, and the heroine tries to escape more than once in the book but failed repeatedly, and in the end accepts her servitude. Around the same time I’d also read a YA book about a girl who got the plague (called The Dark Light by Mette Newth, also a beautifully written, very SAD tale, translated from Norwegian into English), and so reading the two back to back was a lot to take. I haven’t read YA in years, but I suspect it’s a very different landscape now (or at least what you find pushed on the shelves is!)

    Reply
  96. I love hearing how we all came to our first historical romances, whether it was by sneakily reading our moms’ books or picking them up out of curiosity in the library or however it worked. Fascinating!

    Reply
  97. I love hearing how we all came to our first historical romances, whether it was by sneakily reading our moms’ books or picking them up out of curiosity in the library or however it worked. Fascinating!

    Reply
  98. I love hearing how we all came to our first historical romances, whether it was by sneakily reading our moms’ books or picking them up out of curiosity in the library or however it worked. Fascinating!

    Reply
  99. I love hearing how we all came to our first historical romances, whether it was by sneakily reading our moms’ books or picking them up out of curiosity in the library or however it worked. Fascinating!

    Reply
  100. I love hearing how we all came to our first historical romances, whether it was by sneakily reading our moms’ books or picking them up out of curiosity in the library or however it worked. Fascinating!

    Reply
  101. I read all of Heinlein and I still have the juvies. Mostly the women he wrote were too on the twee side for me, but he did do one brilliant woman character, Dr. Edith Stone, the mom in The Rolling Stones. Her husband says she doesn’t say much compared to her voluble family but he notices that no big issues ever get settled until she weighs in. She’s also a dedicated physician who stays with her patients, as her husband knows she will, and he accepts her judgment. She made a big impression on me as a kid because there were so few examples of women then who were as devoted to their profession and its standards as they were to their families.

    Reply
  102. I read all of Heinlein and I still have the juvies. Mostly the women he wrote were too on the twee side for me, but he did do one brilliant woman character, Dr. Edith Stone, the mom in The Rolling Stones. Her husband says she doesn’t say much compared to her voluble family but he notices that no big issues ever get settled until she weighs in. She’s also a dedicated physician who stays with her patients, as her husband knows she will, and he accepts her judgment. She made a big impression on me as a kid because there were so few examples of women then who were as devoted to their profession and its standards as they were to their families.

    Reply
  103. I read all of Heinlein and I still have the juvies. Mostly the women he wrote were too on the twee side for me, but he did do one brilliant woman character, Dr. Edith Stone, the mom in The Rolling Stones. Her husband says she doesn’t say much compared to her voluble family but he notices that no big issues ever get settled until she weighs in. She’s also a dedicated physician who stays with her patients, as her husband knows she will, and he accepts her judgment. She made a big impression on me as a kid because there were so few examples of women then who were as devoted to their profession and its standards as they were to their families.

    Reply
  104. I read all of Heinlein and I still have the juvies. Mostly the women he wrote were too on the twee side for me, but he did do one brilliant woman character, Dr. Edith Stone, the mom in The Rolling Stones. Her husband says she doesn’t say much compared to her voluble family but he notices that no big issues ever get settled until she weighs in. She’s also a dedicated physician who stays with her patients, as her husband knows she will, and he accepts her judgment. She made a big impression on me as a kid because there were so few examples of women then who were as devoted to their profession and its standards as they were to their families.

    Reply
  105. I read all of Heinlein and I still have the juvies. Mostly the women he wrote were too on the twee side for me, but he did do one brilliant woman character, Dr. Edith Stone, the mom in The Rolling Stones. Her husband says she doesn’t say much compared to her voluble family but he notices that no big issues ever get settled until she weighs in. She’s also a dedicated physician who stays with her patients, as her husband knows she will, and he accepts her judgment. She made a big impression on me as a kid because there were so few examples of women then who were as devoted to their profession and its standards as they were to their families.

    Reply
  106. My introduction to Historical romance was also the Angelique series which I started reading when I was about 10 yrs old. When my mum realised I was reading them they mysteriously disappeared from the bookshelves so I didn’t get a chance to finish the series until I was about 15. 🙁 After that is was Georgette Heyer’s Frederica I think.

    Reply
  107. My introduction to Historical romance was also the Angelique series which I started reading when I was about 10 yrs old. When my mum realised I was reading them they mysteriously disappeared from the bookshelves so I didn’t get a chance to finish the series until I was about 15. 🙁 After that is was Georgette Heyer’s Frederica I think.

    Reply
  108. My introduction to Historical romance was also the Angelique series which I started reading when I was about 10 yrs old. When my mum realised I was reading them they mysteriously disappeared from the bookshelves so I didn’t get a chance to finish the series until I was about 15. 🙁 After that is was Georgette Heyer’s Frederica I think.

    Reply
  109. My introduction to Historical romance was also the Angelique series which I started reading when I was about 10 yrs old. When my mum realised I was reading them they mysteriously disappeared from the bookshelves so I didn’t get a chance to finish the series until I was about 15. 🙁 After that is was Georgette Heyer’s Frederica I think.

    Reply
  110. My introduction to Historical romance was also the Angelique series which I started reading when I was about 10 yrs old. When my mum realised I was reading them they mysteriously disappeared from the bookshelves so I didn’t get a chance to finish the series until I was about 15. 🙁 After that is was Georgette Heyer’s Frederica I think.

    Reply
  111. In the 1970’s, most romance novels were plot-driven with TSTL decisions by foot-stomping vixen virgins.
    Thanks to the Word Wenches for bringing intelligence into the world of historical romance!
    It must have been a generational sequence — Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters and Mary Stewart… my epiphany Historical Romance was “Katherine” by Anya Seton.
    Elizabeth Peters “The Murders of Richard III” sent me serendipitously to Rosemary Hawley Jarman’s “We Speak No Treason.” Team Dickon for the win!! and “The King’s Grey Mare” impressed my teen-age brain with silver-gilt hair.
    I was also attracted to the tragedy and romance of the Stuart kings– THE CHILD OF THE SEA by Elizabeth Goudge.
    I loved the cover art for the Heinemann Library Editions of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels.
    I found Norah Loft’s “Maud’s Tale” in the children’s section of the Library, and followed the author into the adult section. I loved house stories and multi-generational sagas. The most poignant is “China Court” by Rumer Godden. I will always clutch my heart when the last line of a novel is, “He held out his hand, and she took it.” Sob, gasp.
    Mary Lide’s “Ann of Cambray” were favorites in the medieval genre.

    Reply
  112. In the 1970’s, most romance novels were plot-driven with TSTL decisions by foot-stomping vixen virgins.
    Thanks to the Word Wenches for bringing intelligence into the world of historical romance!
    It must have been a generational sequence — Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters and Mary Stewart… my epiphany Historical Romance was “Katherine” by Anya Seton.
    Elizabeth Peters “The Murders of Richard III” sent me serendipitously to Rosemary Hawley Jarman’s “We Speak No Treason.” Team Dickon for the win!! and “The King’s Grey Mare” impressed my teen-age brain with silver-gilt hair.
    I was also attracted to the tragedy and romance of the Stuart kings– THE CHILD OF THE SEA by Elizabeth Goudge.
    I loved the cover art for the Heinemann Library Editions of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels.
    I found Norah Loft’s “Maud’s Tale” in the children’s section of the Library, and followed the author into the adult section. I loved house stories and multi-generational sagas. The most poignant is “China Court” by Rumer Godden. I will always clutch my heart when the last line of a novel is, “He held out his hand, and she took it.” Sob, gasp.
    Mary Lide’s “Ann of Cambray” were favorites in the medieval genre.

    Reply
  113. In the 1970’s, most romance novels were plot-driven with TSTL decisions by foot-stomping vixen virgins.
    Thanks to the Word Wenches for bringing intelligence into the world of historical romance!
    It must have been a generational sequence — Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters and Mary Stewart… my epiphany Historical Romance was “Katherine” by Anya Seton.
    Elizabeth Peters “The Murders of Richard III” sent me serendipitously to Rosemary Hawley Jarman’s “We Speak No Treason.” Team Dickon for the win!! and “The King’s Grey Mare” impressed my teen-age brain with silver-gilt hair.
    I was also attracted to the tragedy and romance of the Stuart kings– THE CHILD OF THE SEA by Elizabeth Goudge.
    I loved the cover art for the Heinemann Library Editions of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels.
    I found Norah Loft’s “Maud’s Tale” in the children’s section of the Library, and followed the author into the adult section. I loved house stories and multi-generational sagas. The most poignant is “China Court” by Rumer Godden. I will always clutch my heart when the last line of a novel is, “He held out his hand, and she took it.” Sob, gasp.
    Mary Lide’s “Ann of Cambray” were favorites in the medieval genre.

