Whole genre sequencing

Publication year
Digital Scholarship in the Humanities

Elliott finds evidence of distinctive authorial voice in Harlequin Presents: "Authorship overwhelms distinctions of editorial control, mini-series, and sub-genre, pulling novels into authorial groups. This validates the behavior of readers who seek out writing by their favourite authors" (70). Elliot was also able to identify changes in language over time, and mentions a change in vocabulary which can be related to changes in characterisation:

Vivanco’s study of Harlequin Presents from 2000 to 2007 identifies two sorts of hero—the‘primitive’(Vivanco, 2013, p. 1068), who has to be tamed by the heroine, and another in which the hero ‘is not sexist, a fact which may astonish a heroine who is prepared for him to think and act like the heroes in the first group’ (Vivanco, 2013, pp. 1073–4) Intriguingly, the primitive hero who must be tamed is more likely to be associated with rage, contempt or cynicism—all flagged by modules that decline in importance from 2004 onwards. It seems that Vivanco’s primitives have reached their zenith and contemporary Harlequin Presents novels are more likely to be of the second category. (73)