Wallpaper Romance

When Calls the Heart Season Two.


A few people (who aren’t so familiar with historical romance) have asked me what the term wallpaper romance is, especially as I seem to use it a bit!

Basically wallpaper historical romance is to the subgenre what Reign is to the 1550s:

Reign CW Wallpaper Historicals Historically Inaccurate Costumes

Reign CW Wallpaper Historicals Historically Inaccurate Costumes..

And When Calls the Heart’s second, deliberately dumbed down (thanks, Hallmark Channel!) season is to the 1910s:


Basically, it’s a book that tells you it’s a certain era and it’s a certain country, but nobody thinks, speaks or acts like that’s when and where they’re from.

When Calls the Heart Season Two

Circa 1912?!

Some people love this sort of book because it’s just like reading fairy tales (but usually with sex). They’re great entertainment.

Reign CW Wallpaper Historicals Historically Inaccurate Costumes.

Circa 1557?!

Whereas other readers (like me) have trouble seeing past all the anachronisms and mistakes with things like language and interactions between the genders.

Wallpaper historical romance: give your book a date, and eliminate a lot of the historical accuracy from that date. Or at least that’s how I use the expression!

9 thoughts on “Wallpaper Romance

  1. Oh, yes, this is one of my pet peeves. I recently read a book that was supposed to be a Regency and had all the earmarks of a Victorian. so why not just call it a Victorian? Beats me.

    1. The Regency/Victorian thing seems to be the mistake made most often!
      It seems a lot of authors and publishers think that “Regency” is more popular and just call them all that.

    1. So many people have no clue.

      The lead actress in Reign (to my embarrassment, an Australian) claims that her show has to be so simplified and modernised because young people don’t like history. A lot of “young people” were very offended by that!

      I don’t know why she wants to be in a show like that if she thinks history is boring. She’s playing Mary, Queen of Scots for God’s sake!

      1. HA! Again…. too many people catering to the lowest common denominator – the shallowest end of human the human gene pool. If you expect little from people for long enough, we aren’t driven to succeed, to learn, or to grow. So sad…

  2. I want my historicals to be, well, historical. If what the author wants is modern people in pretty dresses, then by all means, write modern people in pretty dresses, in the modern age. I want the history and the romance to be intrinsically linked, and I want the characters to think, act and behave, as well as look like, people of the time and place in which they live. That’s why I read and write historicals. I want the history. I want it to shape and affect the romance. When I want to read a fairy tale, I read a fairy tale. When I want history and romance, I read historical romance.

    1. Exactly. The point of using the different time period is because the way you courted and married etc. was so different! If it’s just modern people in dresses, well… I have pretty dresses. I can wear them in 2015!

      My favourite thing about historical romance is how high the stakes were and how difficult it could be for couples to even get to know each other. Every year my tolerance for modern people in Regency dresses lowers more.

  3. Pingback: The Week: 17th – 23rd August | Sonya's Stuff

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