Harlequin Romance Collection of Treva M. Taylor
Language of Materials
The Harlequin Romance Collection of Treva M. Taylor contains 1671 paperbacks spanning three decades of the twentieth century (1970s-1990s). The two publishers represented in the collection are Harlequin and Silhouette. The majority of the collection falls into the Harlequin Romance series.
The romance novel dominated the popular fiction market in the nineteen-seventies and eighties. Due to its aggressive and creative marketing strategies, Harlequin Enterprises was and continues to be at the forefront of romance publishing. The relatively uniform plotline of the Harlequin romance follows a female heroine on a not-too-tumultuous journey through some exotic setting, the ending of which finds the protagonist safe, comfortable, and in love.
Harlequin's advertising regime took advantage of any and all promotions and gimmicks, invariably aiming their ads at "domestic" women (a notable campaign found Harlequin planting complimentary novels in boxes of detergent). More than anything, the growth of television advertising spurred the success of Harlequin romances. Widespread TV ads promoted not individual Harlequin novels, but the series as a whole; the novels' uniformity was and is one of Harlequin's strongest selling points.
Modleski, Tania. "The Disappearing Act: A Study of Harlequin Romances." Signs, Vol. 5, No. 3 (Spring, 1980), pp. 435-448.
Treva Margaret Taylor, nee Hampton, (1929-2006) was an avid reader throughout her life, not only of Harlequin romances, but of other novels and of history. She instilled the love of reading not only in her own children, but also in scores of neighborhood children. She was always ready for a trip to the local public library. Taylor subscribed to the monthly Harlequin service and received a number of titles in each package during the 1970s and early 1980s. Once read, the novels were kept in numerical order by the publisher's number on bookshelves. Her collection is reminiscent of dime novel collections from the Nineteenth Century, presenting a cross-section of popular romance during the growth of the feminist movement.
Books have been arranged by publisher, then by numbered series.
Each series is arranged in numerical order.
- Series I: Harlequin Romance Novels
- Series II: Miscellaneous Harlequin Publications and Other Publishers
Scope and Content Note
The Harlequin Romance Collection of Treva M. Taylor contains 1671 paperbacks spanning three decades of the twentieth century (1970s-1990s). The two publishers represented in the collection are Harlequin and Silhouette. The majority of the collection falls into the Harlequin Romance series. The earliest represented novel from this series is #446, Marjorie Moore's To Please the Doctor. The series reaches all the way to #3410; the collection is nearly complete between 1971 and 1990, with only a few novels absent in that span.
The other series of the collection is made up of miscellaneous ancillary materials included in the collection. Other Harlequin series are represented, such as the Harlequin Presents series, which places the spotlight on particular authors, and the Harlequin's Collection series, which consists of reissues of the most popular novels from the Harlequin Romance series. The small number of novels from Silhouette Books, the second publisher in this collection, is also represented in series II. A few different Silhouette series are present, including Silhouette Romance, Silhouette Desire, and Silhouette Special Edition.
Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, email@example.com, 212-998-2596.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-998-2596.
Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); The Harlequin Romance Collection of Treva M. Taylor; MSS 216; box number; folder number; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.
Acquired by donation from Treva M. Taylor in 2008.