the antithesis of romance

illness, in romance novels, is always looked on as something brave and noble, which the heroine accordingly bears with all the grace and dignity bestowed on her by generations of ancestors, no matter how lowly their or her state

it is possible that no writer of corset-swelling fiction was ever sick a day in her life

pneumonia, for example, is a painful affliction oft accompanied by fevers, chills, bodily aches and somewhat of an inability to breathe

or fainting, for example 

heroines are always swooning delicately into the arms of their lovers or the rogues who, overcome by the ladies’ beauty, kidnapped them and slung them over horses in preparation for a wild, tempestuous gallop over heath-covered moors riddled with treacherous bogs

in reality, the hearing becomes tinny and ephemeral black blinders block the peripheral vision as a precursor to fainting, which is usually done on the floor or in hospital beds when donating blood

it is not at all romantic 

the leaking nose trumpeted until worn raw is hardly appealing to the masculine fancy

nor are eyes constantly watering without emotional provocation

so they say illness is romantic, and that fainting is an activity worthy of a heroine’s time

oh please