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Could Western Romances Make a Comeback?
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1246
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The October issue of Romantic Times has an article about "Western" romances and the possiblity of their making a comeback.

Kay
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given that all historical Westerns are based in the fact that the settlers murdered the natives of this land and stole it from them, I hate Westerns as a genre and hope no one writes them any more.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kass wrote:
Given that all historical Westerns are based in the fact that the settlers murdered the natives of this land and stole it from them, I hate Westerns as a genre and hope no one writes them any more.



All of them? That's rather a broad brush, isn't it?
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1481
Location: America

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
Kass wrote:
Given that all historical Westerns are based in the fact that the settlers murdered the natives of this land and stole it from them, I hate Westerns as a genre and hope no one writes them any more.



All of them? That's rather a broad brush, isn't it?


I think so. Particularly when Beverly Jenkins has written some really great Westerns featuring black protagonists. Now, if you were speaking out against the ever more exploitative "Native American" romances still around...

And on that note, you should hate Regencies because the wealth of the ton was made off the backs of slaves working plantations in the West Indies, if not on the work of poorly educated men without suffrage whose fates were decided by the men deemed gentlemen because of birth. I can also add the ever popular "nabob" hero who made his wealth off exploiting Indians in India.

I would also add any contemporary romance whose populace is practically 100% WASP and have great lives because they've been able to benefit from the legacy of white supremacy in this country.

This world isn't perfect, and neither is history, but you can't have it both ways. Confused
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WandaSue



Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kass wrote:
Given that all historical Westerns are based in the fact that the settlers murdered the natives of this land and stole it from them, I hate Westerns as a genre and hope no one writes them any more.



ALL westerns are based on murders of native Americans? ALL of them? LOL!

I haven't read one single western romance where this is true.

Believe me, though -- I won't stop writing my work in progress (a western!) because of your sadly uninformed opinion.
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1481
Location: America

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:
NoirFemme wrote:
I want them. American settings can take risks British settings cannot regarding characters and plots.


True -- though I doubt that most romance readers are willing to consider the option of a frontier heroine who smokes a corncob pipe (although many of them did in the real world).

I suspect that's why authors were so fond of the New England schoolteacher just come west. They could make her more "traditionally feminine" than the chopper of firewood and milker of cows who had grown up in a one-room log cabin and wouldn't have recognized the concept of "privacy" if she met it.


I wouldn't call that risk-taking. Wink I'm referring to things like divorce, banditry, saloons, opulence of society yet not so rigid as in the UK, heroines able to a variety of professions, etc.
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:50 pm    Post subject: westerns Reply with quote

I enjoy westerns, both contemporary like Barbara Samuels', No Place Like Home and historicals from Pamela Clare. Sarah McCarty, Jody Thomas
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: westerns Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
I enjoy westerns, both contemporary like Barbara Samuels', No Place Like Home and historicals from Pamela Clare. Sarah McCarty, Jody Thomas



Yes, I loved Pamela Clare's masterpiece, Ride The Fire showing that tribes were all different in their acceptance of settlers, but for the most part, I have not found westerns/american historicals so serious. I have recently finished the lovely and beautifully written, The Rainbow Season. I enjoy reading about the frontier life and don't for one moment wished I lived in those times but find myself fascinated by this setting. I really don't think I've read one novel where the American Indian is put in a bad light. I wonder, what Kass has read. She should really enlighten us all so we can stay far away from those books.


edited to add....Kayne, did you mean to mention...The Coming Home Place by Mary Spencer? That is a wester/american historical, although Samuels, No Place Like Home is a great book, it isn't a western. The Coming Home Place is one of my favorites. I think I've read it at least 3 times...and I'm not a rereader...much. xina
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NoirFemme wrote:
xina wrote:
Kass wrote:
Given that all historical Westerns are based in the fact that the settlers murdered the natives of this land and stole it from them, I hate Westerns as a genre and hope no one writes them any more.



All of them? That's rather a broad brush, isn't it?


