Top Ten Tuesday -Familiar Words in Historical Fiction Titles

Today’s Topic: Frequently Used Words In [Insert Genre/Age Group] Titles

Hosted by: That Artsy Reader Girl

This actually was a more interesting topic choice than I initially anticipated. I wasn’t sure I would even be able to fulfill this week’s prompt. Since historical romance is my favorite genre, I decided to focus on titles from my Goodreads list. As I researched I found that though there are many unique titles, there are also many that are more frequently used than I realized.

Most of these are centered around the titles or roles of a woman or the goals and desires of a woman. I do not consider myself a feminist by any stretch of the imagination, but I started to become a little insulted by how often words like lady, bride or daughter popped up, as if that is all we are.  I did find it interesting that the terms girl and woman were more commonly used in my contemporary titles than my historical ones. I’m not sure if that is progress or not. Thanks to my mother’s training, I’ve been taught to think a lady is a better thing to be than a girl or even a woman. Ladies are gracious, kind, thoughtful, generous and compassionate, but also have a backbone of steel when necessary.

I don’t have any problems with the words love and heart, as I think love is a universal desire and many people are guided by their hearts. But of course, I also don’t agree with the idea that the heart is the ultimate moral guide or that (romantic) love should be our sole aim in life.

Ultimately, I realized that as these are words used in historical fiction titles. They accurately reflect the culture and mindset of the times. Though there are many things I appreciate and value from these eras, I’m also thankful for the freedom and opportunities that modern women now enjoy.

LoveSince I read more historical romances than any other type of historical story, obviously this word shows up a lot in both single book and series titles. Some authors are repeat offenders (in the best sense). There are many more titles from my Goodreads list I didn’t include here.

Love in Three Quarter Time Love in Three-Quarter Time, Speak Easy, Speak Love, Love Amid the Ashes, Love on the LineA Love Forbidden, Love’s Reckoning  Love at Any Cost, Love’s First LightLove in the Balance Love’s Pursuit , Love Unexpected, Love on the Mend, Love’s Every Whisper, Love’s Proof , With Love Wherever You Are, Redeeming Love

Lady Usually, this was a title of respect and/or position throughout several centuries. So, I’m not surprised to see this one crop up quite a bit. Again, I’ve limited my Goodreads list a bit and tried to only post one title per author.

Lady of Conquest, The Lady and the Lionheart, Lady Maybe, Lady Fiasco, The Colonel’s Lady, Lady of Independence , A Lady Like Sarah,  A Lady’s Honor, The Lady of Bolton HIll, The Doctor’s Lady, Fairchild’s Lady, Lady at Willowgrove Hall, So Fair a Lady, A Lady Unrivaled, A Lady of Esteem, Lady of Light , Lady Jayne Disappears

Heart -Well, when I read romances, what can I expect, but to see this word crop up? It makes it clear exactly what type of story I can expect. Though a few of these titles do not refer to romantic love, so hey, apparently our hearts were made for more than just romance.

Grounded Hearts, Though My Heart is Torn, Homeward My Heart, A Constant Heart, Deep in the Heart of Trouble, To Wager Her Heart, The Heart’s Warrior, Illuminations of the Heart, Surrender the Heart , A Heart Divided, To Win Her Heart, A Heart Revealed, Pirate of My Heart, Choices of the Heart, Prize of My Heart, Dawn in My HeartRebellious Heart, Mercy’s Heart, The Waylaid Heart, A Heart Most Certain, The Captive Heart,  Thorn in My Heart 

Daughter -Of all the titles listed below, only one is unique and separate. As a daughter with a good relationship with my own father, this word has positive connotations. But, I also think it would be nice to see it used independently of the possessive as it is in the first title I’ve named.

Daughter of Joy, The Tutor’s Daughter, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, The Lightkeeper’s Daughter, The Merchant’s Daughter, The Captain’s Daughter, The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Bride -In eras where women had severely limited options and their security was tied either to wealth or marriage, being a bride was a thing much to be sought, even if love was not part of the equation.

A Bride Worth Taking, Short Straw Bride, The Bride Bargain ,A Bride Most Begrudging, The Lightkeeper’s Bride, Sixty Acres and a Bride, A Bride for Keeps, The Pelican Bride, Bride of a Distant Isle, The Pirate Bride

Promise -Now here is a word I liked seeing show up in titles. I was surprised by how frequently it appeared.

The Promise of Peace, The Last Broken Promise, Child of Promise, Promise Me This, A Hero’s Promise, Blue Moon Promise, The Promise KeeperThe Promise of Breeze Hill

Secret -This one was another nice surprise. It denotes a thread of mystery and always raises my curiosity. I’m nosy by nature. If you hide or conceal something from me, I’m not going to rest until I discover what it is. Just ask my sister, who never could find a good hiding place for her diary.

A Stranger’s Secret, The Secret Countess, Sea of Secrets, Ring of Secrets, Sadie’s Secret, The Secret of Pembrooke Park, Secrets of a Spinster

Heiress -Aside from marriage, this was the only other means of security a historical woman had. And perhaps even more preferred than being a wife. Just ask Emma of Austen fame. I love reading stories of wealthy women, because they were in a unique position to live how they pleased hundreds of years before modern women take that blessing for granted.

The Hesitant Heiress , Heiress, The Heiress of Winterwood, The Lost Heiress, Once an Heiress

What are some key words you’ve noticed in historical fiction titles?

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2 Replies to “Top Ten Tuesday -Familiar Words in Historical Fiction Titles”

  1. Oh this really makes me want to add some more historical romance to my TBR. All of these look so good, but I know I can’t add every single one. The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson was a wonderful surprise, I’ve read her children’s books but I hadn’t tried her romances. So good!

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