January 27, 2022
A love novel or romantic novel is a literary genre; works of this type usually deal with love between two people and end with an emotionally satisfying, optimistic ending. There are two types commercially available: shorter novels, which are available for about a month (such as Harlequin volumes), and larger-breathing volumes sold in bookstores. They can be divided into several groups by genre: there are, for example, historical love novels, works about science-fiction and paranormal phenomena, but also combining thriller or crime, and erotic works. One of Samuel Richardson's first love novels, Pamela, or the Reward of Virtue, was revolutionary in 1740. It was revolutionary in several ways: it was entirely about courtship, from the perspective of the protagonist. Jane Austen further developed the genre with Pride and Prejudice. Austen’s work inspired Georgette Heyer, who introduced the genre of the historical love novel to the public consciousness in 1921. A decade later, the English publisher Mills and Boon published the first short, series-like romantic novels published by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd in North America. The genre of the modern love novel was born in 1972 with the publication of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s novel The Flame and the Flower in Avon Books, Softback. In the 1980s, love novels were in their heyday. In North America, the love novel was the most popular literary genre, accounting for 55% of paperback books sold in 2004. Although very popular in Europe, most of the works born in this category come from English-speaking writers, which means the dominance of the Anglo-Saxon worldview within the genre.