    Reply
  114. In the 1970’s, most romance novels were plot-driven with TSTL decisions by foot-stomping vixen virgins.
    Thanks to the Word Wenches for bringing intelligence into the world of historical romance!
    It must have been a generational sequence — Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters and Mary Stewart… my epiphany Historical Romance was “Katherine” by Anya Seton.
    Elizabeth Peters “The Murders of Richard III” sent me serendipitously to Rosemary Hawley Jarman’s “We Speak No Treason.” Team Dickon for the win!! and “The King’s Grey Mare” impressed my teen-age brain with silver-gilt hair.
    I was also attracted to the tragedy and romance of the Stuart kings– THE CHILD OF THE SEA by Elizabeth Goudge.
    I loved the cover art for the Heinemann Library Editions of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels.
    I found Norah Loft’s “Maud’s Tale” in the children’s section of the Library, and followed the author into the adult section. I loved house stories and multi-generational sagas. The most poignant is “China Court” by Rumer Godden. I will always clutch my heart when the last line of a novel is, “He held out his hand, and she took it.” Sob, gasp.
    Mary Lide’s “Ann of Cambray” were favorites in the medieval genre.

    Reply
  115. In the 1970’s, most romance novels were plot-driven with TSTL decisions by foot-stomping vixen virgins.
    Thanks to the Word Wenches for bringing intelligence into the world of historical romance!
    It must have been a generational sequence — Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters and Mary Stewart… my epiphany Historical Romance was “Katherine” by Anya Seton.
    Elizabeth Peters “The Murders of Richard III” sent me serendipitously to Rosemary Hawley Jarman’s “We Speak No Treason.” Team Dickon for the win!! and “The King’s Grey Mare” impressed my teen-age brain with silver-gilt hair.
    I was also attracted to the tragedy and romance of the Stuart kings– THE CHILD OF THE SEA by Elizabeth Goudge.
    I loved the cover art for the Heinemann Library Editions of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels.
    I found Norah Loft’s “Maud’s Tale” in the children’s section of the Library, and followed the author into the adult section. I loved house stories and multi-generational sagas. The most poignant is “China Court” by Rumer Godden. I will always clutch my heart when the last line of a novel is, “He held out his hand, and she took it.” Sob, gasp.
    Mary Lide’s “Ann of Cambray” were favorites in the medieval genre.

    Reply
  116. I was another fan of the Mara story–read it a number of times. Gladys Malvern was another one who had some good romantic tales (The Foreigner, Queen’s Lady) which I haven’t thought of in a long time. I may have to re-read Mara now! I’d also recommend another author, Eva Ibbotson, who wrote some engaging stories in the mid-80s (Company of Swans, Countess Below Stairs, were a couple of her titles) even though they’re classed as young adult.

    Reply
  117. I was another fan of the Mara story–read it a number of times. Gladys Malvern was another one who had some good romantic tales (The Foreigner, Queen’s Lady) which I haven’t thought of in a long time. I may have to re-read Mara now! I’d also recommend another author, Eva Ibbotson, who wrote some engaging stories in the mid-80s (Company of Swans, Countess Below Stairs, were a couple of her titles) even though they’re classed as young adult.

    Reply
  118. I was another fan of the Mara story–read it a number of times. Gladys Malvern was another one who had some good romantic tales (The Foreigner, Queen’s Lady) which I haven’t thought of in a long time. I may have to re-read Mara now! I’d also recommend another author, Eva Ibbotson, who wrote some engaging stories in the mid-80s (Company of Swans, Countess Below Stairs, were a couple of her titles) even though they’re classed as young adult.

    Reply
  119. I was another fan of the Mara story–read it a number of times. Gladys Malvern was another one who had some good romantic tales (The Foreigner, Queen’s Lady) which I haven’t thought of in a long time. I may have to re-read Mara now! I’d also recommend another author, Eva Ibbotson, who wrote some engaging stories in the mid-80s (Company of Swans, Countess Below Stairs, were a couple of her titles) even though they’re classed as young adult.

