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Can’t Buy Me Love? A Dime Could Buy You “Thrilling Love”

On Feb. 14, people the world over celebrate Valentine's Day. The origin of the holiday is uncertain, but it is believed to be based on the Roman feast of Lupercalia. Learn more at the Feb. 14 Valentine's Day page in the "Jump Back in Time" section of America's Library, a Web site for kids and families.

Cover of "Thrilling Love," New York : Standard Magazines, December 1933 "The Kiss." Edison Manufacturing Co., copyright 1900

"Thrilling Love" was a pulp fiction title containing romantic stories by "popular authors." The Pulp Fiction collection at the Library of Congress consists of issues received on copyright deposit at the time of their publication. The "pulps," so called because they were printed on cheap high-acid-content paper, served as popular reading material, similar to today's paperback; cheap, portable, disposable and often sensational. This genre flourished from the 1920s to the 1950s. Titles focused on specific literary types: romance, sports, western, detective, science fiction, horror or military (during World War II). Writers were frequently paid by the word, and to meet daily living expenses, well-known authors sometimes wrote for these magazines under pseudonyms, putting only their "literary" work under their real name. Authors who got their start by writing for pulp fiction magazines include Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich, Dashiell Hammett, H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard.

A. Cover of "Thrilling Love," New York : Standard Magazines, December 1933. Reproduction information: LC-DIG-ppmsca-02922 (scan from color copy photo in Publishing Office) Repository: Library of Congress Newspaper and Periodicals Reading Room.

B. "The Kiss." Edison Manufacturing Co., copyright 1900. From Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies.