Cover image for Classic love & romance literature : an encyclopedia of works, characters, authors, & themes
Classic love & romance literature : an encyclopedia of works, characters, authors, & themes
Brackett, Virginia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 406 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 26 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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PN56.L6 B73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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From Romeo and Juliet to Rebecca , entries treat scores of the most memorable novels and plays, providing information on authors, works, characters, and themes. Coverage is fair and square: men and women get equal time; elite and popular fiction are treated with respect; and minority voices are clearly heard.

Classic Love and Romance Literature includes more than 340 A-Z entries that are are thoroughly illustrated, cross-referenced, and indexed. This work accomplishes what the best reference books always do: it sends you back to the originals.

Author Notes

Virginia Brackett is assistant professor at East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

While many readers enjoy romance novels, few are familiar with the origins of the romantic tradition--the celebration of heroism, the romantic quest, and classical and medieval influences. This encyclopedia covers a total of 60 authors and 68 separate works, from Romeo and Juliet to Tabitha King's 1993 novel One on One, as well as themes, issues, and characters tied to the traditional romance form. The works that are discussed would be read by both the high-school or college student as well as the general reader. Because a single volume could not include the vast numbers of titles in the romance tradition, the selections are meant to be representative. Not included are formula romance, gay and lesbian literature, and children's literature. Following an introduction that provides a historic perspective on the romance tradition, entries are arranged alphabetically by title, author, character, or theme. The entries for novels offer a summary of the plot; entries for characters (e.g., Chillingworth, Roger; Earnshaw, Catherine) includes a plot summary but focus on the importance or symbolism of the character in the story and as a figure in the larger context of romance. There are biographical (Shakespeare, William; Singer, Isaac Bashevis) and thematic (Bildungsroman, Chivalry, Patriarchal marriage) entries. Most entries are around a page in length and are followed by see also references as well as brief lists of sources. Black-and-white photographs, many of them scenes from film versions of the novels, illustrate the text. The volume concludes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources and an index. While the encyclopedia is easy to use and the entries are highly readable, the choice of topics is very subjective. Thus, the reader finds Ernest Gaines' 1967 novel, Of Love and Dust, as well as Jane Eyre and The Thorn Birds. In her preface, Brackett states that some more modern works were chosen because they use romantic elements in an ironic or subversive way, or feature a female protagonist in a hero's role. In this way, she justifies the inclusion of such works as Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God or Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife. Many of the more modern works that are included do not seem to have the elements of traditional romance, although they may reflect trends in the development of the romance genre. The volume could serve as a reference title in an academic or public library with a large fiction collection. It would elicit and shape discussion rather than serve as a definitive tool for the genre. (Reviewed September 15, 1999)

