Old-World Heroes and New-World Heroines in Post-Millennial Anglophone Romance Media

Publication year

Here's the description from the introduction to the volume:

The first chapter “Old-World Heroes and New-World Heroines in Post-Millennial Anglophone Romance Media” by Joseph Crawford explores the relationship between past and present through the analysis of popular romances that feature British or American heroines who fall in love with heroes from earlier historical eras such as sheikhs, vampires, or Scottish Highlanders who, as Crawford argues, “are represented as being more desirable precisely because they are associated with the cultures of the ‘old world.’” In this chapter, Crawford traces the constant attraction for the past in post-millennial romance media looking at the romcom Kate and Leopold, Karen Marie Moning’s novel Kiss of the Highlander, Olivia Gates’s sheik romance The Desert Lord’s Baby, and Diana Gabaldon’s time-travel romance Outlander as well as its TV adaptation. (19)

Here's the abstract:

This chapter explores a persistent narrative pattern in twenty-first-century popular Anglophone romance fiction, whereby heroines associated with the "new world" of liberal modernity are paired with "old-world" heroes who act as exemplars of pre-modern cultural formations, such as Scottish Highland lairds, European aristocrats, Arab sheiks, time-travelers, and vampires. Discussing this tendency in relation to the romance genre's long-standing fascination with the chivalric values of the feudal past, it considers three case studies - Kiss of the Highlander, The Desert Lord's Baby, and Outlander - in order to explore how these narratives have been modified by twenty-first-century female writers seeking to reconcile romantic nostalgia for the past with a liberal feminist ideology unwilling to surrender the social progress of the modern era.