Thank you so much for having me on the blog today! I’m really excited to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart – the proliferation of spinster heroines in Regency romances. What is it with these “on the shelf” ladies, and why are they all propping up the ballroom walls, waiting for discerning dukes to sweep them off their feet?
First, an anecdote. While I was visiting my family in Iowa over Christmas, my grandmother (a wonderful woman whom I love greatly, despite her occasional, ahem, lack of tact) asked me several times about the status of my life and relationships. Upon reminding her, yet again, that I’m currently single (the horror!), she finally said, “so you’re an old maid.” Thanks, Grandma!
My grandmother may not realize it, but women today are marrying later and later; census results show that more men and women are never marrying at all. The 2010 census found that, for what may be the first time ever, unmarried women (including divorcees and widows) outnumber married women in the US. Unmarried at 30, I’m not raising any eyebrows from a statistical standpoint.
So to me, it’s little wonder that heroines in Regency romances are trending older. I’ve always thought Regencies are popular because that time period mirrors our own time period in a lot of ways. And, as usual, the heroines of “Romancelandia” are continuing to morph into women who could be our modern-day friends, sisters, or daughters.
The latest crop of Regency heroines are older, more mature, more aware of what they want, but still facing biological/societal pressure as they get older to make the perfect match. All those spinsters feel a lot like the many 20- and 30-something women I know who have had wildly successful careers, but have found less success with the 21st century marriage mart. For me, romance novels aren’t just an escape, but an opportunity for a reader to connect emotionally with characters going through similar situations (albeit with much more fabulous wardrobes) and, through them, the reader hopefully learns more about her own heart.
What do you think about spinsters in romance novels? Do you prefer older heroines? Or do you think the trend has been overdone? A lucky commenter will win an ebook of HEIRESS WITHOUT A CAUSE!
About the Author:
Sara grew up in a small town in Iowa, and her obsession with fashion, shoes, and all things British is clearly a rebellion against her hopelessly uncool youth. She graduated from Stanford University in 2003 with a degree in Symbolic Systems (also known as cognitive science) and a minor in history. Sara subsequently worked at Google for seven years in a variety of sales, management, and communications roles. She left Google in 2010 to pursue her writing career full time. Read all about her Regency obsessions and upcoming works at www.SaraRamsey.com. Or, follow her slightly ridiculous Twitter feed, @Sara_Ramsey.