With all due respect to Prince William, weddings are really about the bride. Authors agree. There are few novels about bridegrooms but there are thousands about brides. In fact, AbeBooks has almost 150,000 listings where the word ‘bride’ is mentioned in the title.
Famously in literature, brides have worn black, or married Fu Manchu, or been murdered, or been the bride of the devil. There’s been a princess bride, a mermaid bride, a bartered bride and a spectral bride. (Also Marshall McLuhan also wrote about The Mechanical Bride but that’s a completely different kettle of fish.) Although the future King of England found his wife, Kate Middleton, at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, brides in fiction have come from Innisfallen, Newgate and Broadway.
This selection of bridal-themed literature does not enter the realm of Harlequin or Mills & Boon romance. AbeBooks has almost 30,000 listings of Harlequin books with bride in the title alone. We were rather overwhelmed by the sheer number of books about outlaw brides, cowboy brides, pirate brides, brides for doctors and cover designs featuring rugged young men, who have misplaced their shirt, firmly taking a bride-to-be into their muscular arms.
In fact, romance takes a backseat in many of these books on our selection as murder, mystery, family upheaval and tragedy lead the way. Not all couples live happily ever after as these books show. We have a little Eudora Welty, Sax Rohmer, John Dickson Carr, H.E. Bates, Erle Stanley Gardner and M.C. Beaton, the creator of sleuth Agatha Raisin, as well.