Set in the regency era I believe. Sorry I don't remember anything else right now. Maybe someone here will remember this one: I read it in college, so it would have been published pre or so. It's a historical romance set in the crusades time period in England. The heroine has a brother I think maybe he's the one who ends up becoming friar tuck.
The hero who is a knight of some sort and the heroine travel across country with her brother and some other people as a group. They're going to save some girl I think maybe, who turns out to be blind? I do remember that there's a bar brawl scene at one point. Sorry so vague, but it's been a long time since I read it. I remember really liking it though and I'd like to re-read it and maybe see if the author has written anything else. I dont remember if the woman was an actress.
But she was a beautiful woman who got stranded and a rancher gave her a job. I "borrowed" a book trilogy from my Grandpa who loved to read romance novels! He can't see well enough now about 15 years ago that took place in the American colonies and some islands in the Gulf of Mexico that were used by pirates. There was a hurricane in one where the heroine lost her memory and was rescued by a Spanish galleon and was on the verge of marrying a Spanish noble when her memory came back and her pirate husband rescued her before they both were executed.
She was courted by at least one other pirate, maybe Jean LaFitte? I think in the 3rd book they retired and settled down on his estate in the Carolinas or Virginia under his real name. Classic bodice-rippers all three, but I thought they were wonderful at the time and reread them at least once, maybe twice. I remembered the author!!!
Valerie Sherwood I was slicing up potatoes for beef stew and it just popped into my head! The books were Nightsong , Windsong , and Lovesong. Not necessarily in that order. This is an add on to my message I still think it was one of Janet Dailey's State books, but it might have been the one about Utah. Land Of Enchantment was set in New Mexico.
Katybear, Check out this page, which lists books that touch on the Robin Hood legend and characters. Many of those listed are romances. The story opens on Elyse overseeing the wedding preparation of her cousin female. During the ceremony she slips away to the bridal chambers to make sure every thing is everything where she is kidnapped by Max and his cronies. Any suggestions to the title and author would be really appreciated, I am longing to re-read this story. Dainty, that sounds an awful lot like Jude Devereaux 's Velvet Angel. The hero's name was Miles, though, and the heroine's was Elizabeth.
He kidnapped her by mistake in a rolled up carpet. I read it not too long ago. They end up in the north wintering over in a castle and getting involved with some bad guys from the hansiatic league. I was thinking it was set in the Elizabethan era, though. It's one of Woodiwiss' best, in my opinion. Wasn't the heroine in that one also rolled up in a carpet?
Thanks a million, katybear. You guys are the best. But Knight in Shining Armor is awesome! Dainty - Glad to help! I'm not nearly as well-read romance-wise as most of the people here, so I confess I was absurdly excited when I recognized the book! Don't you just love those tried n true plot devices? I got three books that I need help finding one is driving me "bonkers" 'cause I didn't like it the first time around, but message 21 sounds like it and I thought I knew the name, and the more I try to remember ahh I don't remember the author.
He's a utter bastard, but considering that his little daughter screams evertime he comes near her that would make anyone mad at the world. They met on a ship, the hero having a hard time comforting his travel-worn daughter, and the heroine who happen to be a spy for her side is carrying some priceless porcelain doll which she kindly lends the child. Somehow losses sight of them in the crowd and has to track down the guy, the child and the doll, because the doll has a secret compartment with vital info need by her side.
I think the guy was also a spy for his side too. She did find them and had to pose as a nanny for hire so that she can steal the doll back before its secrets are discovered. The Duke is dead and his brother plots to do away with the new born heiress and assume the title. The dying duchess is aware of the plot and after the delivery of her daughter she details the plot in a letter which she places in the spine of her bible and on her the last of her dying strength she takes the newborn, warms the family seal and brands the child on her "butt".
Child escape death as the henceman kind of a Finnegan character the villain used decided to raise the child as his own so one day he can claim the title thru the child.
She's raised as a pickpocket and on her first time out she gets caught by the hero who likens her appearance to one of their ilk. Hi Everyone! Actually found the title right one, silly me and the author of book 1. It's called Loving Julia by Karen Robards which was suggested to me on talk forum at www. I usually like time travel stories too. It appears to be a book that generates a lot of divided opinion.
A lot of people really like it, but an equal number seem to hate it. I'm looking for two books: 1 is a gothic romance, and I only remember a few details. First, it was by an author I wasn't familiar with, and had a black cover with no people on it. I know that the hero accused the heroine of being a witch, which she denied, but after they slept together, he made note that she had two "witches marks" that were birthmarks above her pubic line.
Also, she was clueless about sex, and asked the hero what "fellate me" meant because she overheard another man say it to a woman I remember he had to teach her all about sex, and she was so afraid of it, that he tied himself up for her so she wouldn't have to fear being overpowered. I remember she wore a jean skirt with buttons all the way to the floor, and they had sex on a kitchen table. Thanks, Ireland. Now if I could only get relief from the 3RD. This one I found on another site and it sounds so good, I would like to read it Ring any bells?
Message 43 O. I know this is kind of late but I just read your 3 as part of my search - I am still looking for the book above in post I see you found it. Hi Winnie, Whisper to Me of Love isn't your book of 21? I could have sworn that your book was solved in another thread Anyho, here's an overview for Whisper to Me of Love by Shirlee Busbee A whisper of Passion She was a raven-haired waif from the streets of london - a wild innocent to be rescued A spirited beauty she would captivate Royce Manchester's jaded heart-while resisting the smoldering desire she felt for her virile protector.
When fate hurls them together in , their lives are changed forever. A whisper of Danger In Royce's glittering world of money and privilege, young Morgana discovered the shocking sercret of her true identity- entangling the wealthy American planter in a deadly skein of aristocratic family intrugue. But grave evil would only feed the flames of love that knew no bounds and glorious rapture that would not be denied. Hope you find your story. She's supposed to be watching this one guy and there is a scene with him where he is giving her a massage with oil etc.
I got it at this used book sale these old ladies in my neighborhood had in their garage but after i read my grandma took and i never saw it again. Here's another one. This book is called something like Second Chance or something to that effect. It's about this deaf woman a scientist who dies getting hit by a car while crossing a street after work. She goes to a "heaven" like place where this apparent angel tells her she wasn't supposed to die so she gets another chance.
She ends up in the pass in the body of this woman who was in a coma maybe? It ends happily ever after with her wining back the husbands love And one more kind of similar to the last one. Starts out with this car crash scene.
Macaulay, Fannie Caldwell
Woman in car crash hits her head apparently and can't remember anything of who she is. Her husband finds her but she doesn't recognize him and passes out and into a coma. She wakes has no idea about anything, doesn't even recognize her own face. She goes home and the reader gradually finds out that she was not a nice person but since she can't remember She lives in a huge house with her husband and these apparently French siblings who work for her and her husband.
Anyways she kind of starts to remember, makes up with her husband Who does end of rescuing her. So there are my vague summaries of books i read at one type and can't remember. I've been looking for these forever it seems like cuz they were really good Help! Do you all know about Byron? The last one sounds a little like a Theresa Charles book which was published as both Dark Legacy and Happy now I go, neither of which touchstone.
I love this book. I don't think it's that one since I remember it being more contemporary then that It was republished in the 80s, but it was very much set in WW2. Although since it was written during WW2 orignally the "feel" is more contemporary. Sort of. But the French part is not it. A woman wakes up in the hospital in France after a car crash.
She has amnesia and doesn't recognize the man who claims to be her husband. He lives in a castle with his mother and sister -- and they have a daughter she doesn't remember either. Eventually it turns out to be a case of mistaken identity. Too bad no one else recognizes my first one! It sounds interesting. I just added it to the Romantic Times Book Sleuth discussion thread, though. Winnie, I don't see a post that you found your book 21 yet. Could it be Love's Charade by Jane Feather? Oh, this is so exciting! The book I'm looking for is a totally trashy romance my cousin and I read for the sex scenes when we were younger.
It involved this guy who was a teacher or a professor and had bright red hair. Anyway, he had sex with a bunch of girls, and they all came back to this reunion with batches of redhaired children It was cheesy, but I remember it so vividly and wish I could find it again! Anybody recognize it? No sorry. But welcome to the group superblondgirl! Jenson, According to the people on the Romantic Times Message Boards, my book 2 up there is Fantasy by Lori Foster , which they say was originally published as part of a series romance and then repubed after she got famous. I've got it bookmooched now, but I haven't received it yet, so I'll let you know when I get it in.
Ireland, I have Foster's Fantasy, but I didn't recognize it from the bits you remembered. Here's the blurb from the back cover: Security consultant Sebastian Sinclair agrees to be sold at a bachelor auction. Being bought is one thing, now he's about to be given away as a gift for some lucky birthday girl. But one look at Brandi Sommers and Sebastian can't wait to be unwrapped.
Brandi really means it when she says "Oh, you shouldn't have" to her sister's outrageous birthday gift, a five-day dream vacation to a lovers' retreat. Lover included. What's she going to do in paradise with the sexy stranger Sebastrian Sinclair? Brandi soon discovers she can do whatever she wants.
