Tuesday, December 14, 2010
True Stories and Gothic Romance
Recently I started collecting vintage "Flying Saucer" magazines, as I was going through them the other night they brought to mind the only magazine in the house when I was a child - True Story. Brought to mind because there was an ad that I remembered from those. My grandmother kept a pile of those in the back of her closet and as a child I loved to pull them out and read them. Not sure how old they were, but I think they were probably fairly recent to that time (1970s) because the women on them didn't look old fashioned, their hairstyles and clothing were pretty much of the time. There is one in particular that I still remember, the cover had a dark haired woman who looked terrified and that cover story was "I was raped by my husband!"
The funny thing was that at the time I was probably around 8-10 years old and I really couldn't figure out how someone could be raped by their husband. In my mind, if you married someone then you must be in love with them and want to have sex with them all of the time. LOL!
As I checked out info on True Story last night, I found that they aren't actually true. They were works of fiction by people that wrote for the magazine, but were put out as being true.
My grandmother was also a great lover of gothic romance novels. When I think of the difference in reading material of her and my mother, it kind of points to their different personalities and why they really never got along well.
My mother had shelves of books. Her books were the popular and acclaimed novels of the day, along with her civil war history book collection. My grandmother had no bookshelves. We would go to Don's paperback exchange and she would trade in all her romance novels she had read for ones that she hadn't read. I would bring in my comic books and trade them -- the ones I could bear to part with. :-)
As a child, I thought my grandmothers books were far more interesting than my mother's boring books. They had great covers, often with women in flowing gowns fleeing from a castle under a full moon.
I am not sure who most of the authors were, but I do remember Victoria Holt being one of them.
I still love those covers, although, I will admit that the only gothic type romance books I have ever read were the first couple Diane Gabaldon "Outlander" books. Some day though, I would like to kick back and spend a week (or more) reading some Victoria Holt and others with those great covers that I remember from childhood.