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Louise Allen Responds to Bindel

Louise Allen’s book, Virgin Slave, Barbarian King, was one cited by Julie Bindel as part of the patriarchal propaganda designed to “feed directly into some women’s sense of themselves as lesser beings, as creatures desperate to be dominated.” Ms. Allen’s response was on the Guardian today.

I wish Allen had talked more about the historical aspect of the novel and less about the idea of feminism as owning the right to have whatever fantasy a woman wishes.

Via Michelle Styles.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Louise Allen
    Dec 12, 2007 @ 13:59:06

    With 550 available words, and a request to include enough of Bindel’s arguements to help anyone coming new to the discussion, there wasn’t much space to develop the historical aspects. It was a fascinating period to research with the Barbarians coming out as considerably more “civilised” by modern standards than the Romans – treatment of slaves, women’s voice in society, the strength of the family unit for example. And it is from the Visigoths and other Barbarian tribes that we get the modern nation state and much of our legal framework. It was fun dealing with the culture clash between the hero/heroine and also managing the problems of working within the historical facts of the months following the Sack of Rome in AD410

  2. Laura Vivanco
    Dec 12, 2007 @ 14:28:30

    In the comments section, underneath Louise’s article, I’ve had fun doing a bit of analysis of an excerpt of the novel which I found on Amazon.

    Bindel really shouldn’t have picked this novel as an example of “patriarchal propaganda”, because it’s literally got the heroine questioning the behaviour of the pater familias.

  3. Jane
    Dec 12, 2007 @ 14:31:45

    I’ll be reading it. Both Jayne and I bought it during the Harlequin 50% off sale. Maybe it will be our January dueling review.

  4. Elizabeth Rolls
    Dec 12, 2007 @ 20:46:44

    “Bindel really shouldn't have picked this novel as an example of “patriarchal propaganda”, because it's literally got the heroine questioning the behaviour of the pater familias.”

    True, Laura. I guess that’s what happens though when you rely on out of date research that was sloppy to start with and only read the back cover blurb of the book you are dissing. If any of my senior high school students had ever presented me with a piece of badly researched rubbish like that I would have failed her.

    From the sound of it Ms Allen’s research is of a far higher standard.

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