    Reply
  120. I was another fan of the Mara story–read it a number of times. Gladys Malvern was another one who had some good romantic tales (The Foreigner, Queen’s Lady) which I haven’t thought of in a long time. I may have to re-read Mara now! I’d also recommend another author, Eva Ibbotson, who wrote some engaging stories in the mid-80s (Company of Swans, Countess Below Stairs, were a couple of her titles) even though they’re classed as young adult.

    Reply
  121. Thalia, I love hearing your reaction to that last line! Though I’ve never read the book, it brings to mind reactions I’ve had to other books that I love partly because they manage to break my heart a little.
    I can think of two favorite books myself that have a happy ending but with a thread of sorrow in them that make it more poignant because of that. Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked has a wonderful moment where the hero writes a letter to his dead cousin and then burns it. For some reason, the way she described it, the image has stuck in my mind since. And that’s just one book/author of many I could name.
    I’m not sure where to submit Ask A Wench Questions, but I would love to hear the answer to this sometime down the line, if they ever wanted to blog about it: what are some of your favorite ‘hurts so good’ books? A book that manages to break your heart before it mends it?

    Reply
  122. Thalia, I love hearing your reaction to that last line! Though I’ve never read the book, it brings to mind reactions I’ve had to other books that I love partly because they manage to break my heart a little.
    I can think of two favorite books myself that have a happy ending but with a thread of sorrow in them that make it more poignant because of that. Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked has a wonderful moment where the hero writes a letter to his dead cousin and then burns it. For some reason, the way she described it, the image has stuck in my mind since. And that’s just one book/author of many I could name.
    I’m not sure where to submit Ask A Wench Questions, but I would love to hear the answer to this sometime down the line, if they ever wanted to blog about it: what are some of your favorite ‘hurts so good’ books? A book that manages to break your heart before it mends it?

    Reply
  123. Thalia, I love hearing your reaction to that last line! Though I’ve never read the book, it brings to mind reactions I’ve had to other books that I love partly because they manage to break my heart a little.
    I can think of two favorite books myself that have a happy ending but with a thread of sorrow in them that make it more poignant because of that. Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked has a wonderful moment where the hero writes a letter to his dead cousin and then burns it. For some reason, the way she described it, the image has stuck in my mind since. And that’s just one book/author of many I could name.
    I’m not sure where to submit Ask A Wench Questions, but I would love to hear the answer to this sometime down the line, if they ever wanted to blog about it: what are some of your favorite ‘hurts so good’ books? A book that manages to break your heart before it mends it?

    Reply
  124. Thalia, I love hearing your reaction to that last line! Though I’ve never read the book, it brings to mind reactions I’ve had to other books that I love partly because they manage to break my heart a little.
    I can think of two favorite books myself that have a happy ending but with a thread of sorrow in them that make it more poignant because of that. Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked has a wonderful moment where the hero writes a letter to his dead cousin and then burns it. For some reason, the way she described it, the image has stuck in my mind since. And that’s just one book/author of many I could name.
    I’m not sure where to submit Ask A Wench Questions, but I would love to hear the answer to this sometime down the line, if they ever wanted to blog about it: what are some of your favorite ‘hurts so good’ books? A book that manages to break your heart before it mends it?

    Reply
  125. Thalia, I love hearing your reaction to that last line! Though I’ve never read the book, it brings to mind reactions I’ve had to other books that I love partly because they manage to break my heart a little.
    I can think of two favorite books myself that have a happy ending but with a thread of sorrow in them that make it more poignant because of that. Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked has a wonderful moment where the hero writes a letter to his dead cousin and then burns it. For some reason, the way she described it, the image has stuck in my mind since. And that’s just one book/author of many I could name.
    I’m not sure where to submit Ask A Wench Questions, but I would love to hear the answer to this sometime down the line, if they ever wanted to blog about it: what are some of your favorite ‘hurts so good’ books? A book that manages to break your heart before it mends it?

    Reply
  126. Donna–
    The Wenches include some HUGE Eva Ibbotson fans! Starting with Anne Gracie and me, and extending outwards. I just reread A COMPANY OF SWANS when we were in the Amazon, and it was as lovely as ever. That woman could WRITE!!!!

