Romance is a very ancient literary form. A typical example is the adventures of Apollonius, told in many different versions. But is it good literature? ‘Aspects of the English novel’ examines why the popularity of a novel in the marketplace equates with lack of respect from the literary establishment. There is a side to the art of the novel in which the profoundest understanding of the complexity of individuals, their relationships and their social milieu, requires a commitment to human intelligence. Great literature creates a force that takes possession of the writer and enables them to create a place that takes possession of the reader, transporting the reader to another world.