The long British nineteenth century (1789-1914) appears to have the long global twentieth century (including the first decades of the twenty-first) in its thrall. Regency and Victorian settings proliferate in popular romance fiction, ranging from scenes of domestic life within the United Kingdom to British espionage in Europe and British colonial settlements. Retellings and “sequels” of Jane Austen’s novels line our (digital) bookshelves and fill fan-fiction websites, spilling over most recently into the YouTube sensation The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Such adaptations of Austen’s novels, along with film and TV versions of the Brontë sisters’ Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, suggest that modern audiences cannot get enough of stories about Georgians, Victorians, and Edwardians in love.
The Journal of Popular Romance Studies seeks papers on this enduring love affair with 19th-century Britain. Why does a period that is historically associated with the establishment of the Industrial Revolution, the consolidation of the Empire, and the coalescing of middle-class mores now strike us as a particularly “romantic” era? How do popular and middlebrow media from around the world construct, interpret, and recast the world of 19th c. Britain, broadly construed? What do these interpretations say about our current moment and our modern (or postmodern) thoughts and feelings
We welcome submissions that explore these and related questions from any disciplinary or theoretical angle. We invite papers that cover different media, including (paper and digital) literature, film, TV, online content, and marketing.
This Special Issue of The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is guest edited by Jayashree Kamble and Pamela Regis. Please submit scholarly papers of no more than 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, by March 1 2014, to An Goris, Managing Editor, at