160 shades of pink

Anyone feel a swoon coming on? Is that the sound of a thousand bodices ripping? Because the godmother of saucy fiction is about to tease her fans from beyond the grave.

Yes, Dame Barbara Cartland – well, her son and her publisher – is releasing 160 new books. That’s on top of the 723 she published while she was alive! Cartland, who died aged 98 in 2000, famously dictated her novels, which goes some way to explaining how prolific she was. Little Britain did a great skit on a Cartland-like novelist, Dame Sally Markham, ‘fleshing’ out romantic novels with whatever was at hand: bits of other books, phrases from the radio, whole sections of the Bible…

After the throbbing success of 50 Shades of Grey, the release of 160 risque tales of heaving bosoms and bemuscled gardeners comes at the perfect time. Though I myself have never dipped into the 50 Shades trilogy, here’s a taste of Cartland prose:

cartlandHis voice was deep with desire. ‘I want you Diana,’ he said. Wildly Diana sought to escape. She glanced feverishly around the room, but she was imprisoned. ‘I despise and detest you,’ she said, slowly and feelingly. ‘Does that attract you.’ ‘Immensely,’ he answered, smiling. ‘A complacent woman is often a bore…’ His arms enclosed her, she fought against him wildly and there was the sound of rending. – from An Affair to Remember

As you can see, Dame Barbara had a lust for adverbs.

NB Any double entendres are purely coincidental. You filthy reader!

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