Departmental Bulletin Paper Issues of Socioeconomic Class in Barbara Cartland’s A Duel of Hearts and Catherine Cookson’s The Menagerie

Bird, Paul

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In this paper, we examine the role that socioeconomic class has to play in two novels of romance genre fiction: Barbara Cartland’s A Duel of Hearts and Catherine Cookson’s The Menagerie. Published in the years following the Second World War, these novels are written in the style which, while observing the central conventions of romance fiction, additionally depict the experiences of the central characters through the lens of their respective class: aristocracy versus working-class. This article will compare, contrast and analyze the way in which issues of class are presented by the authors in their respectivenovels.
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