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If you like happy endings (usually) this is the page for you.  
Erato, the muse of love, fueled the long and prolific genre
of 'the Romance' and the Romantic school.  Countless bards,
troubadours, minstrels and courtiers fell under her spell.

Today, treasured  romances written by men,  would be an
impossibility--no man could hope to write "A Romance" and get
a main-stream publisher, unless it had a terrible ending or was
loaded with schmaltz, bathos, or cheap tears.    It's the new
chauvinism,  the new bigotry, and thank goodness our
forebears had better sense.  

These days, many women buy only women authors because they
can get the happy ending-a successful relationship-- and the
'uplift' it fosters.  

Maybe male writers are going to forget how to talk of love, if
we aren't careful.  The only way men will see a romantic
comedy is with a partner, because we have made success at
love and happiness in relationships so unmanly.  Barbarism will

If a guy doesn't want to read about murder and mayhem, or
political fiascos or how to be a shark, then the modern
bookstore is a tough place to go.
If he wants to write about it, he has to head for the music
industry.  How come men can like to hear love songs but can't
read them?  Must be the slow dances and the beer on the side.

Good thing that hasn't been so until we got so "Modern.'  An
example is
Queed by Henry Sydnor Harrison.  Because of te
current viewpoint, his book is shown in two places on
Elfinspell, but his novel definitely fits into this category as

Elfinspell hopes to change that (a little bit, anyway) by
reminding everybody that Cupid and Erato, together, have
often inspired mankind  to reach the heights of civilized
behavior, nobility of character, and true chivalry in spirit and

From quotes, to poetry and song, to fiction about passions
both high and low  incited by that little mischief- maker,
Cupid,  Erato was the muse behind his victims.   See the result:

Romantic writing isn't confined to fiction, either.  (See this
Anglo-Saxon Love Letter: The Husband's Message written
before 1050 A.D.)

Here are two samples of
Ancient Egyptian love poetry.

Want to read a university student's love song  written in the
Middle Ages?    Try

How about a song of consolation for a Renaissance courtier's
lost youth?  
Here it is.

For Valentine's, a short Middle Age sham legal brief perfect
for performance at a Court of Love --
The Pleading of the
Rose and of the Violet by John Froissart, it's much better and
as true a case as anything to be seen on court T.V.

There are also 2 Renaissance poets who composed love lyrics,
two of these  are nowhere else on the web but

Not to mention, here is the best testament to wedded bliss and
the perfect present on an anniversary written by
Bishop, who lived in the 1700's. It would be a hard one to
match even today.

Until the  20th century, most 'romance novels' were written by
men, and a fine job they did of it, too.

Read the Middle Ages idea of entertainment, tales of
chivalrous love told by the bards in the halls of kings, princes,
and burgesses.

Two collections are here:

The Early English Romances of Love, translated by Edith

The Early English Romances of Friendship, translated by Edith


Aucassin and Nicolette and other Medieval Romances and
Legends translated from the French by Eugene Mason

and a third collection:  "Old World Love Stories, from the Lays
of Marie De France and other Mediaeval Romances and
s," this too by Eugene Mason, illustrated and decorated
by Reginald L. Knowles.  Four are in his other text but the rest
are new.

The Lay of Gugemar,
The Dolorous Knight or the Lay of the Four Sorrows,
The Lay of Eliduc,
The Lay of the Nightingale (Also called the Lay of the Laustic),
The Lay of Sir Launfal,  
The Lay of the Two Lovers,
The Lay of the Were-Wolf,  
The Lay of the Ash Tree,
The Lay of the Honeysuckle,
The Lay of Milon,
The Lay of Yonec,
The Lay of the Thorn,
The Lay of Graelent,
The Chatelaine of Vergi,
'Tis of Aucassin and Nicolette,
The Story of King Constant,
The Story of Asenath.

Even blood-thirsty megalomaniacs (allowed to reign by the
majority of their countrymen and women) had their tender
moments, as you can see in this
Letter from Henry VIII to
Anne Boleyn.)

Courtly love led to this first "Modern Novel: from the 13th
century --
The Story of Flamenca, translated from the
Provencal by William ASpenwall Bradley.

The Sonnet left by Petrach in Laura's Tomb is here, translated
by Lord Woodhouselee.

What Shakespeare was to the Renaissance, Pierre Ronsard was
to France, only better!!!  See what this poet says when feeling
lovesome here in
Love's Comparings, translated by Curtis
Hidden Page.

Sir Walter Raleigh had something to say on the subject as well,
here in
The Excuse.

An admirer of daring women, is here, from the early 20th
Century, in
Beauty on the Box, by Leigh Gordon Giltner with a
great illustration by A. D. Blashfield.

And True Romance or Myth?

My Lady Pokahontas Writ by Anas Todkill; With Notes by John
Esten Cooke.

From two anonymous Troubadors from Provence, translated by
Barbara Smythe are these two passionate
Albas, or songs.

The shortest and the most romantic and passionate poem I
have ever read is from the Renaissance,
My Love in her attire
doth show her wit, by a sadly anonymous poet.