Title: Contemporary romance



Location: Debbi Rawlins, For Better Or For Worse; Harlequin (2002) Nora Roberts, Night Shield; Silhouette Intimate Moments (2000) Charlotte Maclay; The Right Cowboy's Bed; Harlequin American Romance (2000) Ruth Jean Dale, Fianc? W

Pagination: 0

Illustrations: - setting, occupations, and attitudes of the characters reflect standards and conventions of modern life. - heroine is an idealilzed Everywoman: middle class, educated, independent who achieves happiness in love and family goals - ordinariness of goals,

Document Type: Graffiti


'Contemporary' is of course a highly contingent term; what is contemporary today soon passes into the realm of the historical. As such, these novels can be taken as a reflection of society's 'goals' for women, or at least its apparent goals. Earlier novels tended to fall into plots of 'boy meets girl,' in ordinary settings and situations, leading to marriage and 'happily ever after.' More dramatic romances might feature a hero needing to be tamed and civilized, or a heroine that needed to be saved from mundanity and withering away into spinsterhood. There has been a great deal of recent scholarship regarding romance readership that may be of interest, comprising both theoretical work and the reflections of romance writers themselves. However, the last few decades have seen the emergence of stronger, more independent romance heroines in business, artistic, and exotic settings. Marriage, or significant committment, remains the ultimate goal of the romance, but there is greater flexibility in roles, as well as greater freedom of sexuality. The West, specifically Texas, is a very popular setting, perhaps reflecting dissatisfaction with busy urban lifestyles and a desire for greater simplicity and the apparent 'naturalness' of rural life. (Ed. Note: All the images in this genre were scanned from books held in the CRC Humanities Computing Studio, arranged by date of publication.)