The Historical Romance Novel: Archetype and Activism

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As fiction written and read almost exclusively by women, they fall into a unique category. There is an implicit feminism in work that is woman-oriented. If nothing else, the early work of feminism was concerned with making women visible and heard. Furthermore they can be specifically used to encourage activism in women. The imagery in romance novels easily lends itself to symbolic interpretation. Finally romance readers are more capable of understanding the complexities of the text than generally believed.

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