Romantic Readers

Publication year

There's quite a bit of discussion of novels which aren't romances e.g.

family dynastic sagas seem to offer a counter to the romantic-gothic which positions its heroines too often as victim of male power and aggression. In the sexy-greedy saga, woman is survivor - certainly the butt of male anger, dominance and violence - but able to avenge herself through dramatic and often sensational upward economic and class mobility. [...] She may lose the man she really loves, and several others she quite fancies along the way, but as compensation she has a tidy sum in her bank accounts, usually a mansion and estate at her disposal, if not a worldwide business empire. (62)

Taylor had been researching readers of Gone with the Wind (her Scarlett's Women: Gone With the Wind and its Female Fans was published the same year), so there's quite a lot about that. Her conclusions are broad, though:

There are many kinds of reader, using romance fiction in different ways, in various contexts, and with specific purposes. The work to be done, following the lead of cultural studies analysts, is an examination of all those readerships and a closer look at the way romantic texts are circulated and therefore acquire meanings among diverse groups and individuals. (73)