I remember this one now. If you like Fantasy, and you haven't read the other Visitation books, you should. They are all fabulous! I hope someone can tell me what this book is. I read it years ago, from the library, and could never figure out what the book was after I sent it back. I don't know names either. All I remember was that the lady was going on vacation in either scotland or england.
She was staying in a type of lodge or log cabin. There was something magical that appeared, some type of God or Faery. They fell in love. It was forbidden for him to love someone, so he was sent back to no-where land before a council to get his fate judged. She went home and balled her eyes out. She told her sister or someone close to her about him, and the person was convinced that it was all a dream, that she had from the plot of a book she was reading. She convinced herself of that too. Then months later he moves in across the street from her, and thats the end of the book.
I keep thinking that he begged the councel to send him back as a person so they could have a life together. BUT I have a very active imagination, so I don't know if that was in there or if I just dreamed it up myself when the book was done with. Thanks :D. The Secret Life of Bryan was one of my faves of the visitation series. I'll have to check out fantasy, it sounds good.
Ireland, it will be interesting to see if they got the right book. CrazyDaisyLou - It kind of sounds like a short story I read in Man of My Dreams which was an anthology except the ending it much, much different. In this short story the heroine is a librarian who discovers her former lover at a solstace celebration. He left her because he had been taken by the fairies and was the consort of the fairy queen. It's probably not the same one but I thought I'd mention it. It does sound like a very good story, hope you figure out what it is.
There is a Johanna Lindsey with a plot like this. The heroine is named Rosalind or something like that and is a medieval history professor. She collects swords and bought one that was cursed and brought forth Thor, a Viking warrior. They fall in love and travel through time, and the only way to break the curse is if she voluntarily gives him the sword back, which she does to free him, but it send them back to their respective times.
Her brother and best friend both tell her she's been sick and it's been a dream or some such thing and at the end Thor does appear in her time as a modern man, having appealed to Odin in Valhalla to give him a second chance at life.
I think it was called Until Forever or something like that. Her name is Roseleen, but other than that you are on the mark gracer. It is called Until Forever. I don't usually read contemporaries, but I remember reading one when I was younger that I would like to find again. It was written in the 80s and followed the romantic lives of music prodigies who meet at school as teenagers. It followed them into adulthood and was an old school 80s epic. The main character is a virtuoso girl who is considerably younger than the others who has a serious case of unrequited love for the big man on campus.
He de-flowers her an expression one never uses outside of a romance novel and then walks out on her. They wind up getting together years later and she of course has only ever had sex once with him as a teenager because who knows. They also have a male friend who is involved in some weird bi-threesome plot where he refers to some sex act as being as romantic as "changing a light bulb. Thanks so much Gracer and LucyMaude. I hope this is it, it sounds like it is. I'm surprised I don't have it, considering I've collected 25 Johanna Lindsey novels so far.
But I'm 25, and it's been at least 9 years since I read it, and I didn't even actually own any books back then. I am SO going out tomorrow to look for it. Remember Me there are 3 of them. I am still looking for the book in message Here is the description from bn. Synopsis Eyes snapping emerald fire, Isabeau DeBurgh alias the Devil's Flame-sat motionless upon her fine black stallion. The most feared and notorious highwayman of them all was about to strike Publishers Weekly Readers who don't put a premium on originality may find this fast-paced tale of s England amusing, with its masterful hero and spunky heroine.
Isabeau DeBurgh, a beautiful woman with a hot temper and a vocabulary to match, earns a living at what she does best--highway robbery. But the night she tries to rob Lord Griffin Stone, an aristocratic black sheep just back from America, her luck runs out; he wounds her in a sword fight. Griffin won't turn Isabeau over to the authorities who might hang her nor turn her loose to steal, so he decides to take her home, dress her up and teach her the finer points of etiquette. Meanwhile Isabeau develops a soft spot in her heart for Griffin, as he does for her.
And why not? Compared to the rest of the crew, a mere thief looks pretty attractive. Winniekuhl, I think I have solved the mystery of I knew it sounded familiar, I just had a hard time coming up with the name. It is Birdie by Taylor Ryan. It is a Harlequin Historical published in Actually, a copy is being sold on ebay right now if you want to look at it.
I probably shouldn't be so confident. After all I could be wrong. But I hope I'm not. Let me know if I got it. Thanks megkrahl, I read the desciption and it is not it.
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Thanks for trying! Hi Winnie, i thought it might be The Rogue and the Hellion by Connie Mason as she is a highwayman, but found out to be a girl, he takes her back to teach her a lesson but she turns out to be a lady! But then i realised it wasn't published until , might have been re-released, but i thought it was worth a mention just incase Hope you find what yr looking for!
Her flirtatious sister, Daphne, is engaged to a man who will only inherit if he is married by a certain date. Daphne elopes, leaving behind a note and her wedding dress. Sophie shows up at the altar, but Alex, the bridegroom, recognizes her for who she is. They agree to marry to allow him to inherit and her to save face for her sister.
It does sound familiar, but I am at a loss as well. The names of the sisters are different, but the plot sounds very similar. In the Bradley story, the sisters are twins. Could be it. I found a description: Lovely Sophia Forest was a very intellectual young lady for the year in Regency England--quite different from her beautiful and flighty sister, Daphne.
All London was agog when Sophia rather than Daphne wed the dashing Earl of Gresham, whose scorn for bookish females was well-known. The marriage was intended as a business arrangement only--to preserve the Earl's fortune and give Sophia financial independence. But what was Sophia to do when she found herself enamoured of her husband, though too proud to admit it? Sophia needed all her wit and womanly wiles in a game of pretense and passion, to make the man she loved, love her. We'll see if it's the right one.
It's original copyright date was Hello, I was wondering if anyone could help me find the names of two books I read some years ago. I believe they were published around always before August I believe they are from British authors. They are both romances. One has a yellow cover with little cakes or cupcakes - I don't recall on them.
She shares her house with some friends. The book is really funny. The other one has a light blue cover and I don't remember the story that well. I do know that in the end, the guy gives the girl a unique rose that he himself well, his company I guess created by matching 2 types of roses. In this last one, I just remembered that in the beginning, the girl is trying some clothes in a shop and afraid of a bee runs topless through the shop and bumps into the guy.
Well, I know it's not much, but if anyone could help, I'd be very grateful. Thank you very much. I love that you guys have this section. New here, so please bear with me. I also think she had a girlfriend who runs a local bookshop. I know it isn't much to go on, but every time I think I may be remembering more of the story I start to think I'm combining two stories into one. It's driving me batty.
Nyah99 -- yellow cover with possible cupcakes reminds me of He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan , but I'm not sure that's your book. This one takes place in Miami? The heroine has a goal to lose weight for publicity with the hero being her trainer. Not one of the Bridgertons I'll dig around a bit and see if I can come up with a title. Thank you so much both of you. Thank you again. Thank you for your help. I've just found the name of the other book. First of all, its cover is not blue, but white. Aviddiva- Thanks. It could be Amanda Quick, though I still can't seem to place it.
And it seems like she has several with trading places type themes. I'll keep digging thru her stuff and see, though I appreciate you still looking as well. The Duke's grandfather corresponds with the heroine and carries on the courtship. Grandpa dies and when grandson comes back from the war, he finds out he is engaged to her. Grandson goes to confront her, she thinks he is the new footman she has hired and the story then continues. It's pretty funny actually. Hope this helps. In that book, the hero is disguised as the heroine's butler. He is a spy and the powers that be believe that her deceased husband had something of importance he was a spy too.
There is also a Julia Quinn where the hero shows up and pretends to be her estate manager or something similar. She's the impoverished daughter of an earl or something similar who is working as a paid companion to a crotchety old lady who's nephew is a Marquis posing as her estate manager to get to the bottom of who is blackmailing her. Very funny and entertaining! Thanks guys. Oddly, I have missed all of those and will now be reading those to see if maybe I've just lost my entire peas sized brain and maybe DID actually read one of those.
Hopefully it'll come to me soon as it's still tickling the back of my mind constantly. Very sad I tell you. Thanks again! I'm pretty sure its a historical romance but all i remember is that the hero if the book is sold at an auction. He is bought by a woman for her daughter. I don't remember the name or the author of the book. I have a vague memory of one like that as well, but can't quite place it. I need some help with a book title too, It's a historical romance and the lady poses as a highwayman to take cre of the estate.
The lady also posed as an ugly crone on the night their supposed meeting. Not quite sure this fits the bill but My Lady Notorius by Jo Beverley has a highwayman heroine with a cruel father and brother. She is trying to protect her widowed sister and baby who the father is trying to marry off to some awful man. The book is part of the Malloren series and takes place in Georgian England. The one you describe sounds familiar too but so far it's escaping me! Hi everyone! Here goes nothing I'm looking for a book that's been bugging me for about a month now.
