Origins and class of characters sometimes
irrelevant, sometimes a mystery.
Plot is highly colored, featuring astonishing
events that have symbolic or allegorical import.
Tends toward mythic, allegorical, or symbolic
forms; Heightened diction.
According to William Gilmore Simms, the
romance is loftier than the novel and does not
confine itself to what is known or even
probable: "it grasps at the possible."
From Richard Chase,
The American Novel and Its Tradition