    Reply
  127. Donna–
    The Wenches include some HUGE Eva Ibbotson fans! Starting with Anne Gracie and me, and extending outwards. I just reread A COMPANY OF SWANS when we were in the Amazon, and it was as lovely as ever. That woman could WRITE!!!!

    Reply
  128. Donna–
    The Wenches include some HUGE Eva Ibbotson fans! Starting with Anne Gracie and me, and extending outwards. I just reread A COMPANY OF SWANS when we were in the Amazon, and it was as lovely as ever. That woman could WRITE!!!!

    Reply
  129. Donna–
    The Wenches include some HUGE Eva Ibbotson fans! Starting with Anne Gracie and me, and extending outwards. I just reread A COMPANY OF SWANS when we were in the Amazon, and it was as lovely as ever. That woman could WRITE!!!!

    Reply
  130. Donna–
    The Wenches include some HUGE Eva Ibbotson fans! Starting with Anne Gracie and me, and extending outwards. I just reread A COMPANY OF SWANS when we were in the Amazon, and it was as lovely as ever. That woman could WRITE!!!!

    Reply
  131. Elle—
    I was a huge sff fan as a kid and, well, pretty much my whole life. I got around the fact that it was a boy’s ghetto by identifying with the hero anyhow. I like Heinlein because he often had a romantic threads, and he had some women who were very comeptent.

    Reply
  132. Elle—
    I was a huge sff fan as a kid and, well, pretty much my whole life. I got around the fact that it was a boy’s ghetto by identifying with the hero anyhow. I like Heinlein because he often had a romantic threads, and he had some women who were very comeptent.

    Reply
  133. Elle—
    I was a huge sff fan as a kid and, well, pretty much my whole life. I got around the fact that it was a boy’s ghetto by identifying with the hero anyhow. I like Heinlein because he often had a romantic threads, and he had some women who were very comeptent.

    Reply
  134. Elle—
    I was a huge sff fan as a kid and, well, pretty much my whole life. I got around the fact that it was a boy’s ghetto by identifying with the hero anyhow. I like Heinlein because he often had a romantic threads, and he had some women who were very comeptent.

    Reply
  135. Elle—
    I was a huge sff fan as a kid and, well, pretty much my whole life. I got around the fact that it was a boy’s ghetto by identifying with the hero anyhow. I like Heinlein because he often had a romantic threads, and he had some women who were very comeptent.

    Reply
  136. Yikes, Elle! The Viking tale sounds realistic and well researched, but utterly miserable to read. Besides liking romance and history and adventure, I’ve always like happy endings, too.
    YAs are very different now, and very diverse as well. There are lots of strong heroines, but also a lot of grim dystopians, another category I’m not fond of.

    Reply
  137. Yikes, Elle! The Viking tale sounds realistic and well researched, but utterly miserable to read. Besides liking romance and history and adventure, I’ve always like happy endings, too.
    YAs are very different now, and very diverse as well. There are lots of strong heroines, but also a lot of grim dystopians, another category I’m not fond of.

    Reply
  138. Yikes, Elle! The Viking tale sounds realistic and well researched, but utterly miserable to read. Besides liking romance and history and adventure, I’ve always like happy endings, too.
    YAs are very different now, and very diverse as well. There are lots of strong heroines, but also a lot of grim dystopians, another category I’m not fond of.

    Reply
  139. Yikes, Elle! The Viking tale sounds realistic and well researched, but utterly miserable to read. Besides liking romance and history and adventure, I’ve always like happy endings, too.
    YAs are very different now, and very diverse as well. There are lots of strong heroines, but also a lot of grim dystopians, another category I’m not fond of.

    Reply
  140. Yikes, Elle! The Viking tale sounds realistic and well researched, but utterly miserable to read. Besides liking romance and history and adventure, I’ve always like happy endings, too.
    YAs are very different now, and very diverse as well. There are lots of strong heroines, but also a lot of grim dystopians, another category I’m not fond of.

    Reply
  141. Mary Jo: As many times as I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I always tear up more than once every time, at scenes like Thorin’s farewell to Bilbo, Eowyn’s speech to Aragorn, and Faramir’s speech to Eowyn. Many times in those books Tolkien tells us about the characters’ mixed sadness and joy but it’s little scenes like that between two people that bring it home.