I don't know the title or author or character names. I think the "hero" is from a well-known, well-off family. I know the "heroine" is from a poor family. She has red hair. I'm not sure if she has an older brother or dad. I remember the first chapter or so clearly, but not sure if the rest when they're older is correct or from another story. I think the two sisters were off to the store I think the sister was hitting on the guy Sadly, that's all I remember. I keep thinking Linda Howard, but I just don't know Thank-you for any help you guys can give.
I will try my best to do the same. Thank you again! It is! Thank-you so much! I cannot believe how I could have overlooked that! I had a feeling it might've been Linda Howard Thank-you again! Hi Suge, I tried to read all the threads and it doesn't look as if anyone had named your book, but I have the answer! It was one of the first romance novels I ever owned and one I go back to and reread every now and then! Hi, all--I'm trying to find a certain book. It was out in paperback before probably well before that.
The setting is definitely 19th century or earlier nobility, etc. I remember two main things about it: earlier on, there's a scene where the heroine is in the library with the hero moonlight, filmy nightgown, lots of sexual tension ; later, he kidnaps her and they're in an inn--very steamy sex then. If any of you can help, it would be much appreciated! Isisreads, if you reverse the order of the scenes with the library later than the inn , there are two scenes very similar to what you've described in Judith Ivory 's Untie My Heart.
It's my least favourite Ivory book but lots of other people absolutely love it. Of course, an inn and a library are kind of popular settings for historical romance, so any other details you can supply might help readers here pinpoint the book you're looking for. I'm looking for a book I read around 5 or 6 years ago so let's say for starters that I picked up at a book sale at the local library.
So it had probably been around for a while before that. The setting of the novel is I believe in a sort of system similar to 19th or 18th century England where there were still nobles around that controlled estates and whatnot. Additionally, fine carriages and at least unsophisticated firearms were around too if I remember correctly.
The plot revolves around a heroine named Kate or something similar - I want to say her full name was Kathleen or Katherine or something along those lines who has gotten stuck with running the family estate because her brother, who should be in charge, is incompetent and doesn't really do anything. At the same time she's riding around in dark clothes on a black horse, holding up stagecoaches for some odd reason. It had to do with the family honor - I want to say she was looking to catch smugglers or something along those lines?
Don't remember too well. But she's holding up these coaches looking for something. Now a gentleman from somewhere else visits the estate for a bit for some reason or another and love begins to spark between him and Kate don't remember his name, sorry. He begins to deduce that she's the highwayman in question and follows her one night when she makes a run.
Things go wrong on this trip and she gets shot by a guy in the carriage but the gentleman saves her and brings her back to her home. He then covers for her in order to make sure no one else found out about her double life. Near the end of the story Kate finds that some of her brother's friends one creepy guy in particular who keeps on hitting on her are performing some criminal activity on the family land. She gets captured and the gentleman goes to save her, killing the ringleader in a duel.
So yeah sorry there aren't too many specific details but that's what I remember from the book. Hope someone can help me find it - even a couple of general titles that might fit the profile would help! Gasharko, I don't know the name of the book you seek although it sounds tantalizingly familiar but this list of "highwayman" themed regencies, which includes stories with women in male bandit disguise, might help you find what you're looking for: Highwaymen themed romances at The Nonesuch.
Hello from Australia — I am searching for a book — unknown title or author The other central character is the dashing pirate who attempts to seduce and control her. Cheers from Aus, Tan. I need some help to name a book. I know the book was a Harlequin Presents I want to say around or later about a married guy who was dating another younger woman.
She stops the affair and he tries to convince her not to. He worked for father-in-law. The man's wife was a paralytic, and at the end of the book, she leaves the husband for her nurse? If anybody could remember the title, I would appreciate. It has been bothering me about remembering the title.
Hi Guys, I am new to this group, and I was hoping to get some help finding a book i read around It is basically about a temporary housekeeper or a helper who is 8 months pregnant, and you later find out that she is a virgin. The owner of the house who is a businessman, ends up falling in love with her.
I think in the scene that she tells the hero that she is a virgin is where she is getting made fun off by local boys, as she is young and seen as easy because she winds up pregnant. She is actually a surrogate for her sister and her husband, but both die in an accident leaving her alone. To take care of herself and the child, she gets this temp job. I believe she is Italian. He also helps her give birth to the child in his house, which i think is a girl.
The last scene is of them getting married, and she is walking down the aisle, looking at the baby and thinking about everything. I have been trying to recall this book for a long time but as it is one of the first ones I read, I don't remember more about it. I have looked through many book lists and themed lists to find it including all romance writers, romancewiki, and fictiondb. I would really appreciate any help i get. I think the heroine has never been rich, and I am positive the setting is in the U. But thanks anyways. Let me know if any others come to your mind. Maybe this one?
Myles Wellington still grieved over the loss of his young wife, but when he learned that her sister, Faith, was carrying his child, he felt the stirrings of life inside he'd believed he'd never feel again! Faith had secretly agreed to help her sister give her husband this last gift, but she had her own reasons for wanting this child, wanting to give Myles something no one else could. She'd loved him for so long, had been so alone - until Myles insisted she live with him How could she share the same house with the man whose touch set her soul on fire, yet how could she resist grabbing at the chance fate had given her to have the only man she'd ever loved?.
Myles wanted this child, but he was shocked to discover he wanted Faith even more. Exulting in the intense desires she aroused in him to protect, to possess, Myles struggled to break free of the past. Could they put to rest their memories of the woman they'd both loved and build a future together? Sounds like the kind of plots they have.
It could be presents, romance, or american romance. I just came across a special edition silhouette called An abundance of babies by Marie Ferrarella but it isnt the one, which is very similar! I am almost starting to feel like the book doesnt exist. Any of you feel that way while looking for a book? I was searching through vintageromances. You said you read the book in the early 's so I've only been looking for books in that time frame, but could it also have been published in the 's?
Also, is there anything you remember about the cover, such as color maybe? It is possible it was published in the late 90s. I was thinking the cover had yellow and blue on it Pregnant female butler 8-months along. The book summary doesn't mention surrogacy, but the term did show up two times when I searched for that term in Google Books. XD The heroine is a surrogate for her aunt and uncle though. This is it!!! Yea I had a feeling the summary wouldn't mention surrogacy, but I was wrong about the sister and husband.
Thank you so much! Once i saw the cover, I realized I have seen it before. Let me know if you need help finding a book, I'll be sure to return the favour. Hi guys i'am so glad to have found this place I have been looking for this Victorian romance about the hero being engaged since he was young by his father. He falls in love with his newfound bride and so does she. But she tries to be more of a lady and so his best friend teaches her how to act in society while our hero is on a trip The sister in law is in a wheel chair and is trying to get rid of the heroine and also there are snipets of their past lives Sorry if it sounds confusing but I' ve been looking for this book forever!
My name is Florecer and I am a new member of this group. First let me answer the question of Nyah99, the post number 84 about the last novel: the description sounds like "The Shocking Lord Standon" by Louise Allen, and is part of the Revenhurst Saga. Here a leave the book description. He cannot honorably deny them, but he won't be forced into marriage. Encountering a respectable governess in scandalizing circumstances, Gareth demands her help—to make him entirely ineligible. He educates the buttoned-up Miss Jessica Gifford in the courtesan's arts. But Gareth hasn't bargained on such an ardent, clever pupil—or on his passionate response to her!
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He wanted to cause a stir—it seems they are about to brew a scandal! The list the list in the correct order is: 1. Ravenhurst 6. Hurst 7. Now is my turn to have a question. I am looking for a book whose name and author I can not remember. The plot was somthing like this: two sisters twins are abducted by a bandit. This man promises to free one of the sisters if the other promises to stay with him. One of them grants the motion and gradually discovers that the villain has a noble heart. I read the description when I was looking for other books to read, but never wrote down the data of this book to read next.
If any of you could tell me the name of the book or author, I am very grateful for your help. Okay, I read this book several years ago, and can't remember what the title or author is. Its a Regency romance. The main female lives in the slums of England. I don't really remember who the hero was, he was an earl or something i think, and he takes her in and makes her over.
But near the end of the book I think they have a fight and she returns to the slums just as a cholera outbreak hits. She has a prostitute friend who dies and because she then catches cholera as well, she loses the baby she was pregnant with. I don't know the book and really want to read it again. She is English but she grew up in the Paris slums. The Earl seeks her out for revenge complicated plot and then agrees to marry her back in England.
They have a short lived blissful time but then have a big disagreement she learns the truth about him and she goes back to Paris and the slums. There is a cholera epidemic there after she leaves him in England. I think she did lose a baby, but I can't remember for sure. It was a really good book. He has a scarred face and this is the last of a trilogy of brothers. Is this it? Woohoo, a success story! Yay for a happy ending!
I never know these, which is weird because I've read so many romances. Hi,I m looking for a harlequin I read many many years ago. The heroine is english and visits her cousin who lives in a farm in France i think with her husband. The heroine also helps out in the farm.
