Notebook reveals Mills & Boon editor's favourite steamy lines
The book compiles some of the more risque and bizarre sentences
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Friday 14 February 2014
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.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
Red Dwarf returns: Craig Charles quits Coronation Street to return to comedy sci-fi series
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds