120 of Reference & User Services Quarterly, 2007 issue titled, Core Collections in Genre Studies: Romance 101.
The most elite and most classical subgenre of romance novels, according to this article, are the traditional regency romances. Regency means that the novel is set in the reign of the Prince Regent a.k.a. King George IV in the period 1810- 1820 but current writers have expanded the era to 1800 -1830. Evelyn Richardson, Allison Lane, Anne Barbour represent the traditionalists. The historical set regency novels are the ones that reign now in popularity. Look out for these names mentioned in the article Loretta Chase, Mary Jo Putney, Sophia Nash, Carla Kelly.
The Medieval, Victorian, and Regency periods with European settings and the Civil War and Pioneer periods with North America settings are most popular historical romance novels.
Characteristics of the Historical novel:
1. Female protagonists are rebellious.
2. Dates are accurate.
3. Clothing, dress, customs bring reality to novel.