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Her cousin tries to ruin everything she does around the farm -remember an incident where the heroine cooks soup for the farm workers and the cousin drops soap in it on purpose to ruin it. The farm owner who is her cousin's brother in law is very prejudiced against her. I want to read it again! Can't believe it really! I ve been looking for this book for so long and you just found it right away! I ve got another one but I am afraid that's much harder to find since I remember so little of it It's all thanks to the person who runs the Vintage Romances website.
She breaks each book down by keywords and I use that to help me look for your book. I'm afraid the other book you are looking for is much harder since there isn't a lot of information to set it apart from any other medical romance, but I will try. Hi everyone I was wondering if you can help me figure out the title of this book I read a little over a year ago It has to do with a wealthy girl who runs away from home to find herself in the streets.
She becomes friends with a group or a "gang" of pickpockets. I distinctly remember that most of them were good kids expect for one of them who I believe was named Jack? I'm not quite so sure. There was also a character which was a small boy who grew fond of this girl. She would read to them every night. She also fell in love with the leader of the "gang". The mean boy Jack tried to force himself on her and was shunned from the group. Jack teams up with an evil man who is the leader of a rival pickpocket gang and they try to take them out.
By this time the girls older brother finds her and takes her back to her rich lifestyle. Can anyone help me? Theres also a sequel to that book. It is set later when the girl is a young lady and she meets again with the kid she fell in love with and they have an affair and blah blah you know the rest haha. Also there's a book really similar to If You Deceive by Kresley Cole same time period I believe except: -Theres a poor girl who works at a bar and she meets this handsome lord.
Anyways something happens that she goes back to where she lived neighborhood and gets herself really sick. The lord comes to find her and her prostitute friend tells him that she died and was in this building where they keep the bodies. He finds her on the table and she was bleeding she had lost the babe and she recuperates and they live happily ever after I also believe he was extremely rich and he left his rather luxurious home to live downtown paris or another setting because something happened In any case, that's what I've been looking into.
Most of them seem to be doctor-nurse romances, but I couldn't find a nurse-patient book that fits your description. It's harder with older books because sometimes there isn't a description available, the description is short, or the description is vague. Would you like to do search on your own? Starlight genie - thank you so much for your help, I will try this website you mentioned!
I was wondering if you could help me figure out what book this is it has be bugging me for ever not being able to figure it out! I remember very little about the book. I can't remember the title, author or even the character's names since its been a while since I read it The children aren't her own. The kids were given up by their parents, because they were poor. Everyone is under the impression that the husband is kind by taking in these poor kids, but in reality he abuses them. I think he might've even been a pedophile?
No one knows his secret except the heroine. But she escapes with these children and tries to go back and save the rest of them. I don't quite remember how she meets the hero of the story, but I think he's titled as well and he tries to help out the heroine by formulating a plan since her husband is well-known. Random facts I remember about from this book is that the heroine was also abused by her husband and I think punished by being put in a cage?
Hope that made sense Thanks in advance! Hello all new here as well. I know a knight inherits land but when he gets there its been razed. The cover was all reds with a girl leaning backwards in a beautiful gown with a man holding her i think but i might be blending stories Thank you! Hi klkeefe, I think I read something like that not to long ago though it wasn't medieval but more Regency. But it rings a bell.
Not sure if I'm not mixing up two books though. It sounds a little like Fairest of them All by Theresa Medeiros, but I don't think the plot points all match up. The heroine is a beauty in disguise, but I don't remember the land being razed. I have been searching for a contemporary romance novel for years. The heroine thinks she is dating a guy but he is an FBI agent?
I believe she is a secretary and it looks as if her boss is involved in baby smuggling or some other type of illegal activity. She is taken down to the police station, in front of everyone at work I believe and the young brash agent along with his older much more mature partner question her for hours. The brash agent even scares her by mentioning having to go into witness protection. They are apparently holding her long enough so they can install a wire tap in her house.
When she meets up with him the hero who wants revenge against this man kidnaps her and gets shot in the process. I think the guy was going to kill her after she gave him the information. They hole up in a hotel for a while, he is a widower and his ex-wife was a supermodel? Remember her having to wear some of her clothing and then they made out on the balcony but he gets distracted when he sees the magazine she was reading which has the dead wives face on it. They fall in love and get together for the first time while out dancing one night. I also believe she is a red head and is described as making a transition as the story goes on gaining confident and not appearing as mousy in looks anymore.
Sorry for the long post guys, this book has been driving me crazy! Hi everyone. I think it was a Harlequin romance but I'm not positive. Here is what it's about: The book starts in the past when the main female character's father had just died. Her best friend's brother - whom she had a crush on as a child - asks her to marry him as a friend and move away - I think to the middle east, maybe Dubai? Anyway, the female character was a librarian at home but when they move away, he is busy working in the construction business, so she begins writing.
She becomes a very popular crime writer while they are away - unbeknownst to him. Then his father has a heart attack and they must come home - I'm thinking about 3 yrs later. While back home they must act like an actual couple - so they have to sleep in the same room and of course things begin to change. While home he is asked to take over his father's company, and he also finds out about her writing accomplishments - and of course they start to have a relationship.
Does this sound familiar to anyone??? The focal points of these studies and their conclusions vary a great deal, and some even contradict one another; yet, they all historicize the conception of the fairy tale as a literary genre. Though it might be more prudent to use the term public representation to talk about the classical fairy tales, I shall continue to use the term meme in the broadest possible sense to denote a particular fairy tale that has been canonized in the Western world and become so memorable that it appears to be transmitted natu- rally by our minds to communicate information that alerts us to pay attention to a speciic given situation on which our lives may depend.
As we shall see, the symbolic order established by literary fairy tales is not static, but it is certainly marked continually by recognizable recurring motifs, topoi, and conventions and has been framed by male hegemonic concerns. Within the borders of the oral and written frame there is a dialogue concerning gender-oriented ritu- als, social initiations, or the appropriate manner of behavior in speciic situations. It communicates information.
It selects that which has become relevant in a commu- nity to inform members of that community what has become crucial for adaptation to the environment in the most effective manner possible that might be entertaining and instructive. The fairy tale acts through language to depict all kinds of issues and debates that concern socialization and civilization. Once a fairy tale has gelled or been artistically conceived so that it is ostentative, it seeks to perpetuate itself indiscriminately.
Like the selish gene, a fairy tale as meme is concerned with its own per- petuation and will adapt to changes and conlicts in the environment. Conditioned by fairy tales, we insist that the fairy tale act out these conlicts through conventionalized language and codes that stimulate a play with ideas. We act as though fairy tales have always been with us.
But this is not the case. There was a point in time when literary fairy tales were not expected and used in the manner that we expect and use them. These we may call speech genres. Bakhtin makes a distinction between primary simple and secondary speech genres complex. During the process of their formation, they absorb and digest various primary simple genres that have taken form in unmediated speech communion. These pri- mary genres are altered and assume a special character when they enter into complex ones. Yet, this is the value of a secondary genre like the literary fairy tale: it preserves elements of the primary speech genre and enters into a dialogue with it as it transforms itself into something new and more complex.
As Bakhtin states: [T]his question of the concept of the speech addressee how the speaker or writer senses and imagines him is of immense signiicance in literary history. Each epoch, each literary trend and literary-artistic style, each literary genre within an epoch or trend, is typiied by its own special concepts of the addressee of the literary work, a special sense and under- standing of its reader, listener, public, or people.
A historical study of changes in these concepts would be an interesting and important task. But in order to develop it productively, the statement of the problem itself would have to be theoretically clear. Each of these authors used a frame tale in which storytellers shared their tales with listeners, who were also tellers, and all their tales were intended for a community of readers and tellers.
In addressing a particu- lar speech community, writers seek to use, explore, and validate their own speech acts as they assume a conceptual and aesthetic whole. Therefore, we must ask, if we want to understand the beginnings of this literary genre, what constituted the fairy tale as a secondary speech genre? What must our focus be if we are to understand the historical origins and development of the literary fairy tale?
Such genres exist above all in the great and multifari- ous sphere of everyday oral communication, including the most familiar and most intimate. As a pri- mary genre, the oral folk tale circulated hundreds, if not thousands, of years before it came to be registered in script and was formed and shaped according to semantic and syntagic rules and audience expectations.
When authors began writing the tales, however, the narratives did not become fully generic and memetic as a literary genre because a liter- ary genre is also an institution. To be fully developed a genre has to be instituted in a society; that is, it must be accepted and used by different groups as a speciic mode of entertainment, communication, and social- ization. It must also have effective modes of publicity, dissemination, and reception that will enable the genre to take root in society. Tzvetan Todorov Like Bakhtin, Todorov believes that a genre begins as a speech act and undergoes various transformations before becoming institutional- ized.
A new genre is always the transformation of one or many older genres: by inversion, by deplacement, by combination. There has never been a literature without genres. It is a system in the process of continual transformation, and the question of the ori- gins can never leave historically the terrain of the genres themselves.
