The Hoosierist: Five Romance Novels with Indiana Ties


hoosierist_button.5Like the pickle atop a tenderloin sandwich, these occasional briefs from The Hoosierist make a good thing (his monthly Q&A column) better.


When Knighthood Was In Flower

Historical romances pretty much have their own bookstore section these days, but this 1898 novel by Indianapolis native Charles Major helped launch the genre. His tale of romance during the reign of King Henry VIII became a huge international bestseller, blazing a florid, overheated path for millions of bodice-rippers to come. Though it’s aged about as well as that bowl of hard candy on Grandma’s coffee table, it’s still fun to explore.



A 1904 Gene Stratton-Porter love-in-the-swamp story, this novel follows the aforementioned Freckles (a one-handed Irish orphan) as he falls in love with a rich girl who saves him from a murdering gang of tree-rustlers. Yes, they try to kill Freckles over possession of a tree. Because swamp people don’t mess around.


A Girl of the Limberlost

Another Gene Stratton-Porter classic, this one features 100 percent fewer murdering tree-rustlers and about 80 percent more swamp. Oh, and a love triangle featuring a country gal competing with a snooty townie for the affections of a visiting beefcake. Also, someone drowns in quicksand.


The Fault in Our Stars

Apparently, John Green’s bestselling novel about two star-crossed lovers is really, really good. The Hoosierist, who can only read a couple of pages before crying, won’t know firsthand until he finishes it—sometime in 2016.


Indiana Cousins Trilogy

These three books written by Wanda E. Brunstetter chronicle love and romance (and corn-husking and butter-churning) among Indiana’s Amish. The Hoosierist suspects there’s probably a barn-raising and a quilting bee in there too, because you can’t write about the Amish without at least one of those.


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  • BrigetteJ

    Another Historical Romance with Hoosier ties is “Raintree County” set in Henry County, IN and written by Ross Lockridge Jr of Bloomington. A 1957 film of the same name starred Eva Marie Saint, Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. It was supposed to be the “Gone with the Wind” for the technicolor era – with a Civil War theme and a love triangle.

    There is also Vincennes’ Maurice Thompson ‘ s story “Alice of Old Vincennes”- a historical romance set against the backdrop of the American Revolution in the west – i.e. Vincennes, IN. It details the battles between the British and the Americans as well as the romance between Alice Roussillon and Lt. Fitzhugh Beverly.