Thursday, 23 April 2015

What is Romance?


What is Romance? Not an easy question to answer. I suppose everyone has a different opinion.


The cynical poet, Lord Byron wrote:

 Romances paint at full length people’s wooings,
But only give a bust of marriages;
For no one cares for matrimonial cooings,
There’s nothing wrong with a connubial kiss:
Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch’s wife,
He would have written sonnets all his life?

 I prefer a poem written by William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (17th Century)

 There is no happy life
But in a wife;
The comforts are so sweet
When they do meet.

 Two figures but one coin;
So they do join,
Only they not embrace,
We face to face.

Ah, you may sigh that is romance in marriage.

 But romance is much more. In the Middle Ages it was a narrative in verse or prose about the adventures of chivalrous knights and adoration of an unattainable lady, which had little in common with real life. King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table and the tale or Lancelot and Guinevere have fascinated the romantic at heart for generations.

Then there are the songs of troubadours, Henry VIII’s Greensleeves, and in more recent times one of my favourites, Unchained Melody.


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