The Other Side of 'Mills and Boon'

Posted by M ws On Monday, June 4, 2012 2 comments
Back in the early 1970's, each weekend, an Indian gentleman would cycle around my neighbourhood peddling books for rent. I spent a tidy sum each week because I would rent at least 15 books from him, paying 20cents to 80cents for each book. For instance, a Mills and Boon novel cost 2RM and when I returned it the following week, I would get back RM1.80 which could be used to contra new rentals. Apart from the usual best sellers, I must have read thousands of Mills and Boons novels during those days. His supply of books was usually insufficient to meet my insatiable need to read and if he did not turn up by Saturday afternoon, I would cycle to Macalister Road and get my reading 'fix' for the week. If only I had been as diligent in studying, perhaps I would be a famous academician or lawyer now but then again, who knows? Anyway, here's an interesting article from The Daily Telegraph on how Mills and Boon 'cause marital breakdown'.

According to Anita Singh of The Telegraph:

With their chiselled menfolk and swooning heroines, Mills & Boon novels are a guilty pleasure.

They are also a cause of marital breakdown, adulterous affairs and unwanted pregnancies, according to a warning published by the British Medical Journal.

Far from being a slice of innocent escapism for millions of female readers, romantic novels are a danger to relationships and sexual health. That is the verdict of an article in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, which said women struggle to distinguish between romantic fiction and real life.

Susan Quilliam, a relationship psychologist and author of the article, said that a "huge number" of problems dealt with in family planning clinics have their roots in romance novels.

"What we see in our consulting rooms is more likely to be informed by Mills & Boon than by the Family Planning Association," she said, claiming that the values of romantic fiction "run totally counter to the [messages] we try to promote".

"We warn of the stresses of pregnancy and child-rearing, and we discourage relentless baby-making as proof of a relationship's strength. Above all, we teach that sex may be wonderful and relationships loving, but neither are ever perfect and idealising them is the short way to heartbreak. But are our lessons falling on deaf ears when compared to the values of the Regency heroine gazing adoringly across the Assembly Rooms to catch a glimpse of her man?


2 comments to The Other Side of 'Mills and Boon'

  1. says:

    Jimmy Liew I thought I read one of your "last" post that you were going to stop blogging????

    Luckily I came by on a whim to see its not true :)

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Hi Jimmy!

    Great to hear from you again! Actually, it was true that I really wanted to close my blog but a significant number of caring friends and readers either emailed or phoned to ask why etc and to encourage me to continue regardless and that made me change my mind cos in the 8 days that I closed shop, I really missed my blog a lot.

    Thank you for visiting again! I really hope you will continue to swing by whenever you are free and to share your comments. Hope all is well with you. Do let me know if ever you are in Penang for any chess tournament. Eric Cheah is an old friend :-).

    Wishing you the best!


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