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Women and the World of Dime Novels

The Sundered Lover

"… they separated with that impassioned conviction of mutual affection which, in refined and congenial hearts, supplants the use of words."
The Double Hero (30)

Many dime novels, both in their titles and in advertisements, are described as "romances," and they focus on a young couple and their journey toward happiness and marriage. Occasionally the barrier is that the characters haven't admitted their feelings, but more frequently suspense and plot are created by keeping two characters who have mutually pledged their love physically separated from each other. These sundered lovers must then find each other again to achieve their happy ending.

This separation usually happens by force. A disapproving parent takes or sends the young girl away, hoping that distance will lessen her affections, and presents her with an approved gentleman to be her husband instead. The woman or her lover is captured by Indians, and one must daringly rescue the other. Or, the woman is kidnapped by a spurned suitor who plans to win her hand by force and coercion. Occasionally the lover is simply fighting in the war, and the threat of his serious injury or death torments the woman he has left behind. But the lovers overcome all obstacles of distance or disapproval or captivity or war to reunite and pledge marriage. Click on the pictures below to explore their stories.


Meet the Women:

Big-rifle Nick
Adeline Rushford
Double Hero
Laura Hewson
Rover of the Forest
Mollie Hanley
Patriot Scouts
Rosalie Darlton
The Sundered Lover