Love Pulps

For my romance-reading friends, Joy and Enbrethiliel, here are some covers of love pulps!
(Arrow through to find more covers for these magazines.) It’s interesting to watch the meaning of “romances” change from any old kind of adventure story to specifically adventure/love stories to just plain love stories. The change happened pretty quickly, for a word so old.

Affinity Love Stories

All-Story Love Tales. (All-Story was a magazine line and a description.) Here’s a couple more All-Story Love, and another with a very charming cover.

Complete Love. (Also a magazine line and a description. No serial stories, they mean.)

Cowboy Romances.

Cupid’s Diary
. More cute, wholesome covers here.

Dream World Love and Romance.

Exciting Love. Exciting was also a magazine line.

Four Star Love.

Gay Love. As in fun and merry.

Glamorous Love Stories.

Golden Love and Golden West Romances.

Ideal Love.

Leading Love. “Leading” was a magazine line.

Life’s Romances. No idea. Nice cover, though.

Love Adventures

Love Book.

Love Fiction Magazine.

Love Novels
, Love Novelettes, and Love Short Stories, too.

Love Story Illustrated Magazine and Love Story Magazine. (Are you starting to get the feeling that this Phyllis Gordon Demarest was popular and prolific? Here’s a nifty cover.

Magic Love.

Modern Love Stories. Another descriptive product line name.

New Love
. Another magazine line. They were claiming no reprints.

North-West Romances: Stories of the Wilderness Frontier.
. Best. Cover. Ever.

Popular Love. Another magazine line. (And enough with the masks, already!)

Ranch Romances. The great survivor, lasting until the late sixties/early seventies.

Rangeland Love
. Also Rangeland Love Stories, Rangeland Romances, and Rangeland Sweethearts.

Real Western Romances

Rodeo Romances.


And so on, and on, and on….

Sorta love pulps:

I Confess: This sort of “True Confessions” magazine survives to this day. Needless to say, said “True Confessions” were almost always fiction written by established writers under pen names. This cover is prettier, although I think the guy looks kinda weird. Similarly, here’s Modern Romances: Every Story True.

Intimate Confessions was apparently a “spicy” True Confessions mag. Most spicy pulps didn’t get very explicit, but they still manage to be totally nasty and unwholesome. Some people think they’re funny, but I didn’t.



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3 responses to “Love Pulps

  1. +JMJ+

    Thanks, Maureen! =)

    I’ve actually been in the dark about Pulp Romances. Mass market is the new pulp, you could say, but with higher standards for writing. That’s not necessarily a good thing. Good stories that are poorly written are still better than poor stories well written, but we are spoiled by the age’s sophistication to prefer the latter.

  2. Actually, the romance book genre and the romance genre pulps grew up together, just as many of the other genres did. The only difference was that books and slicks (magazines on better paper, like the Saturday Evening Post) paid better rates but had fewer vacancies. Literary journals and the small press sometimes paid well, and sometimes paid you only in copies or prestige. If you wanted to be a professional writer, you wrote for all the paying markets you could reach.

    Writing for a pulp didn’t necessarily mean less quality, therefore. In fact, there could be some very good writers in those cheap pages. Pulp editors wanted stories that fit their guidelines, and didn’t get them in trouble with decency laws. Writing that was liked by the readers was rewarded with better money and easier sales to editors.

    I find it hard to judge the quality of stories in love pulps, though, because it’s often hard for me to understand the viewpoint of the writer. The twenties, thirties, and forties were times of rapid change. What was romantic? Sometimes, in stories of that time, I just don’t get it. (I suspect many love stories from our day will be equally mystifying to future readers.)

    Easier to show than tell you, I guess. Action stories have it easier than romances.

  3. +JMJ+

    Going by your description, I’d say there are still Love Pulps being published these days, under the name “Category Romance.” Think Harlequin Presents.

    It’s hard to take something seriously when it has a title like “The Greek Tycoon’s Virgin Love Slave”, but die-hard readers of this subgenre say that the titles are purely marketing and often have nothing to do with the (surprisingly well-written) love stories.

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