HI YOU GUYS!!! I’m totally totally excited to share this post with you. You’ll see why. 😀 WHEE! And I put “Guest” in
parenthesesquotes(Obviously my brain is still broken), because…
My First Historical “Romance”
On more than one occasion, Limecello has asked if I’d like to write a review or two here at ALBTALBS. Perhaps it was a moment of weakness or lack of sleep or unrealistic optimism regarding my schedule, but I finally agreed. So this post serves as my introduction or, perhaps more accurately, a forewarning of sorts.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved history. All sorts. As a child I spent hours reading of foreign countries and battles and historical figures from my parents’ set of Encyclopedia Britannica. In high school, when electives outnumbered required courses, history classes filled my schedule. The same held true in college although anthropology and archeology classes were thrown into the mix as well as an abundance of literature classes. So it’s not surprising in the least that I adore historical romances.
But that got me thinking. What was the first historical romance I read?
At first I thought it was Jane Austen’s Emma, but soon realized others came before. Was it my mother’s copy of Danielle Steel’s Crossings? Now I realize Crossings is considered a contemporary romance, but if I studied World War II in history and Steel’s story takes place during World War II, shouldn’t it be considered a historical romance? Only makes sense to me.
And it is this argumentative nature of mine that leads me to the decision the first historical romance I read was… Johnny Tremain.
Yes, it’s a Newbery Medal winner. And yes, I know it’s considered historical fiction. But it has all the makings of a great historical romance. Or at the very least, historical fiction with romantic elements.
If you haven’t read it, Johnny Tremain is the coming of age story of a bitter, self-centered orphan who works as a silversmith apprentice and is considered to be quite a talent. Cilla, his master’s granddaughter, has been promised to marry Johnny so the silver shop will remain in the family. But tragedy occurs when Johnny severely burns his hand and results in him no longer being able to do trade work. The marriage arrangement is cancelled and Johnny is forced out with an uncertain future. And this is just the beginning. The story paints a vivid image of the days leading up to the American Revolution and integrates many historical figures as secondary characters. But in true historical romance fashion, it also includes the claiming of birth rights, accusations of theft, a love triangle and treasonous acts.
Who cares it was required reading when I was in 6th grade and not shelved on the romance aisle. Thirty years later, I still remember how exciting it was when Johnny and Cilla finally shared a kiss.
So it is with this same enthusiasm I will be reviewing historical romances here at ALBTALBS. I am very much looking forward to this new little gig as long as Limecello and all of you who want to chat historical romances will have me!
Cheryl is now going to be reviewing here! A guest no more, but “one of us!” Yesssss!
I have actually read JOHNNY TREMAIN – many moons ago. I’m looking forward to your reviews.
That’s great love historical romances so I look forward to your reviews.
Yay! Cheryl, congratulations on the new gig! It’s a perfect fit for the woman who admits historical romances are like “crack”, LOL. I’m looking forward to your reviews!
Hmm…I have a feeling I should probably start setting aside some $ for all the books I’m going to “need” to buy…
Loved this post, Cheryl. I’m not going to say the first historical romance I’ve read though, because I’d break my brain trying to come up with it. Easy answer would/might be the Little House books. <3 Laura and Manly. ;D
Historical romances were the first ROMANCES I’ve read too – and initially I only read them. Because I loved the Classics and branched out to Romances after those broke me.
Can’t wait to see your reviews! Whee!
Boyyyyy do I feel old now!
I went and looked up my first memorable historicals and they are considered collectables and only in paperback.
June Lund Shiplett is the author. I just loved her and read them all!
Looking forward to your reviews. 🙂
I Loved the Johnny Tremaine book! Did you ever see the Disney film? Just googled – it was made in 1957, but I remember watching it on TV.
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!
@Limecello: I never read any of the Little House on the Prairie books. I was always a Trixie Beldon kind of girl.
@Diane: I had no idea there was a Disney movie. Not surprising though.