Saturday, September 6, 2008

Contemporary Time Capsules

Georgette Heyer is listed as having written the first ‘historical’ romance novel. Don’t you find that interesting? I love so many historical novels. Jane Austen’s have become classic literature, as have Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and her sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights. Classics and historical, yes, but at the time they were written, these books were contemporary romances.

As time passes, contemporary novels often act like time capsules for the generation about which they were written. I remember reading Emily Loring’s romances when in my late teens. I found it interesting they were written at the time my grandmother was a young woman and gave me a picture into her world and cultural mores and what life must have been like for her.

If you have read some of the romances written since 1950, each decade comes alive as a special time and place in a novel's setting. So when you read a contemporary romance today, think about how the setting is revealed and how true it is to the world as you know it. Someday in the future, your granddaughter might read the same book, now a historical fiction, and relate to you and the world you live in today.

No comments:

Post a Comment