Happy Birthday to romance novel grande dame Nora Roberts! The best-selling and prolific author has written more than 200 (!) novels in addition to those books she writes under pseudonyms. She was the first author to be conducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame and, for purely nostalgic reasons, she’s one of my favorites because she was the first romance author I read. And, as we all well know, raillery is practically a required romance novel element, making Nora the perfect compliment to today’s word.
Noun; from Dictionary.com:
1. Good-humored ridicule; banter
2. Light-hearted satire or remarks
“How nice for you.” She smiled politely, as through it meant nothing to her, but there was a brittleness about her raillery that caught at his chest. (How a Lady Weds a Rogue, Katharine Ashe)
Raillery, as you might expect from the spelling of the word, is French in origin. First used in the 1640s, it shares a root word with “rail” (the verb, meaning to bitterly complain or denounce, not the piece of wood you hold on to when climbing up and down stairs). Both words come from the French word raillerie, which in turn comes from a Middle French word railler, meaning “to tease.” Indulging in raillery is all in good fun, much like the romance novel it comes from in today’s example.
Your turn, bookworms – what’s your favorite example of literary raillery? I’m absolutely nuts for the intellectual banter between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett myself.
[Photo Credit: Google Images]