A Natural History of the Romance Novel

The romance novel has the strange distinction of being the most popular but least respected of literary genres.

A Natural History of the Romance Novel

A Natural History of the Romance Novel

The romance novel has the strange distinction of being the most popular but least respected of literary genres. While it remains consistently dominant in bookstores and on best-seller lists, it is also widely dismissed by the critical community. Scholars have alleged that romance novels help create subservient readers, who are largely women, by confining heroines to stories that ignore issues other than love and marriage. Pamela Regis argues that such critical studies fail to take into consideration the personal choice of readers, offer any true definition of the romance novel, or discuss the nature and scope of the genre. Presenting the counterclaim that the romance novel does not enslave women but, on the contrary, is about celebrating freedom and joy, Regis offers a definition that provides critics with an expanded vocabulary for discussing a genre that is both classic and contemporary, sexy and entertaining. Taking the stance that the popular romance novel is a work of literature with a brilliant pedigree, Regis asserts that it is also a very old, stable form. She traces the literary history of the romance novel from canonical works such as Richardson's Pamela through Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Brontë's Jane Eyre, and E. M. Hull's The Sheik, and then turns to more contemporary works such as the novels of Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, Janet Dailey, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Nora Roberts.

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A Natural History of the Romance Novel
Language: en
Pages: 240
Authors: Pamela Regis
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2013-08-31 - Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

The romance novel has the strange distinction of being the most popular but least respected of literary genres. While it remains consistently dominant in bookstores and on best-seller lists, it is also widely dismissed by the critical community. Scholars have alleged that romance novels help create subservient readers, who are
Romantic Science
Language: en
Pages: 296
Authors: Noah Heringman
Categories: English literature
Type: BOOK - Published: 2003-07-01 - Publisher: SUNY Press

Uncovers the vital role that new scientific discoveries played in Romantic literary culture. Although "romantic science" may sound like a paradox, much of the romance surrounding modern science—the mad scientist, the intuitive genius, the utopian transformation of nature—originated in the Romantic period. Romantic Science traces the literary and cultural politics
New Approaches to Popular Romance Fiction
Language: en
Pages: 275
Authors: Sarah S.G. Frantz, Eric Murphy Selinger
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2014-01-10 - Publisher: McFarland

Despite the prejudices of critics, popular romance fiction remains a complex, dynamic genre. It consistently maintains the largest market share in the American publishing industry, even as it welcomes new subgenres like queer and BDSM romance. Digital publishing originated in erotic romance, and savvy online communities have exploded myths about
The Cambridge History of the English Novel
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Robert L. Caserio, Clement Hawes
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2012-01-12 - Publisher: Cambridge University Press

The Cambridge History of the English Novel chronicles an ever-changing and developing body of fiction across three centuries. An interwoven narrative of the novel's progress unfolds in more than fifty chapters, charting continuities and innovations of structure, tracing lines of influence in terms of themes and techniques, and showing how
Romance
Language: en
Pages: 160
Authors: Barbara Fuchs
Categories: Literary Collections
Type: BOOK - Published: 2004-09-09 - Publisher: Routledge

Often derided as an inferior form of literature, 'romance' as a literary mode or genre defies satisfactory definition, dividing critics, scholars and readers alike. This useful guidebook traces the myriad transformations of 'romance' from medieval courtly love to Mills and Boon, and claims that its elusive and complex nature serves

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