In the 'Literary Retrospection' which opens Romance Readers and Romance Writers Sarah Green contends that, as a 'genius', Walter Scott should be 'superior to the dull business of comparing and arranging', otherwise known as 'Editorship'. The difficulty is exacerbated because, like other female writers of historical fiction, Jane Porter, with her increasingly elaborate prefaces, and Green, with her footnotes, both attempt to police the ideas of national heroism and courtly behaviour. For the stadial historians of the mid-to-late eighteenth century, chivalry and its representative genre, romance, formed a vital link between modern manners and those of the past. While Clara Reeve wishes to create a conservative national romance by deploying history, in her 'Literary Retrospection' Green wants to prevent the genre's appropriation by radicalism. The modern editor of historical fiction must bear in mind the way in which the tension between the idealism of romance and the supposed materiality of history was sharpened by political unease.