Popular Culture and the Romantic Heroine

Publication year
The American Scholar
98, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108, 110, 112, 114, 116 (10 pages)

This was reprinted in

Content and Taste: Religion and Myth, 1978. Ed. Peter Davison, Rolf Meyersohn, and Edward Shils. Literary Taste, Culture and Mass Communication volume 7. Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healy. pp. 233-246.

A link to a copy of this can be found above.

Here's a quote with the pagination from the 1960-1961 version:

The theme I am concerned with here is romantic love, the most popular theme in Western fiction since the Middle Ages. English and American novelists have most often written this kind of story from the heroine's point of view; and in popular fiction particularly the woman is the central figure. To illustrate the development of this theme over the past hundred years, I have chosen the heroines of five American best-selling love stories published at approximately twenty-year intervals from 1850 to 1920, with some further consideration of a contemporary novel. My selection is random in the sense that no single book is uniquely important among best-sellers, but this is in the nature of the materials of popular culture.

Each of these heroines was immensely popular in her own time. (98)

The Winston Churchill whose novel is discussed is this one, not the British Prime Minister.