AAR
Click here for full forums index
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
 
What I Did For a Duke Julie Ann Long
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Let's Talk Romance Novels Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
JulieLeto



Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emma, this was also true in colonial America, particularly among the Puritans. It's a little known fact, but it certainly casts a lot of doubt on the way history has been told up until now about people's attitudes about sex.

For the most part, history has been, so far, told by men. Exploring the journals and diaries of the women of the time often reveal a very different attitude toward romance and sex than what is generally accepted. I'm willing to give authors the benefit of the doubt if they create compelling enough characters. I figure that people are people. Sex, attraction, etc, is so ingrained, I don't really think that things have changed on a personal level as much as we might imagine.

Also, I recently read a Regency romance that had the hero believing he'd been cheated on by his wife because of the "appearance" of impropriety...but it was so ridiculous, I couldn't buy into it. I thought the guy was an idiot and I didn't care about what was "done" or not done during the time period.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JulieLeto wrote:
Emma, this was also true in colonial America, particularly among the Puritans. It's a little known fact, but it certainly casts a lot of doubt on the way history has been told up until now about people's attitudes about sex.

For the most part, history has been, so far, told by men. Exploring the journals and diaries of the women of the time often reveal a very different attitude toward romance and sex than what is generally accepted. I'm willing to give authors the benefit of the doubt if they create compelling enough characters. I figure that people are people. Sex, attraction, etc, is so ingrained, I don't really think that things have changed on a personal level as much as we might imagine....


Of course I agree with this too. Smile Whatever the time period or level of society, there have always been some kind of Rules. But I think people have always been, well, people, with some keeping strictly in line with Society's Dictates, while others go about the business of living out of personal choice and decision.

My own POV is that the louder and stricter a time or group is about morality, the more likely outta sight stuff is going on. I always think of Prohibition as an example of banning something and getting the exactly opposite result.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that we can't expect that sexual relations with umarried adults never occured during any time period. Frankly in the bible that goes back thousands of years it's recorded that we had adultery and fornication and the such since the beginning. So I don't believe just because society banned these things they never happened weather in the era of Colonial/Regency etc.

I don't get upset because an author writing fiction uses that basic human element in her story. I'm sure that in history many accidental pregnancies happened as well as quite a few scandals whether recorded or not.

And while many times in history young ladies were forced to mary extremely older gentleman on behalf of their families wishes for title/prestige/money, it was a nice change that in this setting it was the heroine's own choice as the author took the time to showcase that they were indeed made for each other. So the gap in age didn't bother me so much.

In any relationship it's hard and I would think that this couple had more going for themselves then what may or may not happen in years to come other than sex and who wanted to be more active at the time...maybe there are other ways to take care of that if he wasn't feeling up to the challenge.
_________________
Romance my favorite reading pastime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
PatW



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 638
Location: Central Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we have lost sight a bit of the basis of the "complaint" - and that was that the heroines aren't thinking of the consequences.

I very much agree that there was probably a lot of sex before marriage - but in many cases, I am of the opinion that was done with the expectation that a marriage was already planned or whould take place if a pregnancy occured.

What I find anachronistic is the blithe unconcern of the heroines ... I'd like to see some type of awareness that having sex before marriage was not to be undertaken lightly.
_________________
When in doubt, read.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JulieLeto



Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatW, I hear what you're saying, I just think that young people in lust haven't changed much over the centuries...they might know there will be consequences, but they don't much care at the moment. Smile

Of course if we keep to the book that started this discussion, her getting pregnant was the whole point. I thought it was a nice twist on the usual situation. Was it entirely believable? I don't know nor did I care. The premise was compelling to me because it was so different and so complicated and so messy. Sometimes, I like a book like that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of "blithe unconcern" combined with the idea of younger people who may not have experienced any life consequences, have little experience, and likely don't know they're mortal yet seems pretty timeless to me. No matter how tight or loose the strictures of any era are, don't we all learn over time, with some folks being more impetuous or greater risk takers than others? I think it's more about an individual human being than a period of time in history. For instance, in today's world, with everything available and all the communication yadda yadda, kids are still getting pregnant, societal pressures or not.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatW wrote:
What I find anachronistic is the blithe unconcern of the heroines ... I'd like to see some type of awareness that having sex before marriage was not to be undertaken lightly.

Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to say in conveying my thoughts, Pat. Say what you may, but that was a more strict time. For instance, even the time that allowed a couple to be together alone was restricted. We can't fall back into making those times act like today. Did unmarried women have sex then? Of course. But I still feel it wasn't done lightly. They knew about babies, which was probably the primary concern, so as not to scandalize themselves and the rest of the family. There was really no birth control (not readily available anyway). If a girl wanted to be married, and I think that was a big goal for the time, then she knew that wouldn't be possible if she wasn't careful. Society was big on condemnation. For someone growing up in the 1980s and '90s, I think this is difficult for them to imagine.

My bone of contention with some authors is that they make some heroines in historical novels act as though they have no qualms about anything. Most of these stories are about the upper classes of the time and they had a code. Free spirits are fun to read about, and I'm one who loves them to death--but that doesn't mean they're to be portrayed as oblivious to consequences. The women of the time knew what was expected of them and what would happen if they wavered. Give them some credit.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2476

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll say again what I've said several times: The adjective "historical" in the terms "historical romance" indicates only that the setting is in the past, not that the contents of the romance are going to be accurate historically. As veasleyd1's interesting posts have made pretty clear, a number of occurrences that appear to indicate that an author of a romance has taken liberties with history, actually occurred. Some young person's having premarital sex without thought for the consequences seems to me a very minor liberty.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4209
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
Some young person's having premarital sex without thought for the consequences seems to me a very minor liberty.

Very true. But after reading 2,585 stories with these very same young persons and their behaviors, it becomes so believable that we accept it for reality. I know--fiction, fiction, fiction. We are all smart enough to separate fiction from reality. But I wonder sometimes. Repetition tends to breed authenticity.

And in the long run, who really cares, I guess. But since the question was posed, that's probably my #1 complaint about historicals--oh, and stupid, immaturish heroines. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JulieLeto



Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's just a matter of taste. I've read plenty of historicals (I've been reading them since I was 14 and that was a VERY long time ago!) where the heroine's constant worry about the consequences of her actions has bogged down the story. To each his own. (BTW, I've also read some very clever romances set well within the restrictive dictates of the ton, for instance, which worked very well for me.)

Also, I don't believe that all women who broke the "code" of behavior did so because they were bucking the system or were free spirits. I think they were just in the moment and following their passions. I'm not at all an impetuous person and I was raised strictly Catholic in an Italian household where consequences for actions were boldly outlined from birth...and that didn't mean I didn't do some stupid things in my youth without thinking for a minute about what would happen if I got caught, LOL!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LFL



Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 692

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie wrote:

As I've said here when I first read it, the romance was of the first infatuation /coming of age kind.


Except for The Perils of Pleasure, every JAL book I've read has been a coming of age story for its heroine. It's a big part of what I enjoy about them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny most historical romances I've read always include forced marriages and other situations where due to scandal or hints of it have forced the hero and heroine to marry to keep reputations intact for society sake.

The young heroine that doesn't care rarely happens which is why I enjoyed a different side in this story so I find that strange the statement that it's almost the norm in romances. I don't find it to be so.

Majority I've read anyway it's full of worries and consequences of having had any intimacy for that time period.

And in reality I'm sure there were those that had no thought to the consequences any more than other eras where punishment was even more severe then just being shuned in society for the classic time periods of romance written today. Think of the history long before and other cultures that probably put women to death for having any outside relations away from marriage.

In the grand scheme of all our world's history I didn't find this to be such a stretch truth be told. As others have pointed out I'm sure it happened more often then recorded.

I just find it strange that a few feel this is so out of the realm.
_________________
Romance my favorite reading pastime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LordRose



Joined: 25 Mar 2012
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JulieLeto wrote:
...Which leads me to escalate. To me, this isn't obvious. I did a little research on "escalate" because the question popped into my mind that if the word wasn't used as a verb first, then why would manufacturers of the first escalator choose to name their contraption an "escalator?" Well, it's apparently because the word "escalade" was already being used as a verb as early as the 16th century, in reference to climbing a ladder. So the word "escalate" could very well have been in use, as it is a variation, even if it was not in WRITTEN language, which is all we have to "date" words.

