Saturday, May 23, 2009

Romance Literature

At a fabulous antiques sale/flea market today, I found not only a bolt of delectable brocade for an outstanding bargain, but also a collection of books. The sign over the collection read “Fine Literature",” and I realized upon examining the titles that the store owner had my kinda warped humor. I skipped lunch and bought the books.

So here are a few steamy titles to add to your summer beach bag reading list, now that the season is upon us. All date from the 1930s and 40s and were previously owned by a woman named Myrtle.

The characters have great period names like Rex Brandon, Miss Thayle, Roderick Tresmond, Ruth Robbins, with unimaginable lines such as: “’My darling,’ he said, ‘if you were one of those women you would not slap my face, you would get up and kiss me.’”

You catch the drift. Enjoy!

1professional lover

1too many women

1unmarried couple1heartbreak for two

1impatient virgin

The subtitle for “Impatient Virgin” is You’ll Have to Admit She’s Good Company!


Alison said...

How much fun are you going to have reading those books! I'm a little jealous!

parlez-vous-kiwi said...

Oooh I love how the lines so often start with "My darling...". And the cover of the Too Many Woman one is soo funny! Enjoy ;)

Chris said...

The titles alone crack me up!

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Alison, I gave them a try. Fun and frothy, but a bit hard to wade through all the adverbs (and -ly adjectives masquerading as adverbs) Ghastly, cowardly, sufficiently, grimly, bluntly.

Kiwi, Yeah, the dialogue! Did people really talk this way in the 30s or was the dialogue created to sound like a movie script?

Yslguy, I have to admit that I bought them just for the titles and the jackets as an intact collection. Too funny. They'll find a home on the bedside table in my guest room. Har.

Jay Livingston said...

Maysie Grieg, according to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, was "golden haired, blue eyed, and ravishingly attractive. By 1934 she was the most prolific woman novelist of the day. She published up to six books a year (mostly with Collins in England and Doubleday in New York), often set in the exotic places that she had visited; she also wrote thrillers as 'Jennifer Ames', and occasionally used 'Ann Barclay' and 'Mary Douglas Warren' as pseudonyms."

She was also twice divorced -- not so rare now, but in the first half of the 20th century, it was well above the norm.

Starman said...

And they haven't changed much in the last fifty to sixty years.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Thanks, Jay! Great sleuthing. For the life of me I can't find anything about Donald Henderson Clarke, author of Impatient Virgin. Except that he also co-wrote the autobiography of Custer's Last Stand impostor Frank Tarbeaux.

It's not surprising, actually that I cannot stomach reading these books for more than a paragraph or two! But all I have to do is let the book fall open to any page and there is a gem. Such as:

"Ruth sighed deeply.
'You make me thrill all over, Myron,' she said. 'You always have. If that is love, I love you.'"


Autolycus said...

Oh dear, oh dear. Whoever has the copyright on the covers could make a bit of money making cards out of them - there's quite a market for that sort of thing.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Brilliant idea, Autolycus. The copyright (if it is still owned at all) is property of Triangle Books, if that still exists, or maybe Doubleday.

Interstingly, there is no mention of the name of the jacket cover artists anywhere. Such an omission is unthinkable in publishing today.

Taste of Beirut said...

Wow! I would have loved to get a hold of these! I love anything rétro! I still read my aunt's old issues of femme actuelle, circa 1957

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