Genre Friday! Presents Historical Romance

It’s a romance set in the past. Well, sort of, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

Three MusketeersFirst, there are the different meanings of romance to consider. “Romance” in the days of yore was pretty much the same thing as what we would call a novel today – a story that someone made up and, to keep it interesting, filled with a bit more drama and action than most people would find typical to everyday life. Thus a historical romance can technically be most any novel written prior to the first half of the 20th century (although particularly in late medieval Europe). This gets even more confusing because some historical romances (read “novels”) focus on a love story, making it qualify as the modern definition of a romance as well.

Of course, this ambiguity is mostly avoided these days due to the simple fact that 99% of the people who go looking for historical romance are looking for books about romantic love that are set in the past. I may have been overstating how complicated it was to take advantage of a teachable moment… Librarian.

Still, even if you are looking for the modern definition of a historical romance, there are choices to be made; mostly involving which time period is you favorite. Most popular are the stories set in the late historical periods of Europe and Great Britain (there is a lot of attention paid to Scottish Highlanders). The American Civil War is also popular, but it doesn’t stop there; ancient Egyptians, Caribbean Pirates, Vikings, you name it, it’s out there somewhere – something for everyone.

Examples:

Traditional Definition:

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Rogue by Any Other NameModern Definition:

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Author Birthdays – Still April somehow…

William Shakespeare (b. April 23, 1564, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK; d. April 23, 1616, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK)

Shakespeare“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Any of them really…

For more information on William Shakespeare, click here.

 

Anthony Trollope (b. April 24, 1815, London, UK; d. December 6, 1882, London, UK)

Trollope“Never think that you’re not good enough. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Way We Live Now

For more information on Anthony Trollope, click here.

 

Mary Wollstonecraft (b. April 27, 1759, Spitalfields, UK; d. September 10, 1797, London, UK)

Wollstonecraft“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

For more information on Mary Wollstonecraft, click here.

 

Harper Lee (b. April 28, 1926, Monroeville, AL; d. February 19, 2016, Monroeville, AL)

Lee“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: To Kill a Mockingbird

For more information on Harper Lee, click here.

Print Is Back!

According to a Nielsen report from the beginning of this year, ebook sales were down 16% in 2016. As a result something incredible happened, something many people thought would never happen again – print books out-sold ebooks last year!

Well, it never really left. And it isn’t so much that print is growing as it is that eBooks have just taken a hit…

YPrint v Digitalou can read the Publisher’s Weekly article here for all the details. In essence, the rising prices of ebooks and waning sales of dedicated ereaders (which lead people to buy more ebooks because that is all the devices can be used for) has lead to a decline in ebook sales. The results?

It is early to tell, but it might just mean that print book lovers don’t have to worry about losing their beloved paper anytime soon; but that doesn’t necessarily mean that ebook readers should start recycling their Kindles either. As was previously blogged, an ebook reader is likely to be a print reader as well, and print readers are the ones most likely to start reading ebooks – readers are readers. It might just mean that the two formats can share the market more equally than originally anticipated, peacefully coexisting. Books, as always, point the way for the rest of us.