The household name of Mills & Boon invites a wry smile. It can also provoke a heartfelt defence from romance scholars and genre addicts, or equally passionate criticism from feminists and literary critics. Research into the company’s archive shows how the both the brand and romance genre developed, and their impact on publishing, authors and readers.
“No more doubts! No more disappointments!”
The romance made by Mills & Boon was crafted as mainstream entertainment and the company was one of the first in the industry to develop a relationship with the reader. The correspondence offers a fascinating insight into how the firm constantly balanced the weight of plots and the measured out the desires of characters and authors to produce a profitable reading experience. Despite their conservative reputation, the company understood the value of the emerging categories that catered to changing tastes, and were innovative in adapting to the changing supply chain. In this seminar Judith Watts explores some of the heavy work that went into maintaining light fiction and ‘Romances That Fill The Till’.
Monday 8th February, 6-7pm, Special collections, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), Redlands Road.