Good-Bye Heathcliff: Changing Heroes, Heroines, Roles, and Values in Women's Category Romances


"Virginal Heoines, young and naive but seething with passion, change sardonic heroes into loving, monogamous husbands. Such romance novel characters and themes have been transformed by the women's movement, argues history professor Frenier in this convincing, well-researched study. Frenier surveys earlier feminist studies of women's romances and traces the evolution of the romance industry, focusing on the competition between Harlequin's more traditional British writers and the American authors of Silhouette. She finds undertones of rape and violence in late 1970s novels giving way to more explicit and equal sexuality, to gentler, more nurturing heroes matched with stronger, more experienced heroines. By the late 1980s, premarital sex and women's careers are assumed in many novels, but the heroines greatest power remains her ability to inspire her hero to addictive, obsessive love . . . the subject is fascinating." Booklist


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