Romance Fiction Has a History.

Over the past 50 years, romance has gotten relatively little attention from academia, and much of it mirrored the derisive approach of mainstream media towards the genre. This has started to change on both counts, with the development and growth of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR) and its journal the Journal of Popular Romance Studies (JPRS), as well as an increase in the number of journalists like Kelly Faircloth and Carly Lane-Perry who are able to approach romance as readers themselves instead of as outsiders.

While academia has begun to warm to romance, it has primarily been in the area of literary criticism, leaving publishing history and lives of authors for the most part untouched. As I’ve learned more about the genre, it’s became clear to me that the history of the genre was an essential piece to understanding its cultural impact. So I began to dig.

It’s my hope that this blog can serve as a jumping off point for more research into the history of romance fiction. Or maybe it’ll just make for interesting reading, that would be fine too! I’ll also try to share additional resources as I come across them. Who knows where this will end up? But let’s find out together.

(note: this post was edited on May 3, 2021 to remove images taken from the Browne Popular Culture Library twitter account, at their request.)

Published by Steve Ammidown

I'm a mercenary archivist interested in genre fiction, physical and digital usability in archives, and telling the stories held within the records.

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