1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love

Edited By Ann Brooks Copyright 2022
    462 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    462 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary reference work essential for students and researchers interested in the field of love, romance and popular romance fiction. This first-of-its-kind volume illustrates the broad and interdisciplinary nature of love studies. International contributors, including leaders in their field, reflect a range of perspectives from cultural studies, history, literature, popular romance studies, American studies, sociology and gender studies. Comprising over 30 chapters by a team of international contributors the Companion is divided into 12 parts:

    Love, romance and historical and social change

    Love and feminist discourses

    Love and popular romance fiction

    Love, gender and sexuality

    Romancing Australia

    South and Southeast Asian romance communities

    Nation, place and identity in US popular romance novels

    Romantic love and national identity in Chinese and Taiwanese discourses of love

    Muslim and Middle Eastern romances

    Discourses of romance fiction and technologies of power

    Writing love and romance

    Legal and theological fiction and sexual politics

    This is an important and unique collection aimed at researchers and students across cultural studies, women and gender studies, literature studies and sociology.

    Introduction. Ann Brooks

    PART I

    Love, Romance and Historical and Social Change

    1. What’s Love Got to do With It? Romance and Intimacy in the Age of Hooking Up
    2. David Shumway

    3. Shipping Anne/Henry: Love in Tudor Historical Romances
    4. Stephanie Russo

    5. Men and Women in Love: Courtship, Marriage and Gender in Late Medieval England
    6. Bronach C. Kane

    7. These Old Shades: Georgette Heyer’s Unruly Eighteenth Century
    8. Stephanie Russo

      PART II

      Love and Feminist Discourses

    9. A New Vision of Love: Diversity, Positive Sexuality and Cultural Change in America
    10. Catherine M. Roach

    11. Mobilizing Love
    12. Lynne Pearce

    13. Mobile Love: Moral Panics, Erotics, and Affect 

    14. Purnima Mankekar

    15. Big Little Lies - Feminist or Postfeminist Fiction? The Subversion of the Love Discourse in Liane Moriarty’s Novel and in the Series
    16. Ann Brooks

      PART III

      Love and Popular Romance Fiction

    17. Love and Listening: the Erotics of Talk in the Popular Romance Novel
    18. Jodi McAlister

    19. What’s in a Name? A Corpus Study of Phonological Differences in Gay and Straight Romance Heroes' Names
    20. Ellen Carter

    21. House, Home and Husband in Historical Romance Fiction
    22. Sarah H. Ficke

      PART IV

      Love, Gender and Sexuality

    23. Toward a Progressive Black Sexual Politics: Reading African American Polyamorous Women in Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought
    24. Justin Leonard Clardy

    25. Self-Improvement as Proof of Love in The Bromance Book Club
    26. Jonathan A. Allan

    27. The #MeTooMovement, Ronan Farrow and the Fall of Sexually Abusive Men in Film and Television
    28. Ann Brooks

      PART V

      Romancing Australia

    29. Transported for Life, Transported by Love: Love and the Australian Convict Romance Novel
    30. Hsu-Ming Teo

    31. ‘This Isn’t It’: The Fantasy of the Breakup in the Australian and American Bachelor/ette Franchises
    32. Jodi McAlister

      PART VI

      South and Southeast Asian Romance Communities

    33. Army Trenches and School Benches: The Philippine-American War in the Sugar Sun Series
    34. Jennifer Wallace

    35. "Shipping" Larry Stylinson: What Makes Pairing Appealing Boys Romantic
    36. Andrea Ann I. Trinidad

    37. Performances of ‘Reel’ and ‘Real’ Lives: Negotiating Public Romance in Urban India
    38. Meghna Bohidar

      PART VII

      Nation, Place and Identity in US Popular Romance Novels

    39. The Wild Heart of the Continent: Love and Place in the Silk Road novels of Sherry Thomas
    40. Eric Murphy Selinger

    41. Remembering Love: Parsons-Yazzie’s Historical Romance Novel and the (Re)writing of Navajo History
    42. Johanna Hoorenman


      Romantic Love and National Identity in Chinese and Taiwanese Discourses of Love

    43. The Fantasy of Love and Identity Crisis: (De)colonizing Desire and Nationality
    44. Fang-Mei Lin

    45. Cook for a Better Life: The Economy of Food and Sex in Chinese Web Romance
    46. Jin Feng

    47. Emotion and Empowerment - Romantic Love in Taiwanese Writer San Mao’s Wondering Literature and Life
    48. Huike Wen

