There are plenty of articles on the Internet from psychology resources that state romance novels are bad for women. Some say these books give women unrealistic expectations when it comes to romance and can damage real-life relationships. Perhaps the psychologists think it’s mental porn for women, somewhat like the damage visual porn inflicts on the male species. There’s also another camp that says romance movies are bad for you as well. (Let’s all stick our heads in the sand so no fantasy touches our lives.) Here are a few for your reading enjoyment:

You Won’t Believe How Romance Novels Affect the Psychology of Women (“Leading psychologists are of the opinion that romantic novels can have a huge impact on the psychology of women; sometimes, making it unhealthy for relationships.”)

The Allure of Romance – Why do romance novels sell so well? (Psychology Today says, “And that reason could be that romance novels give women something they need, and do it in a way that the world around us cannot.”)

Are Romance Movies Bad for You? (“Researchers are beginning to ask whether the make-believe world projected in “rom-coms” might actually be preventing true love in real life.”)

In today’s world, there are many other avenues of fantasy that readers take besides romance novels. Readers whisk themselves away in sci-fi planetary adventures or magical make-believe realms with dragons. Are these psychologically damaging as well because it’s not reality? I dare say in this day and age, humans need to escape reality occasionally either in books or film. As we deal with climate change, pandemics, wars, racial strife, and the other ailments of the world, it makes sense to take our minds elsewhere. If we don’t take a step outside reality for a few minutes, we’d all end up in more psychologist’s chairs doing therapy.

Many women read historical romance – both married and unmarried. In fantasy they read their duke-centric historical romance, daydreaming about calling the hero “Your Grace” and being swept off their feet in the Regency era. When the bookmark is placed or the eReader turned off, they lift their eyes to see their husband in a tee-shirt and blue jeans and sigh. The question is does it affect their marriage or does the affection they hold in the world of reality remain? I’m laughing as I write this because, in all honesty, I think most women accept the reality of life but enjoy the soothing thoughts of something a bit different between the words of a romance novel.

On the other hand, there are plenty of unmarried women in no relationship whatsoever. Do historical romance books raise their expectations too high when looking for a man, or does it actually fill a need in their lives to fantasize about what it would be like to be loved. I dare say it fills a void.

In the end, anything we do can lead to unhealthy addictions, but psychologists declaring with certainty that romance novels or romance films are bad for our mental health is a bit of an overstatement. Mentally healthy women can grip reality and “not allow their real life’s happiness to hang in the balance over a fictional character.” ( I found this beautiful quote from someone in Facebook’s Sanditon group, attempting to bring calm to the masses who have lost their senses over Theo James not returning.)

Romantic stories have been around for centuries. Did anyone complain to Shakespeare that his story of Romeo and Juliet was contributing to the high number of suicides by star-crossed lovers? Were Jane Austen’s novels deemed unhealthy for women for the past two hundred years?

Chime in. Why do you read historical romance or enjoy period dramas in film or television? Escape? Relaxation? Daydreaming? Pure enjoyment? What deep psychological need does it fulfill in your life? As Jane Austen once said, “The person, be it a gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Those of you who like the ability to read digital material rather than smelling the scent of the printed page, source your eBooks from a variety of sources. Authors and publishers make those eBooks available to readers on multiple platforms.

This week I have stumbled upon articles about libraries and how the demand for eBooks soared during the pandemic. The increase in demand has created challenges with libraries to continue to obtain the digital rights to those novels. READ HERE (Why 2021 Is Setting Up to Be a Pivotal Year for Digital Content in Libraries).

Authors and publishers distribute eBooks on a variety of platforms. As an independent author, my distributor Draft2Digital distributes my content to libraries through services such as Bibliotheca and Baker & Taylor. However, eBooks are also distributed to digital storefronts such as:

  • Amazon
  • Apple Books
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Kobo
  • Scribd
  • Tolino
  • OverDrive
  • BorrowBox
  • Hoopla
  • Vivlio
  • Others

Downloading those books depends on your digital readers like Kindle, Nook, and other generic electronic devices for PC’s, Mac, and phones.

Naturally, most people think that Amazon is the place where authors have their greatest success, which is probably true for some. However, anything you read as part of Kindle Unlimited on Amazon, you won’t find anywhere else such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, or libraries because of the exclusivity provisions placed upon authors. You can find the paper versions at retailers but not the eBook version. That it itself is a huge loss of content to readers who don’t look to Amazon for everything from eBooks to groceries.

I will admit I have two Kindles, but I find reading makes my eyes blurry. I thoroughly enjoy holding a printed book in my hand and smelling something tangible. Of course, the cost of digital readers eventually pays for itself when individuals can read books for free or 99 cents rather than paying $12.99 for a print copy of your next aristocratic love story.

