Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Viva La Bodice Ripper!

Happy July 4th to all of you reading this from the United States. For those of you living elsewhere in the world, most Americans celebrate July 4th in honor of our country's independence from England. Me? I think of it as the day a bunch of old white guys decided to not pay their taxes anymore. Being addicted to tea though (most Americans are slaves to coffee), I can understand the colonists being a wee bit upset over a tea tax. Except I wouldn't have dumped it in Boston Harbor, more likely carting it away for myself.

In honor of this day, I thought it might be fun for the romance readers to celebrate our bodice ripping past. A coworker of mine was recently cleaning out "her Nana's old bookmarks" and came across this gem! Click images to make larger

A couple of things of note:
  • OMG - an Avon paperback for $2.95! Those were the days!
  • "Through the fiery tumult of the Cuban Revolution to the lush prison of a sultan's harem, across burning desert sands and Europe's most provocative boudoirs..." Geesh, how purple can you get?
  • "Until, in a mounting tide of restless longing, the sweet fires of their exalted love draw them closer, burning brighter, across time, across worlds...." I take it back. Now this is purple.
I just thought it was a total trip, and worthy of some giggles. I know most romance readers (and writers) hate the term "bodice ripper," and with good reason. Most people apply it to the wrong sort of books. Me? I'll use the dreaded "BR" word because frankly it applies to books like this one. Nothing wrong with that. It's part of the evolution of romance novels and should be embraced. But feel free to throw something at an idiot who applies it to anything being published today. Frankly nobody ripped the bodices like Rosemary Rogers and hopefully nobody will ever try. Enjoy the blast from the past!


Jennie said...

Great bookmarks! Personally, I love those old 1970s and '80s illustrations. Maybe that is odd, but they're so much better than the photographed/photoshopped man-titty of today.

Sherry Thomas said...

Oh, God, I hated Lost Love,Last Love, but luuuurrved Sweet Savage Love. It was what made me fall in love with romances in the first place.

And look ma, no mantitties.

Kristie (J) said...

I read those and you're right - they are the real bodice ripper - and that was a good thing in it's day.
I did hate them though even though (heh heh) I read both of them. They were just so different from what I normally read.

Tara Marie said...

I remember "borrowing" LL,LL and SSL from my Aunt's night stand way back when. And then sharing them with my entire French 4/5 Class.

Wendy said...

Jennie: Yeah, I do too. The painted clinch is a bit classier, and not quite as groan-inducing. I read an interview once with some golden-oldie artist who said he used to love doing romance covers until it became all about the men, and they stopped showing women or couples together as much.

Kristie and Sherry: I think bodice rippers have their place in history. At the time they were different and so unlike anything else being published. Looking back, readers find them cliche or "offensive" but where would the genre be today if not for these books that were such trailblazers in their time?

Tara Marie, Corrupter Of Youth :)

Amie Stuart said...

OMG that is a keeper! and what a hoot!

Rosie said...

Who can forget? Before I read a Rosemary Rogers book I actually read an interview of her in Cosmo when every red blooded career girl was subscribing after the Burt Reynolds centerfold. Definitely a different time and a colorful and interesting period in the history of romance novels.