The items in this online exhibition evoke the stories of American women through the ages.
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Romance novels, ca. 1990s

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute


Overwhelmingly written, published, and read by women, romance novels were popularized by British publisher Mills and Boon in the 1930s. Today, the romance genre is a multibillion-dollar industry for North American publishers like Harlequin. While they are ephemeral publications, bought on a whim and passed around among friends, they are drawing increased academic interest for their straightforward portrayal of women’s lives, aspirations, and sexuality. 

Simmons, Suzanne, Bed of Roses, New York, New York: Topaz, 1995; Byron, Eve, Deceive Me Not, New York, NY: Avon Books, 1997

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Read about the Library's collection of medical romance fiction by Elizabeth Seifert.

Heather Min