S0me of you know I have had to clear out the contents of a family house starting in January. The relative was a bit of a hoarder, and I spent several months just cleaning and finally got to the garage — a mess of a building. Mostly, Auntie T hoarded books, Harlequin and other dime-store romance.
I don’t want to be a hoarder after having to go through all these things. I found somewhere between 500 and 700 (really) of these old romance novels, most musty or moldy, ranging in publication from the 1950s to the recent past. They had been stored in a damp location without protection so I had to throw many away. The paperbacks were as inexpensive as twenty-five cents (not inexpensive at the time).
I was amazed by these many books, including a full set of “Gold Collection” Harlequins. Most of these were about doctors and the lucky woman who managed to land one as a husband. I put boxes out on our busy walkway to the beach with the sign “Free Books” on them. While there were a few Suzanne Collins novels or suspense novels only a couple books were taken. I donated the rest. But, there were a couple I saved because they had such cool cover art and I thought you all might enjoy seeing them. These books may really have been sold through their covers.
But, even though we have a long way to go to achieve parity in pay and in other ways, it is clear we’ve come a long way from when these were published and female characters only hoped to marry greatness.
This one is my favorite cover and is a first edition from 1935.