Gothic Romance Novels Are My New Favorite Thing

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She's So Bright - Gothic Romance Novel Covers
That dress and lip color are so fabulous! Written by Iris Bromige. First Paperback Library printing September 1965.

I feel so silly for not realizing this, but almost all of the novels I’m naturally drawn to are considered gothic. From books like The Picture of Dorian Gray to Interview With the Vampire, and even authors, like Edith Wharton and H. P. Lovecraft, I can easily categorize gothic stories as my favorite genre. There’s something wonderful about the spine-tingling allure of a dark castle or a ghoulish face, and the spooky intrigue grabs me so much by the goosebumps that I usually find myself unable to put a book down until completion. Even more, gothic romances, essentially love stories with a touch of horror, are my crème de la crème.

Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, are classic gothic romance novels – some of the most popular love stories of all time. Centered around a big, old house, with overgrown vines and one with an ex-wife in the attic, these two novels are quintessentially gothic. And ever since my first read of DeMaurier’s Rebecca, I’ve been desperately trying to recapture the delight and suspense I experienced with that novel.

So, you must understand my excitement when researching romance novel book covers (you know, for ideas), I came across a slew of gothic romance novels written in the 1960’s and 70’s that have such fun cover art. Each one features a verifiable damsel, who I imagine was lured to a castle or historic home, and finds herself at the behest of a mysterious man. Well, at least that’s what I told myself these stories are about!

So, I gathered a few of these exciting covers and thought I’d give them a share. Check out the delightful designs below!

She's So Bright - Gothic Romance Novel Covers
Copyright 1971 Coronet Communications Inc. First Paperback Library Edition January 1971. Cover art Victor Kalin.
She's So Bright - Gothic Romance Novel Covers
Copyright 1959 by C. Kage Booton.
She's So Bright - Gothic Romance Novel Covers
Illustrations by Lou Marchetti for Lancer Books, 1965.
She's So Bright - Gothic Romance Novel Covers
Dying Embers by Leslie Page. A Belmont Tower Gothic.

How awesome are they? I’m really into that blue eyeshadow in So Many Midnights. Très chic! Guess I just figured out what I’ll be reading next!

To check out more cover art, and to read a few reviews, visit the fun website, My Love-Haunted Heart. Do you like gothic novels? What’s your favorite fiction genre? Share with me in the comments below!

Images courtesy of My Love-Haunted Heart & its Flickr, and Washington University.

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