Welcome!

Romance fiction, and I cannot emphasize this enough, has a history. Let’s record it.

Romance fiction is one of the most popular genres around the world. But the actual history of romance publishing and its authors is scattered across a million different sources. I want this to be a place where people interested in that history can find a lot of it in once place!

Latest Posts

Three volumes of The Romantic Spirit arranged next to. each other.

The Romantic Spirit: Pre-internet Goldmine

I want you for a moment to imagine yourself in 1983 (easier for some of us than others, I know!). You’ve just finished Jayne Castle’s Candlelight Ecstasy title from the previous year, Spellbound. You need more of Castle’s distinct writing style, but you haven’t seen her name on the new release shelf at the book […]

Some updates!

It’s been quiet here, but I promise I’ve been busy. I created a new Instagram account called the Romance Historian, where I’ve been sharing shorter content about some of the random romances and reference books in my collection. Some of it will mirror content you’ve read here, but I’ll try to make sure there’s lots […]

Eva Rutland (1917-2012)

The vast majority of category romance writers in the 1980s and 1990s did not create beloved characters or become household names. From their relative anonymity, they turned out book after book, year after year, of happy endings that brought readers happiness. When they pass away or stop writing for some other reason, they often end […]

Covers of four books written or edited by Carolyn Nichols.

Carolyn Nichols (1939-2017)

As American romance publishing boomed in the early 1980s, editors frequently played an outsized role in shaping the direction of the genre. Avon’s Nancy Coffey famously retrieved Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower off of a slush pile in the early 1970s for a weekend read, liked what she read, and changed the historical […]

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Content by Steve Ammidown, please credit when appropriate. Thanks!