    Reply
  142. Mary Jo: As many times as I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I always tear up more than once every time, at scenes like Thorin’s farewell to Bilbo, Eowyn’s speech to Aragorn, and Faramir’s speech to Eowyn. Many times in those books Tolkien tells us about the characters’ mixed sadness and joy but it’s little scenes like that between two people that bring it home.

    Reply
  143. Mary Jo: As many times as I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I always tear up more than once every time, at scenes like Thorin’s farewell to Bilbo, Eowyn’s speech to Aragorn, and Faramir’s speech to Eowyn. Many times in those books Tolkien tells us about the characters’ mixed sadness and joy but it’s little scenes like that between two people that bring it home.

    Reply
  144. Mary Jo: As many times as I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I always tear up more than once every time, at scenes like Thorin’s farewell to Bilbo, Eowyn’s speech to Aragorn, and Faramir’s speech to Eowyn. Many times in those books Tolkien tells us about the characters’ mixed sadness and joy but it’s little scenes like that between two people that bring it home.

    Reply
  145. Mary Jo: As many times as I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I always tear up more than once every time, at scenes like Thorin’s farewell to Bilbo, Eowyn’s speech to Aragorn, and Faramir’s speech to Eowyn. Many times in those books Tolkien tells us about the characters’ mixed sadness and joy but it’s little scenes like that between two people that bring it home.

    Reply
  146. So many familiar names there,Thalia! Katherine by Anya Seton was one of the historical novels in my grandmother’s collection and an early read for me. I followed it up with lots of her others. Some I loved, like the Mistletoe and the Sword, others were frankly scary to me at that age – Green Darkness. Rosemary Hawley Jarmen’s two “Yorkist” books were fantastic and when I read your comment about the “silver gilt hair” I went “Oh yes!” because I wanted hair like that too!
    I still have a Mary Lide book on my shelf, set in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Reply
  147. So many familiar names there,Thalia! Katherine by Anya Seton was one of the historical novels in my grandmother’s collection and an early read for me. I followed it up with lots of her others. Some I loved, like the Mistletoe and the Sword, others were frankly scary to me at that age – Green Darkness. Rosemary Hawley Jarmen’s two “Yorkist” books were fantastic and when I read your comment about the “silver gilt hair” I went “Oh yes!” because I wanted hair like that too!
    I still have a Mary Lide book on my shelf, set in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Reply
  148. So many familiar names there,Thalia! Katherine by Anya Seton was one of the historical novels in my grandmother’s collection and an early read for me. I followed it up with lots of her others. Some I loved, like the Mistletoe and the Sword, others were frankly scary to me at that age – Green Darkness. Rosemary Hawley Jarmen’s two “Yorkist” books were fantastic and when I read your comment about the “silver gilt hair” I went “Oh yes!” because I wanted hair like that too!
    I still have a Mary Lide book on my shelf, set in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Reply
  149. So many familiar names there,Thalia! Katherine by Anya Seton was one of the historical novels in my grandmother’s collection and an early read for me. I followed it up with lots of her others. Some I loved, like the Mistletoe and the Sword, others were frankly scary to me at that age – Green Darkness. Rosemary Hawley Jarmen’s two “Yorkist” books were fantastic and when I read your comment about the “silver gilt hair” I went “Oh yes!” because I wanted hair like that too!
    I still have a Mary Lide book on my shelf, set in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Reply
  150. So many familiar names there,Thalia! Katherine by Anya Seton was one of the historical novels in my grandmother’s collection and an early read for me. I followed it up with lots of her others. Some I loved, like the Mistletoe and the Sword, others were frankly scary to me at that age – Green Darkness. Rosemary Hawley Jarmen’s two “Yorkist” books were fantastic and when I read your comment about the “silver gilt hair” I went “Oh yes!” because I wanted hair like that too!
    I still have a Mary Lide book on my shelf, set in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Reply
  151. I remember perfectly, as it was a life-changing -or at least a reader-changing event. My first historical romance was ‘Ashes in the wind’ by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. 1984. A hard cover edition.

    Reply
  152. I remember perfectly, as it was a life-changing -or at least a reader-changing event. My first historical romance was ‘Ashes in the wind’ by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. 1984. A hard cover edition.

    Reply
  153. I remember perfectly, as it was a life-changing -or at least a reader-changing event. My first historical romance was ‘Ashes in the wind’ by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. 1984. A hard cover edition.

    Reply
  154. I remember perfectly, as it was a life-changing -or at least a reader-changing event. My first historical romance was ‘Ashes in the wind’ by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. 1984. A hard cover edition.

    Reply
  155. I remember perfectly, as it was a life-changing -or at least a reader-changing event. My first historical romance was ‘Ashes in the wind’ by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. 1984. A hard cover edition.

    Reply
  156. My parents had serious books in the house like Hemingway, Upton Sinclair. Sometimes popular fiction like Herman Wouk and Pearl Buck. I do remember a book they had called “The Good Yeoman” which was an offshoot of the Robin Hood tale, and the first thing I read that had anything resembling a sex scene, and that made a lasting impression! I read P&P and Jane Eyre because they were classics, and I loved the HEAs, but I was not even aware that there was such a thing as a romance genre until my mid-20’s. I don’t remember what I read first, but it might have been M.M. Kaye or D.E. Stevenson, which were available in libraries. I also read sagas by authors like Susan Howatch, R.F. Delderfield and Celeste de Blasis. I never liked Gothic romances and I still don’t. But somehow I eventually stumbled on Woodiwiss, and the Signet Regency books, and after that starting gobbling up every historical I could find.

    Reply
  157. My parents had serious books in the house like Hemingway, Upton Sinclair. Sometimes popular fiction like Herman Wouk and Pearl Buck. I do remember a book they had called “The Good Yeoman” which was an offshoot of the Robin Hood tale, and the first thing I read that had anything resembling a sex scene, and that made a lasting impression! I read P&P and Jane Eyre because they were classics, and I loved the HEAs, but I was not even aware that there was such a thing as a romance genre until my mid-20’s. I don’t remember what I read first, but it might have been M.M. Kaye or D.E. Stevenson, which were available in libraries. I also read sagas by authors like Susan Howatch, R.F. Delderfield and Celeste de Blasis. I never liked Gothic romances and I still don’t. But somehow I eventually stumbled on Woodiwiss, and the Signet Regency books, and after that starting gobbling up every historical I could find.

    Reply
  158. My parents had serious books in the house like Hemingway, Upton Sinclair. Sometimes popular fiction like Herman Wouk and Pearl Buck. I do remember a book they had called “The Good Yeoman” which was an offshoot of the Robin Hood tale, and the first thing I read that had anything resembling a sex scene, and that made a lasting impression! I read P&P and Jane Eyre because they were classics, and I loved the HEAs, but I was not even aware that there was such a thing as a romance genre until my mid-20’s. I don’t remember what I read first, but it might have been M.M. Kaye or D.E. Stevenson, which were available in libraries. I also read sagas by authors like Susan Howatch, R.F. Delderfield and Celeste de Blasis. I never liked Gothic romances and I still don’t. But somehow I eventually stumbled on Woodiwiss, and the Signet Regency books, and after that starting gobbling up every historical I could find.

    Reply
  159. My parents had serious books in the house like Hemingway, Upton Sinclair. Sometimes popular fiction like Herman Wouk and Pearl Buck. I do remember a book they had called “The Good Yeoman” which was an offshoot of the Robin Hood tale, and the first thing I read that had anything resembling a sex scene, and that made a lasting impression! I read P&P and Jane Eyre because they were classics, and I loved the HEAs, but I was not even aware that there was such a thing as a romance genre until my mid-20’s. I don’t remember what I read first, but it might have been M.M. Kaye or D.E. Stevenson, which were available in libraries. I also read sagas by authors like Susan Howatch, R.F. Delderfield and Celeste de Blasis. I never liked Gothic romances and I still don’t. But somehow I eventually stumbled on Woodiwiss, and the Signet Regency books, and after that starting gobbling up every historical I could find.

    Reply
  160. My parents had serious books in the house like Hemingway, Upton Sinclair. Sometimes popular fiction like Herman Wouk and Pearl Buck. I do remember a book they had called “The Good Yeoman” which was an offshoot of the Robin Hood tale, and the first thing I read that had anything resembling a sex scene, and that made a lasting impression! I read P&P and Jane Eyre because they were classics, and I loved the HEAs, but I was not even aware that there was such a thing as a romance genre until my mid-20’s. I don’t remember what I read first, but it might have been M.M. Kaye or D.E. Stevenson, which were available in libraries. I also read sagas by authors like Susan Howatch, R.F. Delderfield and Celeste de Blasis. I never liked Gothic romances and I still don’t. But somehow I eventually stumbled on Woodiwiss, and the Signet Regency books, and after that starting gobbling up every historical I could find.

