Abstract

Abstract:

The romance novel is often described as a conservative genre, inflexible in its narrative forms and committed to reproducing traditional social structures. Yet historically the genre has had a disruptive rather than stabilizing effect on British cultural identity. This article reads Mary Renault’s first romance novel, Purposes of Love, against the backdrop of interwar attacks on popular fiction. Renault’s startlingly dark novels reveal a common thread between the conservative commitments of the romance and the eugenics-inflected rhetoric of highbrow literary criticism. The bleakness of their purportedly happy endings also raises questions about the political investments of contemporary recovery projects.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1080-658X
Print ISSN
0026-7724
Pages
pp. 462-480
Launched on MUSE
2016-09-20
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.