He maintains that a discourse is made up of enunciated sentences or enunciated words, and like Bakhtin, he argues that its meaning depends on the context of enunciation. In other words, a discourse is always by necessity a speech act un acte de parole constituting a text. If one designates genres as classes of texts, this designation occurs in a meta- discourse about genres in history that has, as its aim, the establishment of properties, traits, and laws of the text.
In other words, genres are nothing but the codiication of discursive properties. These properties reveal the semantic aspect of the text meaning , the syntactic aspect of the text relation of the parts to one another , the pragmatic aspect of the text the relation among users , and the verbal aspect all that concerns the materiality of the signs. It is through their institutionalization that the genres communicate with the society in which they are currently developing.
Just like any other institution the genres give testimony about the constitutive traits of the society to which they belong. This is why the existence of certain genres in a society, their absence in another, reveals a great deal about this ideology and permits us to establish it with more or less great certainty. However, there was no dis- tinct and distinguishable genre in literature called the fairy tale until the seventeenth century, irst in Italy and more importantly in France, because there was no textual community to cultivate and institutionalize it and because the vernacular languages had not yet fully developed into literary languages.
Without the appropriate conditions of reception and transmission in large groups of textual or literate communities, the fairy tale could not have established itself as a genre. Within these communi- ties, the oral performance, recitation, and communication continued to play a major role. According to Brian Stock, a textual community is a microsociety orga- nized around the common understanding of a script. As he explains: [T]he rise of a more literate society in the eleventh century automati- cally increased the number of authors, readers, and copiers of texts everywhere in Europe, and, as a consequence, the number of persons engaged in the study of texts for the purpose of changing the behav- ior of the individual or group.
This, in nuce, was the rationale behind much reformist and some orthodox religious agitation, to say nothing of communal associations and guilds. These textual communities were not entirely composed of literates. The minimal requirement was just one literate, the interpres, who understood a set of texts and was able to pass his message verbally to others. The manner in which the individuals behaved toward each other and the manner in which the group looked upon those it considered to be outsiders were derived from the attitudes formed during the period of initiation and education.
The unlettered and semilettered members thereby conceptualized a link between textuality, as the script for enactment of behavioral norms, and rationality, as the alleged rea- sonableness of those norms. It is with the rise of textual communities, court entertainment, schools, reading societies, academies, literary associations and institu- tions, and salons and the interaction with oral traditions of storytelling that the formation of the fairy tale as genre took place.
And this forma- tion made the tale linguistically malleable, accessible, and purposeful as a memetic linguistic formation that carried relevant information about the survival of the species, in particular, the survival of individuals, and representatives of different social classes who are bent on improv- ing their status and condition in society.
The form and information constitute its psychological appeal and explain why the brain gradually recognized basic fairy tale types through a cognitive module. As memes cultural replicators or public representations particular fairy tales were endowed with and recognized as having great value in communities and societies. Their memetic value resides in their potential to assist human beings to become more alert to particular signs, to improve their situa- tions, and to adapt more successfully in a changing environment.
Moreover, they will only be effective if they can mutate and blend in altered and adapted forms that respond to environmental transformations. Selection favours memes that exploit their cultural environment to their own advan- tage. This cultural environment consists of other memes which are also being selected. The meme pool therefore comes to have attributes of an evolutionarily stable set, which new memes ind it hard to invade. This leads to a troubling problem. Again, to quote Dawkins: However speculative my development of the theory of memes may be, there is one serious point which I would like to emphasize once again.
This is that when we look at the evolution of cultural traits and at their survival value, we must be clear whose survival we are talking about. Biologists, as we have seen, are accustomed to looking for advantages at the gene level or the individual group, or the species level according to taste. What we have not previously considered is that a cultural trait may have evolved in the way that it has, simply because it is advanta- geous to itself.
Fairy tales provide us with hope that some relevant transformation is possible. Jean-Michel Adam and Ute Heidmann One way we do our choosing, despite the selishness of genes and memes, is through cooperation. Put another way, even a gene recog- nizes the importance of cooperation for its own sake. A gene cannot reproduce itself and proliferate without the assistance of other genes.
Neither can a meme, and the fairy tale cannot be understood as genre if we do not take into account the manner in which it interacts with and depends on other genres. As soon as there is a text—that is, the recognition of the fact that a series of enunciations form a complete communication—there is an effect of generictity, that is, an inscription of this series of enunciations into a particular practice of discourse. The genericity is a socio-cognitive necessity that relates each text to the inter-discourse of a social formation.
A text does not in itself belong to a genre, but it is placed in relation to one or many genres at the point of production as well as at the point of reception-interpretation. It is best deined by its relationship to other genres as it keeps mutating. Each text develops its own dynamic by activating centrifugal and cen- tripetal forces, a dynamic that is important to analyze in itself before comparing it to another text that has its own dynamic.
Through a com- parative and textual discourse analysis, we mean the comparison of the respective dynamic of the textual and trans-textual forces of two or more texts. This type of comparison differs from the use of comparison in the studies of folklore and literature in that it does not approach the texts through their static characteristics the occurrence of motifs, genetic traits, intertextual traces, etc. If we draw and build upon their ideas, we can see that to analyze a literary fairy tale and the genre of the fairy tale entails: 1 determining the text and its place in a sociocognitive discursive formation; 2 comparing it with other fairy-tales texts of its period; 3 comparing it with texts of other generic formations; 4 understanding the linguistic elements that constitute its proper forces and constitute its dynamic force within the genre of the fairy tale; 5 analyzing its transformation beyond its original publication, that is, to study its reception in different sociohistorical con- texts as well as new texts that are produced and interrogate the original text; 6 recognizing the mediation of oral and literary tales that interact with one another to bring about mutations.
In general, the approach of Adam and Heidmann is an explicit critique of how folklorists have tended to approach literature or tales that have become literary: According to our discursive concept of text, the meaning of written tales is generated by this complex interaction of textual forces such as thematic-semantic coniguration, textual composition and micro- linguistic texture, with text-transcending forces such as genericity, inter- texutality, paratextuality and cotextuality. Folklore studies put the main focus on the examination of motifs and themes, i.
We argue that the complex meaning of a written tale is produced by the speciic linguistic, textual and discursive articulation of the chosen motifs and themes, while folklore studies often assume that the meaning of a tale is simply inherent in a universal grammar of motifs and symbols. Certain fairy-tale texts have become formative and deinitive, and they insert themselves into our cognitive processes, enabling us to establish and distinguish patterns of behavior and to relect upon ethics, gender, morality, and power.
As the fairy-tale genre formed itself and was formed by myriad tellers and writers, they and their publishers, listeners, readers brought their tales in relation to other fairy tales and genres, and they made some of them special, or took a special interest in tales that we have made canonical. They copied them and changed them, and as they took hold of these tales, the tales took hold of them. The tales have evolved in response to changes in the environment, its own linguistic properties and potential, and the particular social institutions of diverse cultural groups through- out the world.
To a certain extent, it is impossible nowadays to speak about the fairy tale, especially a canonical tale, narrowly as a printed text, for it has transcended both the oral and literary in iconic forma- tions that depend on the technology of the radio, cinema, advertising, Internet, and so on.
Canonical fairy tales are complex memes that are a result of the conlicting forces of cultural production. They are special and relevant because we cultivate them as special and relevant in our speech and in our writings and images. Very few folklorists and critics have examined fairy tales from an evolutionary psychological perspective, despite the fact that fairy tales deal opulently with evolution of the human species under particular cultural conditions that often engender crises. All of these situations incite similar questions: What must an individual do to adapt to a new and unexpected situation?
Does a person become heroic through a special kind of adaptation? How will the heroine or hero survive? What does a person have to do to maintain power so that she or he can survive? How must one protect oneself in a dog-eat-dog world? Are there alternative ways of living and reproducing the species that do not involve the transgression of other bodies?
In some respects I believe that we have been attracted to fairy tales because they are survival stories with hope. They alert us to dangerous situations, instruct us, guide us, give us counsel, and reveal what might happen if we take advantage of helpful instruments or agents, or what might happen if we do not. They communicate the need to be oppor- tunistic, to exploit opportunities, to be selish so we can survive.
They have arisen out of a need to adapt to unusual situations, and many of these situations are similar the world over so that many of the same types of tales have arisen and been disseminated and transformed so that new generations will learn to adjust to similar situations in chang- ing environments. All tales want to stay alive in us, and they compete for our attention. We choose a particular metaphorical tale to be more precise and effective in what we want to express. Yet, each tale in its mutated form must articulate why it is still necessary and relevant in a changed environment and whether its impact is positive or negative.
It is a tale about predators and how to deal with them. In my book The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood, I demonstrated that the origin of the literary fairy tale can be traced to male fantasies about women and sexuality and to conlicting versions with regard to the responsibility for the violation in the tale. In particular, I showed how Charles Perrault and the Grimm Broth- ers transformed an oral folk tale about the social initiation of a young woman into a narrative about rape in which the heroine is obliged to bear the responsibility for sexual violation.
