A romantic past : a study of historical romance as a form of recreational fiction in public libraries

2018-11-19T23:15:09Z (GMT) by Lynne Carmichael
This MA (Library Studies) thesis outlines the various ways in which romantic fiction can be assessed - especially ways that avoid treating genre fiction as 'inferior' serious fiction. In particular it examines the way that the 'feminine' genres of fiction (including the many different types of romantic fiction) are regarded as inferior to the 'masculine' genres (thrillers, science fiction etc).
The idea that 'their' fiction genres are inferior is assimilated by female library patrons (who often apologised for their taste, even while borrowing romantic novels in large quantities). This thesis aimed to provide public librarians with ways of assessing the fiction that would 'validate' rather than denigrate its readers.