Busting stereotypes

Film still, Jessie Matthews interview

George Mason University professor Jessie Matthews shifts student and professor prejudices against romance with her romance literature class.

Shall we dance?

Cover image, How to Dance: A Complete Ball-room and Party Guide, 1878, Tousey & Small, public domain

The Library of Congress’ collection of ballroom dance manuals lets visitors peek back into the history of one of the most romantic of pastimes.

Advice from the lovelorn

Painting, Mary Elizabeth Maxwell (née Braddon), 1865, William Powell Frith, public domain

Can a heroine win if she doesn’t get her man? In Louisa May Alcott’s Behind the Mask and Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, the ‘losers’ win.

What a publisher does

Film still, Dominique Raccah, Popular Romance Project

Becoming published is much easier than becoming well-published, says Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks.

Many paths to romance

Film still, Sarah Frantz interview

Sarah Frantz, scholar-turned-editor, describes how her changing relationship to romance novels over the years.

Studying Nora Roberts

Film still, An Goris interview

Scholar An Goris focuses on how Nora Roberts’ work has changed as the genre has changed—and how that work has changed the genre in return.

Women who read romance

Film still, Sarah Wendell interview, Popular Romance Project

Sarah Wendell talks about why romance and its happy endings matter.

Larger than life

Film still, Cindy Gerard, interview

Romance author Cindy Gerard creates characters with the qualities she admires in real life: honor, integrity, and the strength to survive suffering.

The mass market industry takes off

Film still, Robyn Carr interview, Popular Romance Project

Author Robyn Carr read and was inspired by romantic historical fiction in the days before the romance genre bloomed.

Unhappily ever after

Alan Weiss (cover art), “I Was a Girl Who’d Stop at Nothing” from My Love #17, Stan Lee (writer) and George Tuska (illustrator), 1972.

Can unhappy endings be idealistically romantic, too? Jacque Nodell takes a look at a tale of squandered opportunity penned by Stan Lee.