Such a radical literary transformation is highly signiicant because the male-cultivated liter- ary versions became dominant in both the oral and literary traditions of nations such as Germany, France, Great Britain, and the United States, nations that exercise cultural hegemony in the West. Indeed, the Per- rault and Grimm versions became so crucial in the socialization process of these countries that they generated a literary discourse about sexual roles and behavior, a discourse whose fascinating antagonistic perspec- tives shed light on different phases of social and cultural change.
In discussing this development, however, I did not examine how it might be a linguistic and memetic form related to evolutionary theories about instincts, adaptation, and survival. Therefore, I should like once more to summarize my arguments about the sociopsychological implications of the changes made by Perrault and the Grimm Brothers and conclude by considering how the tale has evolved up to the present and why it is still so popular.
None of these motifs, it must be borne in mind, are particular to the times of Perrault and the Grimms, or to our very own times of rabid violence and violation. The tally of Red Riding Hood tales is quite impressive. Thanks to his exhaustive study of tales and motifs in the ancient world, however, we now have a much more comprehensive grasp of the memetic and epi- demiological formation of canonical fairy tales. If we accept the latter premise, then we can accept the hypothesis of widespread diffusion of folktale, with deviant and misrecollected ver- sions by forgetful or inaccurate storytellers easily corrected by those with better memories.
What we should guard against is the idea that tales will be reinvented in more or less identical form by different societies as they proceed through progressive stages of civilization, a fantasy of nine- teenth-century proto-anthropology, or that because a large number of popular tales use a inite number of motifs, then oral storytellers simply shufle the motifs around to make new tales. There are indeed instances where two convergent tales can become confused, or where one tale seems to borrow from another, but on the whole[,] hybrids, common as they are, still remain marginal in the process of diffusion of tales.
The more examples of any given international tale-type we study, the more clearly we can see the integrity and logic of the tale. They gradually had to be congealed in a stable form to become canonical, so to speak, and though one cannot precisely detect each step in the formation of a classical literary tale, the more information we gather about the spread of the motifs the more light we will shed on why and how a tale becomes memetic.
In it he incorporated many Latin translations of vernacular prov- erbs. Because many of the proverbs originated among the uneducated countryfolk, Sigebert of Gembloux ca. A certain man took up a girl from the sacred font, and gave her a tunic woven of red wool; sacred Pentecost was [the day] of her baptism. The girl, now ive years old, goes out at sunrise, footloose and heedless of her peril.
A wolf attacked her, went to its woodland lair, took her as booty to its cubs, and left her to be eaten. They approached her at once and, since they were unable to harm her, began, free from all their ferocity, to caress her head. If Egbert imposed Christian features in this fashion, then the redness in the story told by the common people could have had a general apotropaic signiicance that the Latin poet particularized with a religious dimension when he appropriated it.
When a tale evolves through the discursive appropriation of oral and literary transmission, this germ remains and is at the heart of its memetic appeal. It is the constant interaction between what Bakhtin called primary and secondary speech genres that constituted the epidemiological dissemination of this canonical fairy tale and all the other canonical narratives. The little girl arrived and knocked at the door. Take some of the meat which is inside and the bottle of wine on the shelf.
Let me go outside. When the little girl was outside, she tied the end of the rope to a plum tree in the courtyard. Are you making a load? He followed her but arrived at her house just at the moment she entered. She is shrewd, brave, tough, and indepen- dent. Evidence indicates she was probably undergoing a social ritual connected to sewing communities the maturing young woman proves she can handle needles, replace an older woman, and contend with the opposite sex.
In some of the tales, however, she loses the contest with the male predator and is devoured by him. There is no absolute proof that the above synthetic tale pieced together by the astute French folklorist Paul Delarue was told in the exact same form in which he published it. Perrault revised some kind of oral tale that featured a young girl endangered by a predatory wolf to make it the literary standard-bearer for good Christian upbringing in a much more sophisticated manner than Egbert or oral storytellers. Moreover, his fear of women and his own sexual drives are incorporated in his new literary version, which also relects general male attitudes about women portrayed as eager to be seduced or raped.
In this regard, Perrault began a series of literary transformations that have caused nothing but trouble for the female object of male desire and have also relected the crippling aspect of male desire itself. What are the signiicant changes he made? First, she is donned with a red hat, a chaperon,56 making her into a type of bourgeois girl tainted with sin since red, like the scarlet letter A, recalls the devil and heresy.
Second, she is spoiled, negligent, and naive. Third, she speaks to a wolf in the woods—rather dumb on her part—and makes a type of contract with him: she accepts a wager, which, it is implied, she wants to lose. Fifth, she is swallowed or raped like her grandmother. Sixth, there is no salvation, simply an ironic moral in verse that warns little girls to beware of strangers, otherwise they will deservedly suffer the conse- quences.
Sex is obviously sinful. It was translated into English by Robert Samber in and into other European languages. The Grimms made further alterations worth noting. Here the mother plays a more signiicant role by warning Little Red Riding Hood not to stray from the path through the woods. Little Red Riding Hood is more or less incited by the wolf to enjoy nature and to pick lowers. Instead of being raped to death, both grandma and granddaughter are saved by a male hunter or gamekeeper who polices the woods. Only a strong male igure can rescue a girl from herself and her lustful desires.
What constituted its memetic quality? If memes are selish, as Dawkins has declared, the persistence of a story that presents rape relevantly in a discursive form to indicate the girl asked to be raped, or contributed to her own rape, can be attrib- uted to the struggle among competing memes within patriarchal soci- eties that tend to view rape from a male viewpoint that rationalizes the aggressive male sexual behavior. Yet, it is not entirely negative as a meme, and it is a meme that has mutated, especially in the past thirty-ive years, under strong ideo- logical inluences of the feminist movement.
Perrault did not dispute the fact that men tend to be predatory, but he shifted the respon- sibility of physical violence and the violation of the body to the female, and since his communication it the dominant ideology of his times shared by many women and perhaps ours , his story competed with all others and became the dominant meme and remains so to this day. As dominant meme, it does not simply convey the notion that women are responsible for their own rape, but it also conveys a warning about strangers in the woods, the danger of violation, and an extreme moral lesson: kill the rapist or be killed.
Used or transformed as a warning tale, it reveals that the tale is open to multiple interpretations and also has a positive cultural function. Certainly, it is very dificult to change sexual behavior. At times, Pinker minimizes the connection between sexual drives, social reinforcements, and social power that still enable males to exercise their domination in various ways, but he also fortunately recognizes the sig- niicance of the feminist challenge to the way rape is displayed, trans- mitted, and narrated in Western society.
If we have to acknowledge that sexuality can be a source of conlict and not just wholesome mutual pleasure, we will have rediscovered a truth that observers of the human condition have noted throughout history. The great contribution of feminism to the morality of rape is to put issues of consent and coercion at center stage. The ultimate motives of the rapist are irrelevant. I want to close with some brief remarks about a remarkable ilm that relects upon the possibility for cultural transformation or change.
She is picked up on a highway by a serial rapist and killer, and because she is so street smart, she manages to turn the tables on him, grab his gun, and shoot him.
She then takes his car but is arrested because the rapist miraculously survives. Two detectives interrogate her, but largely due to their male prejudices, they do not believe her story about attempted rape. In prison Vanessa succeeds in escaping while the two detectives follow leads from people they interview that convince them that the rapist was really lying. When she arrives, she bravely beats him to a pulp, and the astonished detectives, who had wanted to help her, show up only to witness how Vanessa can easily take care of herself.
The contested representations suggest that there is another way of viewing desire, seduction, and violation. If there are really such things as memes— and I am convinced there are—and if memes can inluence us and be changed as our behavior is transformed, it is important that we take the theory of memes and fairy tales themselves more seriously. As we know, tales do not only speak to us, they inhabit us and become relevant in our struggles to resolve conlicts that endanger our happiness.
Although there is some truth to these assumptions, they conceal the deep cross-cultural and multilayered origins and meanings of these pan-European tales that also have fasci- nating connections to northern Africa and the Orient, including the Middle and Far East. Of course there can be no denying that the tales are culturally marked: they are informed by the languages that the writ- ers employed, their respective cultures, and the sociohistorical context in which the narratives were created.
In this regard one can discuss the particular Italian, French, German, or English afiliation of a tale and also make regional distinctions within a particular principality or nation-state. The truth value of a fairy tale is depen- dent on the degree to which a writer is capable of using a symbolical linguistic code, narrative strategy, and stereotypical characterization to depict, expose, or celebrate the modes of behavior that were used and justiied to attain power in the civilizing process of a given soci- ety.
Whether oral or literary, the tales have sought to uncover truths about the pleasures and pains of existence, to propose possibilities for adaptation and survival, and to reveal the intricacies of our civilizing processes. Historical Background For the past three hundred years or more scholars and critics have sought to deine and classify the oral folk tale and the literary fairy tale, as though they could be clearly distinguished from each other, and as though we could trace their origins to some primeval source. As I have stated in the previous chapter, this is an impossible task because there are very few if any records with the exception of paintings, drawings, etchings, inscriptions, parchments, and other cultural artifacts that reveal how tales were told and received thousands of years ago.