Naturally, I’m slightly curious as to where you source your eBooks. Do you depend on library content or are you sourcing from retailers? If you’re a book sniffer, chime in too. We all have our addictions.

The British novelist died at the age of 41 on July 18, 1817.  Celebrated for her sharp wit, descriptions of domestic life and subtle criticism of England’s economic and class structure, Austen’s works continue to be dissected and analyzed in classrooms and beyond.

Source: 70 facts you might not know about iconic British novelist Jane Austen | CBC Books

 

It is 170 years since Elizabeth Gaskell first published her most popular work Cranford but thanks to more recent period dramas, the author’s novels are seeing a surge of interest from new, young fans.” I call it the Bridgerton effect,” says Sally Jastrzebski-Lloyd, the manager of the museum at the author’s former Manchester home, which is currently hosting an exhibition on her novel.

Source: Elizabeth Gaskell: The Victorian author feeling the Bridgerton effect – BBC News

Wonderful news about a resurgence of interest in Elizabeth Gaskell. I am a fan of her works, some of which you may have seen in TV adaptations and not realized who authored those stories.  Classics such as:

  • North and South
  • Wives and Daughters
  • Cranford

I had the wonderful opportunity during one of my four trips to Manchester, UK to visit the home where she lived and penned many of her stories.  I pulled the same doorknob and Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens.  If you would like to see pictures of the interior of the home and read about my visit, visit this link.

Lovers of ‘Pride and Prejudice’… rejoice! In this video, we step into the author’s world, taking a virtual trip to the Jane Austen House and Museum, located in Chawton, Hampshire. The cultural landmark offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the latter part of Austen’s life, which is when she called…

Source: A room-by-room tour of Jane Austen’s final home | Cyprus Mail

What a hoot! Would you dump the Bachelor/Bachelorette on ABC to watch a Regency-Style Dating show? Sounds like fun for historical romance readers. It will be interesting to see how the men look in cravats and if they speak Regency love lines.  Let’s hope the costumes make the grade.

If the phrase, “I love you most ardently” doesn’t set your panties ablaze, then find a different show.  Knowing all this, I have decided to throw away my marriage and pursue my newfound dream of being a contestant in Peacock’s new dating series Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance. The show appears to be a Bachelorette adjacent dating series with the special twist of transporting participants back in time to a romanticized version of Jane Austen’s novels. Well, the Cliffnotes, at least.

Source: Peacock Announces Regency-Style Dating Competition Show

Additional Sources:  Pride & Prejudice Inspired Reality Dating Show Ordered at Peacock

Fifty shades of chaste! Sorry, after chuckling, I had to share.

It’s a long way from the sex scenes that made her name in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Dakota Johnson has traded bondage gear for a period outfit in Bath for the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

Source: Fifty shades of chaste! Dakota Johnson films an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion | Daily Mail Online

Extensive article on the subject and great read.

During the Regency and into the Victorian era, the London social season was particularly busy from April to the end of June, but events were held throughout the winter, starting when Parliament returned in late January and included military reviews, dinner parties, and charity events, and went on to the end of July. Débutante (French for female beginner) balls were a highlight, hosted at the grand houses of the aristocracy. Lord Byron referred to these galas as marriage marts, because it was the best venue for young ladies to encounter possible suitors.

Source: “Coming Out” During the Early Victorian Era; about debutantes | Kate Tattersall Adventures

I have had the great pleasure of visiting this fine home in Manchester during one of my many trips hunting for my ancestors. If you need a bit of a reminder, Elizabeth Gaskell wrote North & South, Wives & Daughters, Cranford, and other works, many of which have been made into major television series.

During my visit to her home, I pulled the same doorbell as Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte, standing in the same places. If you would like to see pictures of this fine Georgian residence, please visit my website here for information.

Below is an excerpt from their blog, which always has informative information.  If you like to research the past or love any of the stories Elizabeth penned, you should visit often.  It’s a wonderful place for authors and readers.

Tea plays an integral role in Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Cranford. Grown in India, a British colony, and imported by the East India Company, tea became a national beverage which could be found in practically every household. But tea was more than just an infusion of dried leaves it was he beverage that was consistently turned to when spirits were in need of reviving. It is a word that prefixes so many others to indicate its numerous uses and association. Just Read more>>

Source: Tea at Cranford: Charlotte Bronte and the Great Victorian Tea Fraud – elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk elizabethgaskellhouse.co.uk

I don’t remember how they came about. I figured out recently that I would have started writing The Duke and I in 1998. So this book now, if it were a person, it could drink legally. I honestly don’t remember how the Bridgerton family was born… But while I can’t remember how I came up with the Bridgerton family, I can tell you how I came up with Lady Whistledown. You probably know this since you’re a writer, the term “info dump.”

Source: Julia Quinn On ‘Bridgerton,’ That Controversial Sex Scene, & What’s Next