Library Journal Review

This encyclopedia, evidently the first on the subject, focuses on novel-length works in that "catch-all" and difficult-to-define genre, the romance. More specifically, it highlights literary novels in the romance tradition that are "read in high school and college classrooms, as well as by general readers." Brackett (East Central Univ., Ada, OK), whose 1998 dissertation shows a strong interest in popular reading, makes no claim to comprehensiveness. She has instead selected works representative of the romance traditions that sprang from the classical world. Typical entries include "Doctor Zhivago," "Eliza Doolittle," "Gustave Flaubert," and "Chivalry." Brackett's writing is clear and nonpedantic, and she has usually included brief bibliographies for further reading, but her plot summaries and character sketches too often provide no specific linkages to romance traditions. One can find out as much about the romance tradition in Jane Austen's Emma, for example, by consulting Masterplots (Salem, 1996. rev. ed.) or some other book of plot digests. Only for very large collections.√ĄPeter A. Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., Mt. Pleasant, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Let's not be too quick to cry: bodice ripper! This clearly written handbook takes a broad look at some of the more scholarly aspects of an often-ridiculed genre from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. In her introduction, Brackett traces the evolution of the genre from its pagan and Christian roots to its present-day form and points out that the structure of the literature reveals itself in its symbols and characters and the human desire for triumph of good over evil. What follows are alphabetical entries on 60 international authors and 68 separate works as well as themes and characters. Standard topics such as "Chivalry," "Gothic Romance," and the "Byronic Hero" are examined but of particular interest are the essays that incorporate the results of contemporary scholarship. For example, lengthy articles about the African-American experience in the United States as reflected in the literature and the evaluation of popular, or formula, romance make for fascinating reading. Each entry concludes with see-also references and a bibliography. The 13-page bibliography includes primary and secondary sources and Web sites. Average-quality, black-and-white photographs and reproductions of authors and a number of movie stills illustrate the book. A useful title for answering reference questions and a starting point for research papers.-Mary H. Cole, Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This encyclopedia offers a useful guide to traditional romance literature through the ages. Disavowing inclusivity, Brackett (English, East Central Univ.) has selected 68 novels and dramas by both Western and non-Western writers. Included are Les Miserables, The Last of the Mohicans, and Gone with the Wind, as well as lesser-known works such as Milosz Kundera's novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984) and Yukio Mishima's controversial novel The Sound of Waves (1956). Entries average a page and a half and include the 68 works, as well as authors, major characters, and terms and concepts important for understanding the genre. There is little overlap with Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, ed. by Lesley Henderson (2nd ed., 1990; 3rd ed., 1994), or Kristin Ramsdell's Happily Ever After: A Guide to Reading Interests in Romance Fiction (1987), both of which concentrate on popular romantic fiction. Each entry concludes with references to two or more of 434 secondary sources cited in the bibliography. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. E. Sheets; Baylor University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Classic Love and Romance Literature: An Encyclopedia of Works, Characters, Authors, and Themes
The Accidental Touristp. 1
The African Queenp. 2
The Age of Innocencep. 4
Allende, Isabelp. 5
Allnutt, Charliep. 6
An American Tragedyp. 7
Andrews, Rozp. 9
Anna Kareninap. 10
Archer, Isabelp. 12
Archer, Newlandp. 14
Ariza, Florentinop. 15
Ata, Sutekichip. 16
Atwood, Margaretp. 17
Austen, Janep. 17
The Awakeningp. 19
Baksh, Foamp. 21
Barnes, Jakep. 21
Beatricep. 22
Beauty and the Beastp. 23
Belovedp. 25
Belovedp. 26
Benedickp. 27
Bennet, Elizabeth (Eliza/Lizzy)p. 27
Berto, Giuseppep. 29
Bildungsromanp. 29
The Black Experience in America, 1600-1945p. 30
Blanchard, Gillianp. 34
Bonbon, Louisep. 35
Bovary, Emmap. 36
Braithwaite, Edward R. (Ted)p. 37
Braithwaite, Rickp. 38
Brandon, Colonelp. 39
Broder, Hermanp. 39
Bronte, Charlotte and Emilyp. 41
Buchanan, Daisyp. 43
Buchanan, Tomp. 44
Buck, Pearl Sydenstrickerp. 45
Burden, Jimp. 46
Butler, Rhettp. 47
Byronic Herop. 48
Carey, Philipp. 51
Carlap. 52
Carraway, Nickp. 53
Carton, Sydneyp. 54
Cather, Willa Siebertp. 55
Charisp. 56
Chillingworth, Rogerp. 57
Chittaranjan, Nelliep. 59
Chivalryp. 59
Chopin, Katep. 60
Clare, Angelp. 61
Claudiop. 62
Cleary, Meghann (Meggie)p. 62
Conroy, Patp. 64
Cooper, James Fenimorep. 65
Cosettep. 67
