Fantasy and Reconciliation: Contemporary Formulas of Women’s Romance Fiction

Greenwood Press
Westport, Connecticut
Publication year

The chapters are:

1. A Context for Analysis of Romances

2. A Typology of Romance Formulas [sub-sections are "Series Romances"; "Erotic Romances" (by which Mussell is referring to historicals of the kind written by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers as well as to works by Danielle Steel); "Gothic Romances"; "Romantic Suspense"; "Romantic Biographies" (this is historical fiction, about real historical figures); "Historical Romances"]

3. Woman's Sphere: Past and Present

4. The Domestic Test

5. Authority, Patriarchy, and Sexuality

6. The Dynamic of Romance Formulas

7. The Limits of Imagination

Mussell notes that

Sections of this book have previously appeared, in earlier form, in "Beautiful and Damned: The Sexual Woman in Modern Gothic Fiction," [...] "'But Why Do They Read Those Things?: The Female Audience and the Gothic Novel," in Juliann Fleenor, ed., The Female Gothic (Montreal: Eden Press, 1983)

as well as various guides/handbooks to popular culture which I haven't listed separately in the database.

Works in this collection