For our UK readers, the 100 Years of Mills & Boon Centenary Exhibition opens on June 6th at the Manchester Central Library. According to the Manchester site,
The exhibition explores the evolution of 20th century social and sexual mores in Britain, alongside the development of the world’s leading romance publisher. You’ll also find a company history and centenary time line, a fascinating collection of books and cover art, writer biographies, manuscripts, original correspondence between authors and editors and associated memorabilia.
The website has a brief timeline. As of 2000,
Mills & Boon books are sold in 109 countries, translated into 26 languages. 130 million were sold last year, and a Mills & Boon book is bought every three seconds
Mills & Boon was purchased by Harlequin in October 1971 (according to Pamela Regis).
The Centenary Exhibition has increased literary news coverage of Mills & Boon and the latest is an interesting article out of The Independent which features quotes from Penny Jordan, author of over 100 romances. She gives the secret of a good romantic read:
What is secret of a good romantic read? "There is no secret. I still worry about each book I submit; you never know whether it has hit the spot until your editor has read it," she admits. "The Mills & Boon books are short. The emotional intensity and sexual heat you have to generate between two characters is challenging. There is always a conflict in the romance which I try to resolve in my writing. The male character generally has to travel the longest journey in the story. First he usually has to realise that he does loves the woman. Secondly he then may have to realise that in order to be with her he may have to change. This point for me is very romantic because they both make the decision to value the relationship more than their prejudices, fears, or barriers put up to protect themselves from the pain of experiencing the past."