Mail-Order Bride (trope)

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Mail-Order Husband, Mail-Order Groom, Mail-Order Wife/Wive
Related: Marriage
See Also: Arranged Marriage, Forced Marriage, Pretend Marriage, Marriage of Convenience (trope),
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Mail-Order Bride is a canon/fanon trope which is an offshoot of the popular arranged marriage genre.

Mail-order bride[1] is the term given to women and men -- though historically it was mostly women -- who have their marriages arranged through a catalogue or other interface, where the parties correspond through letters and other communication systems.

In fanworks as well as some canon media, the trope is often used in Historical AUs (set for example in the medieval, Victorian and Edwardian eras), in Royalty AUs and plots set in colonial times, especially Western AUs.

It is a popular theme in Harlequin literature and sometimes features in Harlequin Challenges. The trope probably originated with zines and adzines, later migrating to the internet as fandom moved online.

Trope History

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Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fanfic and Podfic




  1. ^ "Mail-order bride". Wikipedia. Archived from the original on 2021-08-24.