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Medieval romances in or out?

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Medieval romances in or out?

Postby Misfit » Sat November 28th, 2009, 2:06 pm

I noticed a blog post hereabout an article in the latest Romantic Times magazine. Apparently Gellis makes a few comments. Anyone have it?

Personally I'd love to see more medievals but the ones that I have come across are pretty crappy. I'm afraid to say EC has spoiled me forever and I can't handle those medieval misses flying around with free-flowing hair anymore :p
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Sat November 28th, 2009, 2:28 pm

My copy arrived yesterday, and they had a sidebar interview with Gellis. She says (among other things) she doesn't read many modern example of medieval romance because they're too erotic for her tastes and she gets bored by one sex scene after another. I tend to agree, though some authors/publishers are better than others in this respect. She also talks about medieval chronicles and how they're hardly objective.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Sat November 28th, 2009, 3:10 pm

I would agree about the constant sex scenes as well as plentiful purple prose.
At home with a good book and the cat...

...is the only place I want to be

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Miss Moppet
Bibliophile
Location: North London
Contact:

Postby Miss Moppet » Sat November 28th, 2009, 7:52 pm

"Misfit" wrote:I noticed a blog post hereabout an article in the latest Romantic Times magazine. Apparently Gellis makes a few comments. Anyone have it?

Personally I'd love to see more medievals but the ones that I have come across are pretty crappy. I'm afraid to say EC has spoiled me forever and I can't handle those medieval misses flying around with free-flowing hair anymore :p


I all but never read romance (although I like to follow what's going on in the romance world) but I'm guessing the reasons people like medieval romance are exactly the reasons you don't, Misfit - it's mostly very, if you'll excuse the word, romanticised and reminiscent of fairytales. Only with added sex scenes!

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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: Heavenfield by L J Ross & Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Sat November 28th, 2009, 8:56 pm

"Ariadne" wrote:she gets bored by one sex scene after another. I tend to agree.



I suppose you could say this about any genre/historical period. I hardly ever read romances, would rather read a drama or saga where a romance was just one aspect of the general story.
Currently reading "Heavenfield" by L J Ross & "Lost for Words" by Stephanie Butland

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Mon November 30th, 2009, 3:25 pm

I used to devour medieval romances in my late teens and early twenties but as I continued to research the period I came to enjoy them less and less because I found I couldn't believe in the worlds being created, and that's part of my need as a reader. In the end I became downright irritated. Gellis is right about all the sex. But more than that, the fact is that most of the time the sex wouldn't have happened due to mindsets and religeous and cultural beliefs - and certainly not all the permutations involved! Handjobs, blowjobs, up the wall, round the back... ye Gods, you'd spend your eternity in hell for all that lot, never mind the social ostracism if you were found out. :eek: :eek: I'm sure it's possible to write an intelligent medieval historical romance with people who are of their time... I also know there's a large audience out there who don't really seem to care if they are or not, so I guess there's a market for Disney erotica.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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zsigandr
Avid Reader
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby zsigandr » Mon November 30th, 2009, 5:41 pm

I agree with most of what is being said here. EC brings up some great points about the sex scenes in these romances would never have happened due to the religious beliefs of that time.

Personally, I am not into romances that depict explicit sex. I would rather have the other aspects of the story, the battles, the policitical climate and the emotional aspects that relate to the time frame - not sex! I need to have an emotional connection to a novel or it's characters in order to care where the plot is going, but I guess that for many of the romance novels, the sex is the plot!

I really don't like it when a novel is listed as HF and has a decent cover, but turns out to be more of a romance or erotic novel set during a particular era -I would prefer if they would put a bodice ripping cover on these so I know to stay away! Thanks fot Misfit I have avoided some particularly bad reads - keep up the good work Misfit!
Andrea

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Miss Moppet
Bibliophile
Location: North London
Contact:

Postby Miss Moppet » Tue December 1st, 2009, 2:06 am

"EC2" wrote:I used to devour medieval romances in my late teens and early twenties but as I continued to research the period I came to enjoy them less and less because I found I couldn't believe in the worlds being created, and that's part of my need as a reader. In the end I became downright irritated. Gellis is right about all the sex. But more than that, the fact is that most of the time the sex wouldn't have happened due to mindsets and religeous and cultural beliefs - and certainly not all the permutations involved! Handjobs, blowjobs, up the wall, round the back... ye Gods, you'd spend your eternity in hell for all that lot, never mind the social ostracism if you were found out. :eek: :eek: I'm sure it's possible to write an intelligent medieval historical romance with people who are of their time... I also know there's a large audience out there who don't really seem to care if they are or not, so I guess there's a market for Disney erotica.


Pretty much the same thing happened with me and historical romance for the same reasons. Also, I didn't want the same story over and over which is what romance is - nothing wrong with that if it's what you want but although it was fresh to me as a teenager, it isn't now. I'm glad I read all those romances when I was able to enjoy them.

I still love reading about relationships as part of a bigger story but I find that as far as HF goes, the romance element tends to be the part where authors compromise the most in favour of modern-day attitudes. Maybe because religious attitudes often get glossed over and so the effect they had on people's romantic and sex lives aren't explored.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue December 1st, 2009, 5:02 pm

This has been my experience as well. I used to devour historical romances (along with anything else in print!) but now, my dear, to quote historically romantic hero Rhett Butler, quite frankly, i couldn't give a damn. I like to think that it's because I've become more discriminating over the years and a more perceptive and rigorous literary critic, but sometimes I'm afraid that I've simply been overtaken by the unromantic cynicism that comes with age :)

Sharz
Reader
Location: Chicago

Postby Sharz » Tue December 1st, 2009, 9:42 pm

I can pretty much say "ditto" to what everyone else has said. I had never read romances prior to becoming interested in the medieval period in my mid-20s. Browsing in bookstores, the medieval romances were by far the easiest to identify. I bought probably in the range of 250-300 over the next six or seven years. But I was never interested in any romance except historical, and as I learned more about the history, I lost interest in the romances. I get more and more annoyed with heros and heroines whose attitudes and actions are totally out of place with their cultures.

Every few months I'll get in the mood for a romance read and pick one up, but it's getting more and more rare. I have to be in a mood to shut off my brain, and even then, I often have a hard time finding one I'm interested in.


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