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Beyond Bodice-Rippers: How Romance Novels Came To Embrace Feminism

03/21/2013 08:20 am ET

"Bodice-rippers," the most famous term associated with the romance genre are, according to the book Beyond Heaving Bosoms: ""typically set in the past, and the hero is a great deal older, more brutal, and more rapetastic than the heroine." The heroines were young, virginal women whose purity was of paramount importance to their worth. The rapist-turned-true-love hero was a standard character.

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