And Then Their Hearts Stood Still: An Exuberant Look at Romantic Fiction Past and Present

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Macmillan, 1994 - Fiction - 322 pages
"And Then Their Hearts Stood Still" looks at that most popular of genres, romantic fiction, from classics to comic-strips and women's magazine stories; from teenage and schoolgirl passions to the second (or third or fourth)- time-around affairs of older -- if not necessarily wiser -- women. Looking back to the themes initiated by writers in the nineteenth century, such as Jane Austen and the Brontes, and some luridly intriguing seduction tales, it traces the historical development of the love story, and the changing status of its heroines. As well as these traditional roles, the book looks at images of the overblown femme fatale and the 'other woman'. It considers responses to sexual attitudes and identities and how these change and differ, through the innocent raptures of Barbara Cartland to the occasionally shocking brutalities of Ethel M Dell and E M Hull; from the Gothic of Daphne du Maurier and Victoria Holt to the quasi-spiritual outpourings of Marie Corelli and Florence Barclay. While the genre is often seen as endorsing men's power over women, Mary Cadogan shows that it frequently reflects female domination over men, in 'taming the beast' tales from writers as distinct in style as D H Lawrence and Vera Brittain. In more recent years writers such as Frances Edmonds and Joanna Trollope in Britain, and Danielle Steel and Judith Krantz in America have taken this one step further and created truly feminist heroines. Questions are often asked about the relevance and future of the novel in general: "And Then Their Hearts Stood Still" makes it clear that romantic fiction which has already rolled on relentlessly for some 200 years, seems set to continue its colourful momentum well into the twenty-first century and beyond.

From inside the book


One Governess and Gothics
Two Piety and Passion

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (1994)

Mary Cadogan was born in London, England on May 30, 1928. From 1958 until her death, she worked for the Indian writer and teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti's organizations in England as the company secretary of the Krishnamurti Foundation from 1968 to1995, and then as a governor of the foundation and its international school at Brockwood Park in Hampshire. She also edited several of Krishnamurti's books, including two volumes of his dialogues with the theoretical physicist David Bohm. She collaborated on several books with Patricia Craig including You're a Brick, Angela!, Women and Children First: The Fiction of Two World Wars, and The Lady Investigates: Women Detectives and Spies in Fiction. Her other books include Chin Up, Chest Out, Jemima!: A Celebration of the Schoolgirls' Story, Women with Wings: Female Flyers in Fact and Fiction, And Then Their Hearts Stood Still: An Exuberant Look at Romantic Fiction Past and Present, and Mary Carries On: Reflections on Some Favourite Girls' Stories. She received the Silver Cross of St. George award from This England magazine and a lifetime achievement award from the Children's Books History Society. She died September 27, 2014 at the age of 86.

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