In fact, even when written records came into existence, they provided very lit- tle information about storytelling among the majority of people, except for random information that educated writers gathered and presented in their works. Naturally, the oral folk tales that were told in many different ways thousands of years ago preceded the literary narratives, but we are not certain who told the tales, why, and how.
We do know, however, that scribes began writing different kinds of tales that relected an occupation with rituals, historical anecdotes, customs, startling events, miraculous transformations, and religious beliefs. The recording of these various tales was extremely important because the writers preserved an oral tra- dition for future generations, and in the act of recording, they changed the tales to a greater or lesser degree, depending on what their purpose was in recording them.
There is no evidence that a separate oral won- der-tale tradition or literary fairy-tale tradition existed in Europe before the medieval period.
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Graham Anderson has performed a great service for folklorists and serious scholars of the fairy tale by demonstrating how Greek and Roman myths contributed to the generic development of the literary fairy tale by studying oral and literary sources in the pre- Christian ancient world. It does not seem that folktales, including fairy tales, are memorized in verbal detail but according as they deal with matters of concern to the community, and in terms of stereotyped characters and narrative patterns. The pattern has its own internal logic which does not necessarily depend on material probability or a plot with strict cause and effect, as does the novel, at least in theory.
The general pattern must satisfy the common desire for a marvel and a satisfactory outcome. How this occurred, where it occurred, and exactly when it occurred are dificult questions to answer with precision because the tales developed as a process largely through talk, conversations, and performances that caught the imagination of people from different social milieu and were gradually written down irst in Latin and then eventu- ally in different vernacular languages, when they became more accept- able in the late Middle Ages.
As more and more wonder tales were written down in Latin and vernacular languages from the twelfth to the ifteenth centuries, they constituted the genre of the literary fairy tale, and writers began establishing its particular conventions, motifs, topoi, characters, and plots, based to a large extent on those developed in the oral tradition but altered to address a reading public formed largely by the clergy, aristocracy, and the middle classes.
The tales that were told cut across different classes and segments of a particular society—rural, urban, and court. The threatening aspect of wondrous change, turning the world upside down, was something that these classes always tried to channel through codiied celebrations like Carnival and religious holidays. This must mean that the Cocaigne mate- rial belongs to the oldest of oral traditions, otherwise it would not have been written down as soon as man started wielding the pen.
Their ingredients—consisting of formulaic elements, individual motifs, and stock themes—are part of a widespread oral culture that has continued to the present day. In addition, details of this oral tradition continue to crop up in written literature, which then forms its own traditions, some- times—but not necessarily—interacting with the oral transmission of these same stories. The establishment of literacy was, among other things, a way to police the use of language through schooling, religion, and legislation of laws.
It is extremely dificult to describe what the oral wonder tale was because our evidence is based on written documents, and there are many types of wonder tales with diverse plots and characters, bound intricately with customs and rituals, that are often inexplicable. Gen- eral theories about the origin and spread of the folk tales leading to the formation of the literary fairy tale were irst conceived at the beginning of the nineteenth century and have been elaborated and contested up through the twenty-irst century. The Brothers Grimm believed that fairy tales were derived from myths that had been religious at one time, but storytellers had gradually discarded their religious connotations, and the tales became secular wonder tales.
Their views were expanded by Theodor Benfey —81 , a scholar of Sanskrit, who argued in his introduction to the Indic Pantscha Tantra that the genre of the fairy tale originated in ancient India as an oral wonder tale and spread irst to Persia and then to the entire Arabic-speaking world. Eventually, the oral wonder tales were transmitted to Europe via Spain, Greece, and Sicily through trade, migration, and the Crusades.
The Grimms and Benfrey believed that there was one point of origin or one place of birth monogenesis that led to the formation of the folk tales. The notion of polygen- esis was also at the basis of the British anthropological scholars Edward Burnett Tylor — , Andrew Lang — , and James George Frazer — ,9 who maintained that, since the human species was similar throughout the world, humans responded to their environment in similar ways, giving rise to identical tales that varied only accord- ing to the customs they developed.
A common assumption made by almost all folklorists and anthro- pologists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was that the fairy tale was part of an oral tradition thousands of years old. Instead, he argued that, despite the existence of oral folk tales in antiquity, there was no such thing as a fairy tale, and the fairy tale as a genre was really the creation of individual writers, who forged the genre in the ifteenth and sixteenth centuries and its basis is literary.
His ideas were soundly rejected and answered by, among others, the Danish folklorist Bengt Holbek, whose thorough and thoughtful work Interpretation of Fairy Tales demonstrates clearly that some forms of the fairy tale have existed in the oral tradition for millennia. Moreover, she tries to set up a false debate between so-called oral- ists and herself as though there were a clear divide, and argues that only published books provide accurate evidence for the origins, existence, and spread of fairy tales.
Her positivist approach to oral history recalls the elitist manner in which the upper classes treated popular culture and negated their customs and forms of entertainment. Scholars who have used a more inclusive and expansive approach that focuses on the inter- action between elite and popular cultures and the interplay between orality and literacy reveal the narrow conines of her argument.
Forms and Contents of the Or al Wonder Tale and the Liter ary Fairy Tale The debate about the origin and transmission of the fairy tale as oral wonder tale, while signiicant and productive, can be misleading and distracting when we consider that the spoken language existed long before writing systems were developed, and when we take into account that it is impossible to determine when and how certain types of tales evolved. What we do know, as Jan Ziolkowski has pointed out, is that: Europe has had writing systems for thousands of years.
Clay, stone, metal, bark, papyrus, wax, parchment, and paper are only a selection of the materials that have been used for this purpose. Tales have been told dur- ing those millennia, but most tellings have not been set down in writing or otherwise recorded. Part of the reason is the sheer practical one that it has been happily impossible to capture in writing all the words people have spoken. Some types of literature were written down again and again, while oth- ers failed to receive oficial approval, either explicit or tacit, which was an indispensable prerequisite for being memorialized in literature.
The plot gener- ally involves a protagonist who is confronted with an interdiction or pro- hibition that he or she violates in some way. Therefore, there is generally a departure or banishment and the protagonist is either given a task or assumes a task related to the interdiction or prohibition. The protagonist is as-signed a task, and the task is a sign. That is, his or her character will be stereotyped and marked by the task that is his or her sign. In sociological terms, each character is to act out what Pierre Bourdieu calls a habitus,16 that is, the characters occupy the whole complex of thinking, acting, and performing of a position within the family and society: names are rarely used in a folk tale; characters function accord- ing to their status within a family, social class, or profession; and they often cross boundaries or transform themselves.
It is the transgression that makes the tale exciting; it is the possibility of transformation that gives hope to the teller and listener of a tale. Inevitably in the course of action there will be a signiicant or signifying encounter. Depending on the situation, the protagonist will meet either enemies or friends. Sometimes there are at irst three different animals or creatures that test the protago- nist to see whether he is worthy of their help. Whatever the occasion, the protagonist must prove him- or herself and acquire gifts that are often magical agents, which bring about a miraculous or marvelous change or transformation.
Soon after, the protagonist, endowed with gifts, is tested once more and overcomes inimical forces. A miracle or marvelous intervention is needed to reverse the wheel of fortune. Fre- quently, the protagonist makes use of endowed gifts and this includes magical agents and cunning to achieve his or her goal. The success of the protagonist usually leads to marriage; the acquisition of money; survival and wisdom; or any combination of these three. Whatever the case may be, the protagonist is transformed in the end. Never- theless, his theory helps us understand that the structure of oral tales depends heavily on memory, repetition, and resolution.
The signii- cance of the paradigmatic functions of wonder tales and their distinct characters, identiied through their social class and habitus, is that they facilitate recall for teller and listeners. Over hundreds of years they have enabled people to store, remember, and reproduce the plot of a given tale and to change it to it their experiences and desires because of the easily identiiable characters associated with particular social classes, professions, and assignments.
At the center of attraction is the survival of the protagonist under dificult conditions, and the tales evoke wonder and admiration for oppressed characters, no matter who they may be. Wonder causes astonish- ment, and as marvelous object or phenomenon, it is often regarded as a supernatural occurrence and can be an omen or portent. It gives rise to admiration, fear, awe, and reverence. In the oral wonder tale, we are to marvel about the workings of the universe where anything can happen at any time, and these fortunate and unfortunate events are never really explained.
Nor do the characters demand an explanation—they are instinctively opportunistic and hopeful. They are encouraged to be so, and if they do not take advantage of the opportunity that will beneit them in their relations with others, they are considered either dumb or mean-spirited. The tales seek to awaken our regard for the miraculous condition of life and to evoke profound feelings of awe and respect for life as a miraculous process, which can be altered and changed to compensate for the lack of power, wealth, and pleasure that most people experi- ence.