    Reply
  161. The first historical romance I read was Savage Surrender by Natasha Peters. I had never read a bodice-ripper so it left quite the impression. I will never forget it. When I came across it at a used bookstore I had to buy it and read it again.

    Reply
  162. The first historical romance I read was Savage Surrender by Natasha Peters. I had never read a bodice-ripper so it left quite the impression. I will never forget it. When I came across it at a used bookstore I had to buy it and read it again.

    Reply
  163. The first historical romance I read was Savage Surrender by Natasha Peters. I had never read a bodice-ripper so it left quite the impression. I will never forget it. When I came across it at a used bookstore I had to buy it and read it again.

    Reply
  164. The first historical romance I read was Savage Surrender by Natasha Peters. I had never read a bodice-ripper so it left quite the impression. I will never forget it. When I came across it at a used bookstore I had to buy it and read it again.

    Reply
  165. The first historical romance I read was Savage Surrender by Natasha Peters. I had never read a bodice-ripper so it left quite the impression. I will never forget it. When I came across it at a used bookstore I had to buy it and read it again.

    Reply
  166. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  167. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  168. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  169. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  170. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  171. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  172. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  173. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  174. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  175. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  176. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  177. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  178. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  179. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  180. I’ve only just caught up with Pearl Buck a few years ago, Karin. Susan Howatch was another blast from the past! And I LOVED MM Kaye’s books! Never heard of The Good Yeoman – that sounds rather fun and I must try and hunt it down!

    Reply
  181. Has anyone read a book titled Fallen Angels by Susannah Kells, set in the French Revolution era? Terrific book. Never could find another by this author. Recently learned “Susannah Kells” was Bernard Cornwell’s wife and he either co-wrote or finished the book.

    Reply
  182. Has anyone read a book titled Fallen Angels by Susannah Kells, set in the French Revolution era? Terrific book. Never could find another by this author. Recently learned “Susannah Kells” was Bernard Cornwell’s wife and he either co-wrote or finished the book.

    Reply
  183. Has anyone read a book titled Fallen Angels by Susannah Kells, set in the French Revolution era? Terrific book. Never could find another by this author. Recently learned “Susannah Kells” was Bernard Cornwell’s wife and he either co-wrote or finished the book.

    Reply
  184. Has anyone read a book titled Fallen Angels by Susannah Kells, set in the French Revolution era? Terrific book. Never could find another by this author. Recently learned “Susannah Kells” was Bernard Cornwell’s wife and he either co-wrote or finished the book.

    Reply
  185. Has anyone read a book titled Fallen Angels by Susannah Kells, set in the French Revolution era? Terrific book. Never could find another by this author. Recently learned “Susannah Kells” was Bernard Cornwell’s wife and he either co-wrote or finished the book.

    Reply
  186. Yes, I’ve read it, Artemisia. I thought it was wonderful. I actually thought Susannah Kells *was* Bernard Cornwell but I think the co-author thing is true. I do enjoy his books. Gallows Thief was another fantastic read IMO.

    Reply
  187. Yes, I’ve read it, Artemisia. I thought it was wonderful. I actually thought Susannah Kells *was* Bernard Cornwell but I think the co-author thing is true. I do enjoy his books. Gallows Thief was another fantastic read IMO.

    Reply
  188. Yes, I’ve read it, Artemisia. I thought it was wonderful. I actually thought Susannah Kells *was* Bernard Cornwell but I think the co-author thing is true. I do enjoy his books. Gallows Thief was another fantastic read IMO.

    Reply
  189. Yes, I’ve read it, Artemisia. I thought it was wonderful. I actually thought Susannah Kells *was* Bernard Cornwell but I think the co-author thing is true. I do enjoy his books. Gallows Thief was another fantastic read IMO.

    Reply
  190. Yes, I’ve read it, Artemisia. I thought it was wonderful. I actually thought Susannah Kells *was* Bernard Cornwell but I think the co-author thing is true. I do enjoy his books. Gallows Thief was another fantastic read IMO.

    Reply

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