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A Companion to Romance: From Classical to Contemporary

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6727-7
584 pages
January 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Romance: From Classical to Contemporary (1405167270) cover image
Romance is a varied and fluid literary genre, notoriously difficult to define. This groundbreaking Companion surveys the many permutations of romance throughout the ages.

  • Considers the literary and historical development of the romance genre from its classical origins to the present day
  • Incorporates discussion of the changing readership of romance and of romance’s special relation to women readers
  • Comprises 30 essays written by leading authorities on different periods and sub-genres
  • Challenges the idea that the appeal of romance is exclusively escapist
  • Draws on a wide range of specific and influential literary examples
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List of Illustrations viii

Acknowledgments ix

Notes on Contributors x

Introduction 1

1. Ancient Romance 10
Elizabeth Archibald

2. Insular Beginnings: Anglo-Norman Romance 26
Judith Weiss

3. The Popular English Metrical Romances 45
Derek Brewer

4. Arthurian Romance 65
W. R. J. Barron

5. Chaucer’s Romances 85
Corinne Saunders

6. Malory and the Early Prose Romances 104
Helen Cooper

7. Gendering Prose Romance in Renaissance England 121
Lori Humphrey Newcomb

8. Sidney and Spenser 140
Andrew King

9. Shakespeare’s Romances 160
David Fuller

10. Chapbooks and Penny Histories 177
John Simons

11. The Faerie Queene and Eighteenth-century Spenserianism 197
David Fairer

12. ‘‘Gothic’’ Romance: Its Origins and Cultural Functions 216
Jerrold E. Hogle

13. Women’s Gothic Romance: Writers, Readers, and the Pleasures of the Form 233
Lisa Vargo

14. Paradise and Cotton-mill: Rereading Eighteenth-century Romance 251
Clive Probyn

15. ‘‘Inconsistent Rhapsodies’’: Samuel Richardson and the Politics of Romance 269
Fiona Price

16. Romance and the Romantic Novel: Sir Walter Scott 287
Fiona Robertson

17. Poetry of the Romantic Period: Coleridge and Keats 305
Michael O’Neill

18. Victorian Romance: Tennyson 321
Leonée Ormond

19. Victorian Romance: Medievalism 341
Richard Cronin

20. Romance and Victorian Autobiography: Margaret Oliphant, Edmund Gosse, and John Ruskin’s ‘‘needle to the north’’ 360
Francis O’Gorman

21. Victorian Romance: Romance and Mystery 375
Andrew Sanders

22. Nineteenth-century Adventure and Fantasy: James Morier, George Meredith, Lewis Carroll, and Robert Louis Stevenson 389
Robert Fraser

23. Into the Twentieth Century: Imperial Romance from Haggard to Buchan 406
Susan Jones

24. America and Romance 424
Ulrika Maude

25. Myth, Legend, and Romance in Yeats, Pound, and Eliot 438
Edward Larrissy

26. Twentieth-century Arthurian Romance 454
Raymond H. Thompson

27. Romance in Fantasy Through the Twentieth Century 472
Richard Mathews

28. Quest Romance in Science Fiction 488
Kathryn Hume

29. Between Worlds: Iris Murdoch, A. S. Byatt, and Romance 502
Clare Morgan

30. Popular Romance and its Readers 521
Lynne Pearce

Epilogue: Into the Twenty-first Century 539
Corinne Saunders

Index 542

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Corinne Saunders is a Reader in Medieval Literature at the University of Durham. Her previous publications include The Forest of Medieval Romance (1993), Rape and Ravishment in the Literature of Medieval England (2001) and Chaucer (2001) in the Blackwell Guides to Criticism series.
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  • A groundbreaking survey of the many permutations of romance throughout the ages
  • Considers the literary and historical development of the romance genre from its classical origins to the present day
  • Incorporates discussion of the changing readership of romance and of romance’s special relation to women readers
  • Comprises 30 essays written by leading authorities on different periods and sub-genres
  • Challenges the idea that the appeal of romance is exclusively escapist
  • Draws on a wide range of specific and influential literary examples
See More
“Acknowledging the difficulty of defining "romance," Saunders and the contributors collectively produce a volume that offers a more comprehensive survey of the literature--including its historical, national, and generic varieties--than have previous standard works on the subject…Some of the essays--e.g., Helen Cooper's "Malory and the Early Prose Romances" and Richard Cronin's "Victorian Romance: Medievalism"--are exemplary in the quality of their writing, scholarship, and critical perception…Highly recommended.”
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"... It would be worth acquiring for an academic humanities collection and, from my own experience, would be particulary useful for English literature students at undergraduate and postgraduate level."
Reference Review

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