I think so. Particularly when Beverly Jenkins has written some really great Westerns featuring black protagonists. Now, if you were speaking out against the ever more exploitative "Native American" romances still around...


I think so, too. I don't know if you live in the States, Kass, but it sounds to me that if you carried that opinion to its logical conclusion, you wouldn't live in a place stolen by settlers from the original natives. Confused

NoirFemme wrote:
And on that note, you should hate Regencies because the wealth of the ton was made off the backs of slaves working plantations in the West Indies, if not on the work of poorly educated men without suffrage whose fates were decided by the men deemed gentlemen because of birth. I can also add the ever popular "nabob" hero who made his wealth off exploiting Indians in India.


I was just going to point that out when I read your comment, Noir Femme. That would include even Jane Austen's novels, Emma and Persuasion in particular.

Then there's Jo Beverley's Return of the Rogue, which straddles both worlds. It's partially set in Canada, which is still ruggedly "western," (or so this non-American thinks). The hero has dealings with the natives there and tries to be fair to them, even though he knows he may just be fighting a losing battle. The villain of the novel is someone who exploited the natives.

NoirFemme wrote:
I would also add any contemporary romance whose populace is practically 100% WASP and have great lives because they've been able to benefit from the legacy of white supremacy in this country.

This world isn't perfect, and neither is history, but you can't have it both ways. Confused


For Contemporaries, I was thinking more along the lines of Chick Lit-ish Romances in which the heroine loves expensive shoes and purses. How many of those were made in sweatshops in Asia?

Anyway, there is more to a setting than the bloodier and more shameful parts of its history. It may be a shame for the wheat and the tare to grow so closely together, but Noir Femme is right when she says that's life.
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cheri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1350
Location: michigan

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say I would love them to come back and would be in the aisle dancing away with xina. If you would have asked me a year ago I wouldn't have had an answer for you. I've just recently delved into some westerns/american frontier. I 've only encountered one that had a Native American in it and he was the heroe's best friend so I can't see how ALL westerns do that. I have spent the last year glooming Spencer, St. John, Catherine Anderson. I've loved ALL of these authors. I have recently been glooming Candice Proctor, although not American western it is Australian western and loving them too. I also have to say that after getting into a reading slump with the same old regency , westerns have helped break up the monotony of the romance offerings lately. cheri
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One reason people like American westerns is their uniquely textured heroes, usually cowboys. Although Judith Ivory's "Indiscretion" is not a western, it has their flavor because the hero is a cowboy. I just finished reading it, and it certainly is enjoyable.

Am I right in remembering that she's stopped writing? If I am, what a shame!
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cawm



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 210
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elaine S wrote:
Carla Kelly, if you are reading this thread, is there any chance of another offering similar to "Here's to the Ladies"? I am not a huge fan of the western (with some exceptions such as Heath, Williamson, Bristow) but HTTL was exceptional in that it was the only "romance" my husband has ever read (and he enjoyed it!). A brilliant collection of stories.


I've often wished that some publisher would give Carla Kelly a contract to write westerns. Here's to the Ladies was so wonderful, and I would love to read full length novels by Kelly set in the west. For now, I'm just thrilled that she will have new books published in the near future.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
All of them? That's rather a broad brush, isn't it?

There is some alternate history where no Western settler ever settled on Native American land? I don't remember that. Do inform me of it, please.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
ALL westerns are based on murders of native Americans?

Given that the white protagonists couldn't settle in the West without there having really, in history, murders of the native inhabitants of that land, yes. It's like celebrating English settlement of Irish land after Cromwell murdered and drove them out.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kass wrote:
Quote:
All of them? That's rather a broad brush, isn't it?

There is some alternate history where no Western settler ever settled on Native American land? I don't remember that. Do inform me of it, please.



I would refer you to Noirfemme's post where she so eloquently addressed this. Not quoting, but she stated that history is not perfect, and that you can't have it both ways. I find frontier life interesting and always have loved reading about it long, long before I started reading romance novels. Just curious Kass, but do you live in this country...the USA?
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