100 Years and Still Going Strong
We are all familiar with the romantic fiction books known as Mills and Boon.
These books started out in 1908, and afterwards Harlequin books, a Canadian company began to buy the rights in 1949.
According to some literary critics, these books are only read by "desperate housewives with one brain cell". the thing is not only men that sneer at such books and their readers but many women do as well. I was one of those to laugh at such books and dismiss them as trivial. then I began to notice that many women read them, of different classes and conditions of society.
They can hold any job and some can belong to the male gender. A manager at work, a male, upon hearing our discussion about such books, admitted that he has read a few books such as Mills And Boon. He confessed to never telling anyone and preferred to "stay in the closet", jokingly saying he will deny ever uttering such admission.
Thrillers, spy books, war stories are all accepted because they are read by men. However romantic fiction is derided because it is mainly a female domain, written for women by women. It does reflect the dreams of women of meeting their one and only, where they overcome the odds and their powerful love triumphs at the end. Who does not love a happy ending?!!
I read my first Mills And Boon book yesterday, and while I cringed at some parts of the book, and at other times was overcome with the giggles at other parts, I have to admit I enjoyed it and it was a relaxing way to spend the evening after a tiring hot day. We all do a lot of deep thinking during the day, I guess a bit of "dumb" reading cannot harm.
Many of you will not agree, but we cannot deny that they are popular the world over. In japan for example, the stories are more explicit than their UK counterparts, while the Arabic version is much more tame.
I am sure some of you may have read such a book or know someone who does.
Would you admit to reading them?... Well I am a convert, and while I am sure many times I will choose another more "intellectual" book over those romantic fiction novels, the one I read will not be the last.
By guest writer Silvana