      PART IX

      Muslim and Middle Eastern Romances

    49. Girls of Riyadh and Desperate in Dubai: Reading and Writing Romance in the Middle East
    50. Amy Burge and Sandra Folie

    51. Reading and Writing Muslim Romance on Wattpad
    52. Claire Parnell

      PART X

      Discourses of Romance Fiction and Technologies of Power

    53. The Geopolitics of Love: Patriotism, Homeland and the Domestication of Violent Masculinities in US Paramilitary Romance Fiction
    54. Nattie Golubov

    55. ‘Roma’ Spelled Backwards: Love and Heterotopic Space in Contemporary Romance Novels Set in Italy
    56. Francesca Pierini

      PART XI

      Writing Love and Romance

    57. Disaggregating ‘Attraction’: Asexuality and Genre Critique in Alex Beecroft’s Blue Steel Chain
    58. Eric Murphy Selinger

    59. Disenchantment and its Discontents: ‘Modern Love’ and Irony in Popular Romance Fiction
    60. Eric Murphy Selinger

      PART XII

      Legal and Theological Fiction and Sexual Politics

    61. The Single-Mother and the Law: Romance Novels Making Room for Female Voices in Patriarchal Spaces
    62. Therese Dryden

    63. Rethinking ‘one flesh’: D.S. Bailey and the Theology of Romantic Love in Mid-twentieth Century Britain

    Timothy Jones


    Ann Brooks is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh and has been a Visiting Professor at the Australian Catholic University since 2018. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). Ann has previously held senior academic positions in the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. She is author of Academic Women (1997), Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms (Routledge, 1997), Gender and the Restructured University (2001), Gendered Work in Asian Cities: The New Economy and Changing Labour Markets (2006), Social Theory in Contemporary Asia (2010), Gender, Emotions and Labour Markets: Asian and Western Perspectives (Routledge, 2011), Emotions in Transmigration: Transformation, Movement and Identity (with Ruth Simpson, 2012), Popular Culture, Global Intercultural Perspectives (2014), Consumption, Rights and States-Comparing Global Cities in Asia and the US (with Lionel Wee, 2014) and Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (co-edited with David Lemmings, Routledge, 2014 and 2016). Recent books include Genealogies of Emotions, Intimacy and Desire: Theories of Changes in Emotional Regimes from Medieval Society to Late Modernity (Routledge, 2017), Women, Politics and the Public Sphere (2019) and Love and Intimacy in Contemporary Society: Love in an International Context (Routledge, 2020).

    "Staggeringly eclectic and yet with deep underlying unities, this remarkable volume redraws the map of love, romance, and sexuality in its tremendous historical and contemporary diversity.  Expertly edited by Ann Brooks, thirty-two essays shed fascinating light on love, from medieval Europe to twenty-first century America, from the Middle East to East Asia, from traditional forms of relationship to new revolutionary advances in gender, racial and sexual inclusiveness, in consent discourse, and in sexual justice.  A huge achievement."
     - Simon May, King’s College London, UK, author of Love: A New Understanding of an Ancient Emotion and Love: A History

    "The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love is a wonderfully expansive collection of essays that breaks boundaries by expanding our understanding of romantic love. For the first time, critical studies in a global context are presented in conjunction, ranging from love in popular literature and film to historical texts, the effects of modernization, and the fan experience. With its exceptionally wide span of sources and interdisciplinary methodology, the Companion to Romantic Love explores love in varied forms -- traditional, transgressive, and among all sexualities and genders. By demonstrating that diverse models co-exist even within a historical period, a national culture, or a literary genre, this volume is indispensable for anyone interested in the growing field of critical love studies."

     - Susan Ostrov Weisser, Adelphi University, USA, author of The Glass Slipper: Women and Love Stories

    "This is of course a book of parts, but it is no ‘curate’s egg’, rather it is full of fascinating and important ideas. ‘Romantic’ love is a slippery thing, in many ways a marker of  the ‘modern’ yet also a carrier of traditions which are long established and culturally specific. In turn there are increasing tensions with globalised representations, as well as with Feminist criticisms of romance as something woven from an outworn patriarchal web which continues to trap women. The Routledge Companion to Romantic Love explores these matters and much, much more, giving this reader both the excuse to re-visit Georgette Heyer’s novels, and the impetus to explore the rich array of writing on and about love from, for example, South and East Asia and the Middle East. I am sure that other readers, across many disciplines, as well as those who are simply puzzled by the power of love, will find much of interest in the pages of this book."

     - Sue Scott, Honorary Professor, Newcastle University, UK, editor of Theorising Sexuality