Lack, deprivation, prohibition, and interdiction motivate people to look for signs of fulillment and emancipation. In the wonder tales, those who are naive and simple are able to succeed because they are untainted, naturally good, and can recognize the wondrous signs. They have retained their belief in the miraculous condition of nature, revere nature in all its aspects, and accept their own natural inclinations. They have not been spoiled by conventionalism, power, or rationalism. In contrast to the humble characters, the villains are those who use words and power intentionally to exploit, control, transix, incarcerate, and destroy for their own beneit.
They have no respect or consideration for nature and other human beings, and they actually seek to abuse magic by preventing change and causing everything to be transixed according to their interests. The marvelous protagonist wants to keep the pro- cess of natural change lowing and indicates possibilities for overcoming the obstacles that prevent other characters or creatures from living in a peaceful and pleasurable way. The focus on the marvelous and hope for change in the oral wonder tale does not mean that all wonder tales, and later the literary fairy tales, served and serve a radical transforming purpose.
Oral tales have served to stabilize, conserve, or challenge the com- mon beliefs, laws, values, and norms of a group. The ideology expressed in wonder tales always stemmed from the position that the narrator assumed with regard to the relations and developments in his or her community; and the narrative plot and changes made in it depended on the sense of wonder, marvel, admiration, or awe that the narrator wanted to evoke. In other words, the sense of the miraculous in the tale and the intended emotion sought by the narrator are ideological.
Narra- tors sought to use language and the art of communication to make their utterances special and relevant so they would catch on and stick in the ears and brains of their listeners. In the last analysis, however, even if we cannot establish whether a wonder tale is ideologically conservative, radical, sexist, progressive, and so on, it is the celebration of miraculous or fabulous transforma- tions in the name of hope that accounts for its major appeal.
People have always wanted to improve or change their personal status or have sought magical intervention on their own behalf. The emergence of the literary fairy tale during the latter part of the medieval period bears wit- ness to the persistent human quest for an existence without oppression and constraints. It is a utopian quest that we continue to record through the metaphors of the fairy tale, even today. Two more important points should be made about the oral tradition of transmission that concern the magical contents of the tales and the mode in which they were disseminated.
During the Middle Ages, most people in all social classes believed in magic, the supernatural, and the miraculous, and they were also smart enough to distinguish between probable and improbable events. On the contrary, they were told and retold because they had some connection to the material condi- tions and personal relations in their societies.
To a certain degree they carried truths, and the people of all classes believed in these stories, either as real possibilities or parables. Magic and marvelous rituals were common throughout Europe, and it is only with the gradual rise of the Christian Church, which began to exploit magic and miraculous sto- ries and to codify what would be acceptable for its own interests, that wonder tales and fairy tales were declared sacrilegious, heretical, dan- gerous, and untruthful. However, the Church could not prevent these stories from being circulated; it could only stigmatize, censure, or criti- cize them.
This is true of all organized religions and continues to be the case today. The magical tales of the Bible and religious texts have always been compelled to compete with the secular tradition of folk and fairy tales for truth value. If women were regarded as the originators and disseminators of these tales, then the texts themselves had to be suspicious, for they might relect the ickle, duplicitous, wild, and erotic character of women, who were not to be trusted. Thus, their stories were not to be dismissed as trivial.
Inci- dentally, this association was often coupled with children, that is, the folk were regarded as simple children, and their tales were thus belittled as simplistic, ignorant, and crude by the upper classes and the clergy. Tales were told in walks of life in the Middle Ages and during the Enlightenment, as they are today, and both sexes contributed to and continue to contribute to the tale-telling tradition.
Troubadours, professional court storytellers, kings, queens, merchants, slaves, servants, sailors, soldiers, spinners, weavers, seamstresses, wood- cutters, tailors, innkeepers, nuns, monks, preachers, charcoal burners, and knights carried tales as did children. It would be an exaggeration to insist that everyone in society told tales or that they were good and interesting tale tellers. These tales were often embellished, or they were ritual tales that brought the members of a community closer together. But one factor is clear: the folk were not just made up of the peasantry or the lower classes.
The great majority of people in the Middle Ages up through the beginning of the nineteenth century were nonliterate, and thus everyone participated in one way or the other as teller or listener in oral traditions. They are apparent in Indian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman col- lections of tales, myths, and legends and in the texts that constitute Oriental and Occidental religions. However, they were never gathered or institutionalized in the short forms that we recognize in the West until the late Middle Ages.
Then male scribes began recording them in collections of tales, epics, romances, and poetry from the tenth cen- tury onward. Most of the early work was in Latin, and the interactions between the Church and lay people and between orality and literacy help us understand how the fairy tale evolved and was disseminated. As Rosmarie Thee Morewedge has maintained: [W]e must rely on the wealth of tale collections that have come to us from medieval and pre-medieval sources, that were told by the tale-tellers; it must be remembered that tales did not stop being part of an oral tradi- tion just because they were written down by vagrants, preachers, mer- chants, crusaders or other literati.
Which talented priest would not want to serve the missionary thrust of the church by collecting tales heard in childhood, read in school, heard on travels and in various monasteries? In general, Oriental tales were spread in Europe both through oral retellings and translations into various European languages. It is interesting to note that one of the tales in the Gesta Romanorum probably spawned the oral and literary dissemination of the remarkable Fortunatus c.
In brief the tale concerns a young man named Fortunatus on the island of Cyprus. After he joins the entourage of the Earl of Flanders, he travels to Flanders and wins a tournament, but jealous rivals and the threat of castration cause him to lee to London, where he leads a life of decadence and then returns to the Continent. Destitute, he wan- ders about Brittany and becomes lost in a forest. A kind fairy or Dame Fortune takes pity on him and grants him either wisdom, strength, long life, wealth, health, or beauty.
He must select one of them. Fortunatus chooses wealth, and she gives him a magic purse that will always provide money for him. After wandering about Europe for a while, he returns to the island of Cyprus and inds that his parents are dead. However, with his magic purse, he is able to restore the family name and marries a young lady from a noble family. After two sons are born, he begins traveling again and eventually procures a magic cap that transports him to any place he wishes once he puts it on his head.
Before he dies as a respected member of society, he bestows his gifts on his two sons who lose them because of their greed and carelessness. There were many variations of this plot, and sometimes, instead of just one hero named Fortunatus, there were three young protagonists and three fairies. Sometimes the gifts are different. Fortunatus also makes use of an invisible cloak. In a signiicant essay about the origins of Fortunatus, Luisa Rubini has shown that the German folk book of For- tunatus was more than likely preceded by Spanish and Italian versions.
Lively economic and cultural relations, contacts and exchange between southern Germany and northern Italy are amply documented for that period, and the presence of Italian lit- erature, both serious and popular also in the form of cheap prints in German libraries provides further evidence. Another good example is the wonder tale about the grateful dead that can be traced to pre-Christian antiquity and spread widely throughout Europe in the medieval period. The novella, also called conto, was a short tale that adhered to principles of unity of time and action and clear narrative plot.
The focus was on surprising events of everyday life, and the tales inluenced by oral wonder tales, fairy tales, fabliaux, chivalric romances, epic poetry, and fables were intended for the amusement and instruction of the readers. Before Boccaccio had turned his hand to writing his tales, the most famous collection had been the Novellino written by an anonymous Tuscan author in the thirteenth century.
But it was Boccaccio who set a model for all future writers of this genre with his frame narrative and subtle and sophisticated style. It was Boc- caccio who expanded the range of topics of the novella and created unforgettable characters, which led to numerous imitations by writers such as Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, Giovanni Sercambi, Franco Sachetti, Piovano Arlotto, and Matteo Bandello, to name but a few. We only have information from the irst volume of Le pia- cevoli notti that he was born in Carvaggio and that he was the author of another work Opera nova de Zoan Francesco Straparola da Caravazo , a collection of sonnets and poems, published in Venice.
Nor are we certain of his death in Most likely he had moved to Venice as a young man, and it is clear from his collection of novellas, which he called favole fairy tales , that he was very well educated. He knew Latin and various Italian dialects, and his references to other literary works and understanding of literary forms indicate that he was versed in the humanities.
Whoever Straparola may have been, his Piacevoli Notti had great success: it was reprinted twenty-ive times from to and translated into French in and and into German in The allure of his work can be attributed to several factors: his use of erotic and obscene riddles,26 his mastery of polite Italian used by the nar- rators in the frame narrative, his introduction of plain earthy language into the stories, the critical view of the power struggles in Italian society and lack of moralistic preaching, his inclusion of fourteen unusual fairy tales in the collection, and his interest in magic, unpredictable events, duplicity, and the supernatural.
Similar to Boccaccio, Straparola exhib- ited irreverence for authorities, and the frame narrative itself reveals a political tension and somewhat ironic if not pessimistic outlook on the possibilities of living a harmonious happy ever-after life. He takes his daughter, Signora Lucretia, a widow, with him, and since her husband had died in , it can be assumed that the setting for the Nights is approximately some time between and The bishop and his daughter lee irst to Lodi, then to Venice, and inally settle on the island of Murano.