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From Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms


Romance fiction


  • Fiction that primarily depicts romantic love. For medieval chivalric tales written in prose or poetry that depict an idealized code of civilized behavior that combines loyalty, honor, and courtly love see [Romances.]
  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Romance fiction
  • Variants

    • us: Love stories
    • us: Romances (Love stories)
    • us: Romantic fiction
  • Broader Terms

  • Sources

    • found: Herald. D. Genreflecting, 2006: p. 253 (Romance novels celebrate the emotional development of a love relationship. While mystery is moved by plot and horror by conflict, the action of the romance novel is internal. A man and a woman must come to admit that they love each other and form a pair bond. Beyond that focus, there may be any number of obstacles that interfere with the admission of love, and these may comprise a significant plot, but the theme of the romance novel is one of emotion.)
    • found: Ramsdell, K. Romance fiction : a guide to the genre, 1999: p. 4 (the term "romance," as it is used today, has a much more specific meaning and refers to a particular kind of fiction--the love story; Certain criteria must be met before a love story can qualify as a proper romance, at least by today's standards. To begin with, there is the matter of focus. In a romance the central (and occasionally the only) focus of the plot is the love relationship between the two main characters; Another criterion for romance fiction is the Satisfactory Ending. Usually, but not always, this is the traditional happy one, with the two protagonists forming some kind of committed relationship (usually marriage) by the book's conclusion) p. 5 (for the purposes of this guide, a romance is defined as a love story in which the central focus is on the development and satisfactory resolution of the love relationship between the two main characters, written in such a way as to provide the reader with some degree of vicarious emotional participation in the courtship process)
    • found: GSAFD, 2000 (Love stories. Use for works dealing primarily with romantic love. UF Romance fiction, Romances (Love stories). RT Erotic fiction, Gothic fiction, Romantic suspense fiction)
    • found: LCSH, Oct. 21, 2014 (Love stories. UF Romances (Love stories), Romantic fiction (Love stories). Here are entered works of fiction dealing with romantic love. Works of fiction belonging to the Romance languages group are entered under Romance fiction.)
    • found: Goodreads website, Apr. 16, 2013 (number of books tagged with term: Romance, 100000 [max.]; Romance-novels, 7093; Romance-fiction, 3085; Romantic-fiction, 3675; Love, 27541; Love-stories, 10982; Love-fiction, 44; Love-novels, 26)
  • General Notes

    • Fiction that primarily depicts romantic love. For medieval chivalric tales written in prose or poetry that depict an idealized code of civilized behavior that combines loyalty, honor, and courtly love see [Romances.]
  • Example Notes

    • Note under [Romances]
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-02: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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