Do readers really expect historical writers to go look up the etymology of every word in their manuscripts? As a reader, I don't. They're writers, not etymologists. I don't want them using a word like "google" as a verb in a historical, but beyond the obvious, I like that they are writing historicals in modern language and not entirely time-period accurate language.

But that's just me. We all have our pet peeves. Smile


Maybe I'm just weird, but I actually do pull out my dictionary every time I come across a word that bothers me. In the past, I've abandoned books just for misusing titles, language, or commas/grammar in general.

Tee wrote:
My beef, actually, is with ignoring the social and moral practices of that time, along with its consequences. So, if an author presents a woman brought up in the traditions being promiscuous or even "willing to experiment," then there were definite consequences if this were ever found out. Or if she did get pregnant, that was not a minor offense in those times for any social class. I'm not saying it didn't happen; I am saying it happened with a great price to be paid. To totally ignore that and have, especially the woman, be indifferent to this just does not ring true for me. I love how Amanda Quick (Krentz) would present her heroines--pretty modern thinking, but always aware that there was a society out there that she would have to contend with. I felt she usually did a good job of combining both the past and present woman in one package.

Unfortunately, not all authors are successful with this. And I know it when I read it. Smile


I read a Jane Feather book recently (Almost a Bride) where this really bothered me. The heroine was portrayed as having a good reputation socially, but apparently had affairs whenever she felt like it. She seemed to be completely ignoring the social restrictions of the time, as well as the possibility of pregnancy, and as a result, I just couldn't like her. If she had been a widow, I probably would have liked the book much better, but as she was an unmarried young lady, I couldn't think of her as a completely believable product of her times.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1653

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatW wrote:
I think we have lost sight a bit of the basis of the "complaint" - and that was that the heroines aren't thinking of the consequences.

I very much agree that there was probably a lot of sex before marriage - but in many cases, I am of the opinion that was done with the expectation that a marriage was already planned or whould take place if a pregnancy occured.

What I find anachronistic is the blithe unconcern of the heroines ... I'd like to see some type of awareness that having sex before marriage was not to be undertaken lightly.


I haven't read the Julie Long book in question, but wasn't the hero roughly twice her age? Did he think of the consequences? Was he prepared to marry her? I know we tend to think of young people of both genders and males of any age as swept away by their hormones, but shouldn't an almost middle-aged duke be mature enough to have better impulse control? As I said, I'm just projecting from the comments here, so I may be mistaken in this characterization.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susan/DC wrote:
PatW wrote:
I think we have lost sight a bit of the basis of the "complaint" - and that was that the heroines aren't thinking of the consequences.

I very much agree that there was probably a lot of sex before marriage - but in many cases, I am of the opinion that was done with the expectation that a marriage was already planned or whould take place if a pregnancy occured.

What I find anachronistic is the blithe unconcern of the heroines ... I'd like to see some type of awareness that having sex before marriage was not to be undertaken lightly.


I haven't read the Julie Long book in question, but wasn't the hero roughly twice her age? Did he think of the consequences? Was he prepared to marry her? I know we tend to think of young people of both genders and males of any age as swept away by their hormones, but shouldn't an almost middle-aged duke be mature enough to have better impulse control? As I said, I'm just projecting from the comments here, so I may be mistaken in this characterization.


Thank you I think you make a valid point. I'm not sure why we are pointing the finger only at the young ladies. Funny how even today the women of our society will be viewed with an ill reputation while the men were just being wild or just being men. I think it carries true to even our time and probably always will sadly.

I can tell you that in the story I thought the author covered this as she wrote the hero (Pulling out and spilling his seed on her belly). Maybe in their minds they thought at the time that was their safety precaution. I remember the Genevieve also talking about how some ladies had lost their heyman through horse back riding though rare which seems to show she perhaps though no time was spent on this theory thought to tell her husband to be some such story.

So as far as the heroine worrying about the consequences since throughout the books she's said to have wild brothers who have had their sexapades throughout, perhaps she thought that this was the norm for herself to imitate her family members and believe she was allowed to get away with what they so clearly were able to.

Her psyche in all of this isn't really touched on but I would imagine we the readers have to fill in the gaps. Either way again I just don't see how this is so far from reality as I'm sure both in history and today the consequences are rarely thought about.
_________________
Romance my favorite reading pastime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Let's Talk Romance Novels Forum All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group