Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Joanna R. Davis
Romance fiction typically must have two elements: (1) a central love story and (2) an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. Romance fiction is particularly relevant to gender and society for issues of content—how it reinstates or challenges traditional gender expectations—and for how readers use it in social space. Romance fiction, which can be traced back to novelists such as Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, is a genre of fiction/literature that is primarily associated with women; this has subsequently shaped people's interpretations and willingness to take the genre seriously. Romance fiction can be traced back to “gothic novels,” including those by such authors as Ann Radcliffe, in the 19th century. The works of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne) have come to be recognized as literature in more recent times, and they continue to serve as templates for many modern romance novels. Though there were periodic ...