Hah! Bet you guys thought I had forgotten about the leading ladies for a second there didn’t ya?
Well fear not!
I give you.
It doesn’t matter what background the heroine has – they could be an heiress or a pauper – one thing that they ALL have in common is that they will be virtuous and innocent. Almost to such a degree that it becomes a bad thing. But after that the rest of her characteristics are a free for all.
(On a side note) - The orphan heroine is a favourite of mine because there are no annoying parents around. Admit it, how many times have you read a romance novel and wanted to just throttle the mother and started praying that the father would die in a hunting accident in the next chapter? Exactly. That doesn’t mean I am totally against parents. I am a sucker for a dotting, loving and completely emotionally balanced father.
The thing about Barbara Cartland heroines – that I have notices – is that none of them are the same. You may be sitting there rolling your eyes at that thinking ‘of course none of them are the same Alex, they are all different people!’ but Barbara Cartland wrote a heck of a lot of books (each of them I can only assume with at least one heroine in them) and it would get pretty hard not to get repetitive after the first 10, never mind over 600. I haven’t read ALL of her books, I wish I could say I have as that would be one heck of an achievement, but I think I can safely say I have read over 100 of them and I have yet to come across 2 heroine who are exactly alike. The differences may not be huge but they are obvious enough to make you realise that you are reading about different people.
Some of the heroines are very brave in an obvious kind of way and will face up to any challenge that comes there way – even taking the hero in hand and getting him sorted out.
And then there is the total opposite. The heroine who at first glance you think is a bit of a drip and you are really wanting to scream at her from page 1 to grow a spine already and buck up. But then when you thing about it or go back and have a re-read you notice al the subtle little things that she did. And that yes, in her own way, she was being brave.
The one thing that grates on me a little is their ignorance in things and I have to keep reminding myself that these young women are for the most part sheltered and well-bred. Even if a heroine is more savvy she still has that air about her that scream ‘I didn’t grow up in the real world’.
But at the end of the day the heroine is always someone you can cheer on and you want her to get her happy ending!