Popular romance fiction constitutes the largest segment of the global book market. Bringing together an international group of scholars, The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Romance Fiction offers a ground-breaking exploration of this global genre and its remarkable readership. In recognition of the diversity of the form, the Companion provides a history of the genre, an overview of disciplinary approaches to studying romance fiction, and critical analyses of important subgenres, themes, and topics. It also highlights new and understudied avenues of inquiry for future research in this vibrant and still-emerging field. The first systematic, comprehensive resource on romance fiction, this Companion will be invaluable to students and scholars, and accessible to romance readers.

part I|72 pages

National traditions

part II|170 pages


chapter 4|19 pages

Gothic romance

chapter 5|23 pages

The historical romance

chapter 7|23 pages

Young adult romance

chapter 9|17 pages

Erotic romance

chapter 10|23 pages

African American romance

part III|126 pages

Methodological approaches

chapter 12|25 pages

Romance in the media

chapter 13|26 pages

Literary approaches

chapter 16|19 pages

Publishing the romance novel

part IV|153 pages


chapter 19|17 pages

Sex and sexuality

chapter 20|26 pages

Gender and sexuality

chapter 21|31 pages

Love and romance novels

chapter 23|18 pages

Race, ethnicity, and whiteness

chapter 24|17 pages

In response to Harlequin

Global legacy, local agency