The Count of Monte Cristop. 68
Daisy Millerp. 71
Danielep. 73
Dantes, Edmondp. 74
Darcy, Fitzwilliamp. 76
Dare, Pamelap. 77
Darnay, Charles, Marquis St. Evremondep. 78
Dashwood, Elinorp. 78
Dashwood, Mariannep. 79
Daza, Ferminap. 80
de Bricassart, Father Ralphp. 81
de la Garza, Titap. 82
de Theus, Paulinep. 83
de Winter, Maximp. 84
de Winter, Mrs.p. 85
del Valle, Clarap. 85
Dickens, Charles John Huffamp. 87
Dimmesdale, Arthurp. 88
Doctor Zhivagop. 89
Doolittle, Elizap. 92
Dreiser, Theodorep. 93
du Maurier, Daphnep. 95
Dumas, Alexandrep. 95
d'Urberville, Alecp. 97
Durbeyfield, Tessp. 98
Earnshaw, Catherinep. 101
Emmap. 102
Enemies: A Love Storyp. 103
Esmeraldap. 106
Esquivel, Laurap. 107
Ethan Fromep. 108
Fantasyp. 111
Fantinep. 111
A Farewell to Armsp. 112
Ferrars, Edwardp. 114
Fielding, Henryp. 115
Fitzgerald, F. Scottp. 116
Flaubert, Gustavep. 117
For Whom the Bell Tollsp. 118
Forbidden Lovep. 120
Forester, C. S.p. 123
Forster, E. M.p. 123
Fowles, Johnp. 124
Frankensteinp. 125
Frankenstein, Victorp. 127
Fremont, Tonyp. 128
The French Lieutenant's Womanp. 129
Frollo, Claudep. 130
Frome, Ethanp. 131
Fu, Wenp. 131
Gaines, Ernest J.p. 133
Garcia Marquez, Gabrielp. 134
Gatsby, Jayp. 135
Genre Romancep. 136
Giono, Jeanp. 138
Giuliap. 139
Gone with the Windp. 140
The Good Earthp. 141
Gothic Romancep. 144
The Great Gatsbyp. 145
Griffiths, Clydep. 146
Guerine, Paulinep. 147
Guishar, Larisa (Lara) Fedorovnap. 147
A Handful of Dustp. 149
Hardy, Thomasp. 149
Hatsuep. 151
Hawkeyep. 151
Hawthorne, Nathanielp. 152
Heath, A. K. Royp. 154
Heathcliffp. 155
Hemingway, Ernestp. 156
Henry, Fredericp. 158
Herop. 159
Heroesp. 159
Herrera, Mercedesp. 161
Heyward, Major Duncanp. 162
Higgins, Henryp. 163
Honeychurch, Lucyp. 164
The Horseman on the Roofp. 165
The House of the Spiritsp. 166
Hugo, Victorp. 169
The Hunchback of Notre Damep. 171
Hurston, Zora Nealep. 173
Ivanhoep. 177
Iyayi, Festusp. 178
Iyere, Osimip. 180
James, Henryp. 183
Jane Eyrep. 184
Jones, Tomp. 185
Jordan, Robertp. 187
The Journeyp. 187
Karenina, Anna Arkadyevnap. 191
Kincaid, Jamaicap. 192
King, Tabithap. 193
The Kitchen God's Wifep. 194
Knightley, Georgep. 196
Kundera, Milanp. 197
Last, Brendap. 199
Last, Tonyp. 199
The Last of the Mohicansp. 200
Lawrence, D. H.p. 202
Les Miserablesp. 204
Levin, Konstantin Dmitrievitchp. 206
Like Water for Chocolatep. 207
Linton, Edgarp. 211
Longusp. 212
The Lost Generationp. 213
Lotus Blossomp. 213
Louie, Jimmyp. 213
Louie, Winniep. 214
Love in the Time of Cholerap. 214
Love Trianglep. 215
Lucyp. 216
Lung, Wangp. 217
Madame Bovaryp. 221
Magic Realismp. 222
Maguap. 222
Mariap. 223
Maugham, W. Somersetp. 224
McCullough, Colleenp. 225
Miller, Daisyp. 225
Mishima, Yukiop. 227
Mitchell, Margaretp. 229
Mondego, Ferdinandp. 230
Morrison, Tonip. 231
Much Ado about Nothingp. 233
Munro, Alicep. 234
Munro, Corap. 234
Muzquiz, Pedrop. 235
My Antoniap. 236
Naipaul, V. S.p. 239
Ndudip. 240
Nihilismp. 240
Of Human Bondagep. 243
Of Love and Dustp. 244
O'Hara, Scarlettp. 246
Okamoto, Taekop. 247
O-Lanp. 249
One on Onep. 250
O'Neill, Lukep. 251
Osaragi, Jirop. 251
Osmond, Gilbertp. 252
Oz, Amosp. 253
Pardi, Angelop. 257
Pasternak, Borisp. 258
Patriarchal Marriagep. 259
Paulp. 261
Payne, Marcusp. 261
Pilarp. 262
Pontellier, Ednap. 263
The Portrait of a Ladyp. 264
Potter, Lucy Josephinep. 265
Pride and Prejudicep. 266
The Prince of Tidesp. 268
Prynne, Hesterp. 269
Pygmalionp. 271
Quasimodop. 273
Questp. 275
Ravid, Ivriap. 277
Ravid, Yoelp. 277
Rebeccap. 278
Rebecca, Daughter of Isaacp. 281
The Robber Bridep. 281
Rochester, Edwardp. 284
Rogers, Mildredp. 285
Romancep. 286
Romeo and Julietp. 288
A Room with a Viewp. 289
Rowena, Ladyp. 292
Sabinap. 295
Sayer, Rosep. 296
The Scarlet Letterp. 297
Scott, Sir Walterp. 298
Sense and Sensibilityp. 299
Sethep. 301
The Shadow Bridep. 302
Shakespeare, Williamp. 303
Sharp, Beckyp. 305
Shaw, George Bernardp. 307
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwinp. 308
Shimerda, Antoniap. 310
Shinjip. 310
Singer, Isaac Bashevisp. 311
Singh, Bettap. 313
Singh, Meenap. 314
The Sky Is Redp. 315
Smithson, Charlesp. 316
Sons and Loversp. 317
Sophie's Choicep. 319
The Sound of Wavesp. 320
Stingop. 322
Styron, Williamp. 323
The Suffrage of Elvirap. 324
The Sun Also Risesp. 326
A Tale of Two Citiesp. 329
Tan, Amyp. 331
Terezap. 333
Tess of the d'Urbervillesp. 334
Thackeray, William Makepeacep. 336
Their Eyes Were Watching Godp. 337
The Thorn Birdsp. 338
To Know a Womanp. 340
To Sir, with Lovep. 341
Tolstoy, Count Leop. 343
Tom Jonesp. 345
Tomasp. 346
Trueba, Estebanp. 347
Tsugawa, Ryosukep. 349
Tulliop. 349
Tyler, Annep. 350
The Unbearable Lightness of Beingp. 353
Uncasp. 354
Valjean, Jeanp. 357
Vanity Fairp. 359
Victorian Agep. 362
Violencep. 363
Warp. 365
Waugh, Evelynp. 365
Western, Sophiap. 366
Wharton, Edithp. 367
Wilfred of Ivanhoep. 368
Wilkes, Ashleyp. 369
Wilkes, Melaniep. 370
Wingo, Tomp. 370
Winterbourne, Frederick Forsythep. 372
Woodruff, Sarahp. 372
Woods, Janie Crawford Killicks Starksp. 373
Wuthering Heightsp. 374
Zawistowska, Sophiep. 377
Zeniap. 378
Zhivago, Yurii Andreievichp. 379
References and Further Readingp. 383
About the Authorp. 397
Indexp. 399