Tag: development of the romance novel

Rewarding women

Crusie2 copy

The writing process is very different for men and women, says Jennifer Crusie. She compared men’s adventure novels with romance fiction and found a stark contrast between the two. Men’s novels set up women as inferior, while in romance novels, women were rewarded for…

Optimism in U.S. Romance

Film still, Eric Selinger interview

Where did the American expectation of a happy ending to romantic stories originate? Scholar Eric Selinger looks back.

Byronic alpha males

Film still, Sarah Frantz, interview

Scholar and editor Sarah Frantz traces the alpha male hero’s history from Byron to the present day.

German romance in the U.S.

Engraving, E. Marlitt, 1887, from Die Gartenlaube, Wikimedia

In the late 1800s, romance novels by German author E. Marlitt were big sellers in the U.S.

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.

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.

Phillis Wheatley

Film still, Darlene Clark Hine interview

Phillis Wheatley first captured some of the feelings of love and longing that would later appear in African American romance novels.

Discovering black romance

Film still, Darlene Clark Hine interview

Before African American romance novels were a flourishing subgenre, readers found stories of black love in periodicals, says Darlene Clark Hine.

The sentimental novel

Film still, William Gleason interview

After the Civil War, African American authors wrote optimistic love stories, until the brutal failure of Reconstruction strangled the genre.

In on the ground floor

Film still, Steve Axelrod interview

Agent Steven Axelrod has represented romance authors for more than 30 years, since the market opened up to American writers in the 1980s.