Happy 100th, Mills & Boon

M & B cropped up a couple of times in the last few days. First because it’s their 100th birthday this year, which isn’t bad going. Then I read a piece about using pulped romances to build motorways.

Is it children’s literature, though? Well, it was considered as such when I was at university, reading Literature. (You know these foreigners. They do have weird ideas.) My course had a small section in its children’s literature bit that had us read a Mills & Boon type book, on the grounds that many readers of these books are very young. Having a mis-spent childhood with Barbara Cartland (serialised in a weekly magazine), I could only agree.

I wouldn’t put one into the hands of a child, though, even if Daughter did once come home with one found in her classroom in junior school. (A mistake, they said.) Some are very bad, but some are actually not that dreadful. And it can be reassuring to know what you’re going to get.

3 responses to “Happy 100th, Mills & Boon

  1. Reassuring – yes, I think you’re right. Lately I’ve been wondering how certain authors can write essentially the same story over and over again, even so that the voices of supposedly different characters all begin to merge. Maybe it’s comforting for the writer as well.

  2. I always think Pride & Prejudice is the ultimate M&B — which was confirmed to me listening to a 100th birthday story on the radio — apparently perfect M&B features alpha male, beautiful woman, and a 150 page impediment to their ultimate marriage. P&P or what? In fact, I think I’ve just written my own M&B…. Then of course there are Viragos — the thinking woman’s M&B. They kept me going for at least a decade.

  3. In my early teens I read and re-read a book my mother owned. It looked entirely proper, and no different from Austen & Co. Now, with my bi-cultural experience I can see it’s nothing but a translated M&B.

    Meg, I can’t wait for your M&B. Knew you had it in you.

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