This chapter, in the collection End of Empire and the English novel since 1945, explores the traces of the British Empire in a genre of fiction which appears to have no direct relationship with colonialism: the popular romance novel. As the colonies of the British Empire were becoming the newly independent states and territories of the commonwealth, the fictional construction of Englishness and its place in the world could not be assumed as a secure identity. Popular romance novels of the post war period are replete with what Bhabha has termed the concept of 'fixity'. In the postwar colonial romance there is a recurrent narrative pattern - in which older brothers or fathers are lost, dead or enfeebled in an erstwhile British colony, remnants of a faded Empire. The youthful heroine appears to offer a narrative future that promises reconciliation and partnership in the new shape of the Commonwealth, but nonetheless, she continues to assume a white superiority.
|Title of host publication||End of empire and the English novel since 1945|
|Editors||Rachael Gilmour, Bill Schwarz|
|Place of Publication||Manchester|
|Publisher||Manchester University Press|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|