Monday, October 19, 2009

A Golden Era - Books.

I love books and movies set in the 1920's to 1940's. It was such an incredible time of change, adventure and a move away from traditional mores and values. Technology, fashion and the evolving roles of women make for wonderful reading. I heard, when younger, wonderful stories shared with me by my great aunt and nan about what it was like growing up then. They went hiking into the mountains on the weekend, skiing, riding and even hunting with their father. They also donned dresses and attended socials and evening dances in the small halls scattered through the district. They sent their brothers off to war and looked after things when they were gone. They put themselves through nursing school and university and for all their experiences were two incredible, strong woman who I admire immensely.

Stories of my aunts travels in particular have always been a treasure. She traveled in a time when not many women did much adventuring and certainly not a woman on her own! And adventures they truly were. Climbing Mount Kenya with two ratbag guides, canoeing down a river in Czechoslovakia, climbing through Oberamagau, tramping through Kenya, time spent in the Hindu Kush an
d along the way making friends she would keep for life. Indiana Jones did not have a patch on my nt.

I don't have a huge amount of romance novels set during these years, but what I do have are treasures. Some of them are rather naughty, some tragic and some heartbreakingly romantic. I really do I wish writers would do more set in this per
iod! Below are a few I have that I have loved reading. If you have more, do leave a comment and leave suggestions. I am slowly making my way through the list on Speak Its Name, but the day job does interfere somewhat!

Look out tomorrow for an wonderful post from Sean Kennedy, who is vastly more eloquent than I! :) He has written a piece discussing the era and the process he went through researching the book he and Catt Ford write. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.


Jenre said...

Great Post Sarah! I have to agree with you, there is something rather romantic and dashing about the era - as well as tragic in the war years. I like reading books about this time too.

I don't have an aunt like yours but I do have a Grandmother-in-law who would take off and go mountain climbing in the Alps in her tweed skirt and sturdy shoes. She moved away from home and lived in Sweden for a few years and learned the art of Swedish massage and physiotherapy - again not something for a woman to be involved with at all at the time. Women like her and your aunt were pioneers!

Sarah said...

Weren't they though? What a wonderful Grandmother-in-law to have! She sounds like an absolute gem. It's the climbing thing I have problems with. Sounds like it was the thing to do back then! I think I'm a bit too soft for that, LOL.

My aunt was certainly feisty and did not suffer fools. But, when things got incredibly tough for me as a teen, she was one person I could count on and I loved her dearly for that. I miss her lots. The day before she died, she went jet boating. :) Adventure to the end!

Lea said...

What a wonderful post Sarah. :) It's interesting how the times have affected the romance written for each era.

Thank you for sharing!

I'll look forward to the post tomorrow.


lisabea said...

I love your stories about your Nan and your aunt. Truly remarkable women, Sarah.

Did you ever read LaVyrle Spencer's Morning Glory. ::clutches bosom:: It's late 30's dear.

KT Grant said...

I wish there were more books set in pre WWII or the Roaring Twenties. But one of my favorite all time romances is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. It is set during WWII and I never thought I would enjoy such a book.

My mother's mother had fabulous stories of when she was growing up and when she became married in the 30's and 40's. I wish before she died I could have written them down.

Sarah said...

Hey there all, thanks for your kind comments.

Lea, I think things kind of go in fads or fashions. Hoping one about this ear is sometime soon!

LB, I miss her loads sometimes. Even if it is just a moment to make me pull my head in. LOL.

Hey katie, all of my aunts are not written down at all. Kind of an story tradition. She used to speak to groups too. We have he correspondence from the last 30-40 years. Amazing letters and we do remember the stories. Just not as good at re telling. :)

Tracy said...

Great post, Sarah. I don't know any adventuring women, or too many men for that matter, but I love reading books in that era.

Of the ones you've posted I loved Islands and Snowball in Hell.

Tracy said...

Clarifying: I have read the others. :)

Kris said...

I grew up hearing stories about this period from all four of my grandparents and have a great admiration for the indomitable spirit of the people from this era, especially the women.

It is interesting because whenever I read or watch anything which is set in this period, it evokes this feeling of nostalgia in me even though, of course, I never actually lived during these times. However, I have such strong memories/images from my grandparents which in turn gives me a close affinity to the stories about the era.

Great post, Sarah. :)

Sarah said...

Hey Kris and Tracy, thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.

It is a great time period and I hope you enjoy Sean's blog tomorrow. :)

Josh Lanyon said...

Terrific post, Sarah. Your aunt sounds like an amazing woman. One of the things that endears my nieces and nephews to me are the way they curl up on the sofa to listen to me and the sibs talk about adventures. Granted, we sometimes remember to tailor for the audience, *g* but it's nice to know that the past gets handed down from generation to generation.

Sarah said...

Hey Josh, my Aunt was incredible. Reading her correspondence with my mum has been amazing too. Seeing where she went and who she met. In later years many people returned her letters she'd written to her, so we have them also. Even love letters! Boys back then sure knew how to write, without seeming torrid - but full of heat. :) Somehow a text message does not cut the mustard after reading those.

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