plea for info: romance novels

hallieod at hallieod at
Sat Dec 14 09:28:24 EST 2002

>OK, I'm up against a deadline and need some advice:
>I'm helping pull together our new title, a map-format publication 
>about romance -- its cultural history, geography, and other thematic 
>variants. This thing has been in production since last spring, and 
>the editors managed to forget about romance novels until the middle 
>of the afternoon today, and of course now we are down to needing 
>something this weekend... So, I thought I'd try my literary friends 
>and see if anything comes up...
>I am looking for a point, a place, which can be tied to the 
>development of the modern romance novel. Toronto, headquarters of 
>Harlequin Books is one idea. We already have Green Gables. Any 
>others? Any help is welcomed...
>Desperately yours,

Oh, what an unenviable job!  I can't think this is going to be of 
much help, but you said you were desperate, and maybe someone else 
will think it's so stupid that it'll trigger a better idea or two. 
Haworth, Yorkshire, for the Brontes.  And London for all the 
regencies/historicals which revolve around doing the Season in 
London.  Georgette Heyer wrote quite a few with this element, and she 
was enormously influential in romance, to the best of my limited 
knowledge anyway.  And  Byron arguably did his romantic worst in the 
London scene, and where would romance be without the Byronic hero? 
(Better off, IMHO, but that is definitely not to the point.)  Maybe 
even Bath,  for Jane Austen (Catherine Morland and Anne Eliot), who 
wasn't a romance writer, but could again be said to be influential - 
Bridget Jones Diary being one of the more recent examples?


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