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Carolyn Jewel | Confessions of a Historical Romance Junkie

March 6, 2009

Carolyn JewelWill you Join Me in my Affliction?

Thanks, Fresh Fiction, for inviting me to blog here today!

It’s no accident Romance is such a popular genre. As a species, Homo Sapiens care deeply about relationships. Our survival depends upon forming them. No one should be surprised, therefore (are you listening ET?) that our stories are so often about relationships. Likewise, the popularity of the various sub-genres can tell us a great deal about what concerns us today, even when, and I would argue, especially when, the stories are not “realistic.” Vampires and shapeshifters don’t exist, after all, and 1815 was so long ago, isn’t it irrelevant by now?

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Shakespeare set a great many of his stories in his historical past, foreign countries or fanciful realms because the displacement of location and time allowed him to comment on present day issues that wouldn’t otherwise have made it past the censors and might even have gotten him in thrown in jail. Modern stories set in the past serve a similar function; they allow commentary about our lives today, whether the result is something along the lines of Thank goodness we have antibiotics! or a reflection, however brief, that perhaps having a day job isn’t so bad. At one time, there were whole classes of people who needed income yet were forbidden many of the means by which one could obtain one. In fact, fifty-one percent of the population falls into this category.

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One Comment

  • Stacy~ March 6, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Hi Carolyn. I enjoyed Scandal very much, though it wasn’t what I was expecting. Sometimes that can be a very good thing.

    I love historicals for many reasons: the clothes and the balls and house parties, the restrictions in society which can add delicious tension to the story and puts the characters in scandalous situations. I love it when an author includes true-to-life experience from that actual time period, because it’s so different than what we are exposed to today, and it’s a good reminder of how far we’ve come.

    Mostly though, it is about the relationship, two people meeting and falling in love and wanting to be together for the rest of their lives. It’s not always the stuff of fairytales, in fact that’s the way of it 99% of the time, but that’s what makes it so interesting – it’s not perfect.

    So what’s up next for you? What should we be expecting for your next book?