To start our long month study of the romance genre, I thought that it would be fun for you think about what was your first encounter with the subject of romance. This is not to say what was your first romance but what was your first knowledge about what is romance. The first few examples, that come to find are like Beauty and the Beast. Yes, the Disney animated classic was what I would consider my first encounter with is romance. Granted, I could say that it was the Little Mermaid, but that really wasn’t like what was in Beauty and the Beast. Other examples, that come to mind are like Dirty Dancing, although, as we all know now Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey did not like each other at all but we were still given the illusion that the characters that they played did have a thing for each other. But we all cannot forget that line “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
Other examples that come to mind of romance, were some of the couples that I saw on soap operas when my mom was watching them. Granted, I got to catch a glimpse of The Young and the Restless or As the World Turns from time to time. But having this as part of my foundation of romance, allowed me to enjoy it more as an adult like when watching Grey’s Anatomy or say Scandal.
However, before there were Meredith and Derick there was The Thorn Birds. Yes, I loved the Thorn Birds. The Thorn Birds was somewhat like Romeo and Juliet with the forbidden love and they both pinning for each other even though there was another “Man” in the picture. The love between a girl and a priest which was also the basis for the novel, The Mermaid Chair.
Another example that comes to mind, of course, is Romeo and Juliet. Where to start with our star-crossed lovers? There are so many places such as the balcony scene, the hidden marriage vows, the fake death of Juliet which leads to Romeo and her death. Was it necessarily romantic? Maybe not but to every young girl that runs across the story for the first time, the answer is yes. It’s like watching the adaptation of West Side Story, where we want our characters to pull through and it goes back to that idea that love never dies.
There are so many examples that come to mind of what was my first taste of romance but hands down, it will always be the animated classic, Beauty and the Beast, since it has all the makings of a true romance novel. Since you have the tension between the two characters and then there is an obstacle that comes gets in the way of their happily ever after, he almost dies and then there is magic that saves him and then we get the happy and uplifting ending where they live happily ever after.
So what was your first taste of romance?
As per my promise that I made yesterday, I started to read Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence. Granted, I’ve only read 52 pages of the 307-page novel, but so far it’s enjoyable. But as I”m reading Wharton’s novel, a curious question came to me if a book that was written in the past read by today’s audiences still considered historical fiction? Or if the book was written today would and read by today’s audiences make it a historical fiction?