Notebook reveals Mills & Boon editor's favourite steamy lines

The book compiles some of the more risque and bizarre sentences

Researchers have revealed a “naughty cut-and-paste” notebook of choice lines from Mills & Boon romance novels found in the company’s archives.

From “Out of the bedroom, like an avenging sitting hen,” to “Grant sat down on the edge of the bed, a man with a firm grip on himself,” the book compiles a collection of some of the steamier and more bizarre sentences.

The “well-worn hardback book” was found in the archive acquired by the University of Reading in 2011, which comprises close to 60 boxes of documents.

Judith Watts, a PhD researcher in the University of Reading's Mills & Boon archive and a published author of erotic fiction, said: “The publishers and editors took the material from the manuscripts rather mischievously. They have a wicked sense of humour. The notebook was clearly for their own amusement.” She added: “Few people will have seen it, it would be lovely if it was published.”

The editors called the book Boon Mots: Anthology of Artless Extracts. It has phrases cut out of submitted manuscripts including: “She looked up at him and bit into a sandwich before answering, that would him how much she was afraid of him, she thought.”

Another choice extracts included “Mrs White heaved at something under the blanket and produced a pineapple,” and “He looked like a two-egg man.”

The archive “offers a unique glimpse into the history and success of one of the most-loved and successful series of romantic fiction books”.

It charts the beginning of the company and the evolution of its language over the decades. It also includes letters between the publisher and its authors.

Ms Watts said: “Through decades of charming correspondence M&B authors and the publisher discuss the changing nature of the romantic novel, and the desire to satisfy readers' needs. Though the language of love evolved to reflect each era, the genre's role in providing pleasure and escape was constant.”

The archive came into the university’s possession after the company moved premises and they had no space. “It is a national treasure,” Ms Watts said.

“It does bring a lot of interest, but it also sheds a lot of light on social history and change,” she said. “It is kitsch, you’re not reading authors and titles, but historical novels or doctors and nurse stories. It has gone from strength to strength.”

This comes as it emerged the “Fifty Shades” effect had sent borrowing of erotic literature at the library soaring.

Destined to Feel by Indigo Bloome was the most popular title in 2012/13 according to Public Lending Right, borrowed 11,700 times. A year earlier the most popular erotic title Divine Misdemeanours by Laurell Hamilton was taken out just 1,500.

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk