A few months ago, I was invited to contribute to the Popular Romance Project, a multi-programme project about the history and development of popular romance fiction.
My post traced the roots of today's popular romance back to the medieval period, asking "[w]hat do the Middle Ages have to do with the twenty-first century?" and pointed out some similarities between today's novels and Middle English romance, one of the most popular secular genres in the later Middle Ages.
Other have also written some brilliant posts: Jonathan Allen has written on male virginity in romance, Jayashree Kamble discusses the use of the Hades and Persephone myth in Mills & Boon romance, and Sarah S. G. Frantz outlines the case for Jane Austen as romance novelist.
New posts are being added every week, and I fully recommend a visit to the site.