15 | A Chat With Carol Dyhouse
Listen to Episode 15: A Chat With Carol Dyhouse
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Happy Valentine's Day! This week, Sophie joins me for the first time in a Tea & Tattle interview. We are in conversation with the social historian and author, Carol Dyhouse, to discuss Carol's fascinating new book, Heartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire. Our chat ranged from Byron, to Mr Darcy and present-day literary 'heartthrobs,' and Carol offered a compelling perspective on what the cultural history of the ‘heartthrob’ can teach us about women, desire and social change.
Sophie and I questioned Carol on the subject of male and female 'glamour,' the ways in which what young girls watch and read influence their romantic ideals as women, and why romance novels have a long history of being ridiculed. We also united in a shared love of Georgette Heyer, with Carol describing which Heyer novels she loves best (they're definitely Tea & Tattle favourites too!).
Listen for a fascinating discussion on the ways in which culture and society influence women's perception of the opposite sex and what they consider to be a figure of desire.
- 00:45 - Sophie introduces Carol Dyhouse.
- 01:17 - Carol describes her background in academia and what prompted her to write Heartthrobs.
- 05:23 - The continuities and differences Carol noticed in her study of women and desire from the 1800s through to the present day (pirates and sheiks are dominant themes!).
- 08:10 - Women's role within a patriarchal society and how their fantasies may both play into this power structure, but also ultimately undermine it.
- 11:44 - Sophie questions Carol on the extent to which she thinks women's romantic ideals are shaped by what they read and watch as young girls.
- 13:58 - Carol shares her own 'heartthrobs' from her girlhood.
- 16:08 - Whether her new book, with its focus on what makes men - rather than women - desirable, changed Carol's perceptions on 'glamour' at all, having previously written about the subject of female glamour.
- 19:46 - Miranda asks Carol why she thinks there is so much shame and ridicule attached to the readers and writers of romance novels, even in the present day.
- 25:49 - Carol acknowledges her love for Georgette Heyer and chooses two Heyer novels she particularly recommends.
- 28:26 - Finally, Carol shares an idea for (possibly!) her next book.
- Heartthrobs: A History of Women and Desire by Carol Dyhouse.
- The Sheik by E.M. Hull.
- Byron's The Corsair (and the famous portrait, in which he looks rather like a pirate himself).
- 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
- The Labour of Love by Moira Weigel.
- Rudolph Nureyev.
- Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor.
- Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
- Cotillion and A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer.
- Follow along on social media: @OUPAcademic and #HeartthrobsHistory.
click on the Twitter icon to share our favourite quote from this episode
If you want to know how women want to transform men, read romances.
- Carol Dyhouse
Thank you so much for listening and being a part of Tea & Tattle podcast. As always, we love to hear your thoughts, so please let us know:
What did you like most about this episode? Do you enjoy reading romance novels at all? Who are your 'heartthrobs'?
Be sure to tune in next Tuesday, when Sophie and I are discussing some of our very favourite romantic novels - those by Jane Austen!