RWA’s impact

Film still, Kim Castillo, Joseph Friedman, Popular Romance Project

What makes the Romance Writers of America (RWA) unique?

A rake’s progress

Oil on Canvas, A Rake's Progress, 1732-1735, William Hogarth, The Yorck Project

Why are rakes so popular in historical romance? Angela Toscano suggests it’s because they can embody modern beliefs about pleasure.

Tied (down) and true

Album Cover, The River, 1980, Bruce Springsteen, Columbia Records

In the 1960s and 1970s, popular songs about love shifted from tradition-shattering optimism to jaded cynicism.

Dreams and day jobs

Photo, Nose in the Books, Feet in the Field, 28 May 2010, Sem Vandekerckhove, Flickr, creative commons

What did romance authors want to be when they grew up? Many things, from cytologist to astronaut.

He loves me. He is a Yank.

Hand-colored tintype, Unidentified sailor with his wife, 1861-1865, Library of Congress, Flickr Commons

Does reading romantic fiction influence how we love? Scholar Amelia Serafine examines how sentimental fiction influenced Civil War women.

Where we walked

Film still, Beverly Jenkins and Readers in Charleston, Joseph Friedman, Popular Romance Project

Author Beverly Jenkins brings the history in her novels alive for readers by inviting them along on history trips.

What’s it all about, Arnold?

Alex, "after a journey," Flickr, 2009

We’ve all heard that ‘true love conquers all,’ but when did love become a near-religious ideal? asks scholar Eric Selinger.

Telling yourself stories

Film still, Jodi Thomas, Joseph Friedman, Popular Romance Project

Author Jodi Thomas thought everyone told themselves stories–until she learned it was a unique talent.