Wednesday News: Married Love, reading more, Shakespeare’s sources, and V-Day audiobook giveaway
What can we learn from Marie Stopes’s 1918 book Married Love? – Rafia Zakaria discusses Stopes’s book, which was published in the era of the First World War – a year before The Sheik – and tackled the issue of sex in marriage. Like much Romance fiction, past and present, Stopes envisioned a strong connection between sex and a happy marriage, and between happy marriages/families and social stability. While some of her views are offensive (eugenics), she advocated clear female consent, birth control, and robust consensual sex. The early 20th C is actually a very fertile (note: I cannot avoid a cheesy pun) era when it comes to issues of female independence and sexuality, the onset of modernity in a lot of ways, with a lot of potential for romance fiction.
Stopes’s was a clever argument and it worked, if not for the betterment of society, then certainly for her publisher. Married Love was a huge hit in Britain, selling out six printings within a few weeks of publication, as eager couples gobbled up its contents. The Americans were less keen on better sex for the sake of the state; they immediately banned the book, with US customs barring its import for more than two decades. By that time, Britons had bought more than half a million copies of the book and were far ahead of their prudish US counterparts in the quest to understand female sexual pleasure. They were also well on their way to “entering on a new and glorious state” based entirely on “the joyous buoyancy of their actions.” – The Guardian
Stop Reading Books You Don’t Actually Enjoy – We’ve seen this assertion many times, and for those of us who have a hard time putting down books we don’t love, nothing may break that habituated sense of obligation (although using the library instead of the bookstore might help). However, Nick Douglas is actually advocating a strategy to read more, and in that he might have hit on something valuable. If you’re bored, even after a few pages, stop reading:
The catch is, the moment you quit a book, you have to start reading another book. Ideally that very minute. You have to keep reading, but you can read whatever you want.
If the second book’s boring, you can quit it too. There’s no limit on how many you can quit in a row. – Lifehacker
How Anti-Plagiarism Software Led Scholars to a New Shakespeare Source Text – Have I mentioned how much I love Atlas Obscura? Anyway, use of an open-source anti-plagiarism software, WCopyfind, led scholars to a 16th C treatise written by George North, A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels (hint: rebellion is bad), that apparently serves as a source for several Shakespeare plays. Considering how frustrating and demoralizing the hunt for student plagiarism can be, these unexpected finds are particularly sweet.
The opening soliloquy of Richard III, which begins “Now is the winter of our discontent,” uses the same words as a passage in North’s manuscript on beauty and nature to make the same points. More than that, it does so in almost the same order: “proportion,” “glass,” “feature,” “fair,” “deformed,” “world,” “shadow,” and “nature.”
And in King Lear, Shakespeare makes a list of the hierarchy of dogs: “Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim / Hound or spaniel, brach or lym, / Or bobtail tike or trundle-tail.” A near-identical list appears in Macbeth—and in North’s text. – Atlas Obscura
audiOMG! launches as Romance-only audio imprint and hosts V-Week giveaway – So Novel Audio is launching this Romance imprint, and to celebrate, they are hosting a giveaway, open to international entrants, which is running between today and Saturday (February 14th – 17th). You can get details on the books and the link to enter on the site linked above. I have no experience with Novel Audio, so I can’t comment on the service, but, hey, free Romance audiobooks! They furnished us with the following details on the giveaway:
INSTRUCTIONS: How to Get Your Audiobooks
We’ve partnered with our besties at audiobooks.com to get these books into your hands ASAP.
Here’s how to make it happen in three simple steps:
STEP 1 –
From February 14th-17th, visit audiomg.ca/launch and enter your email to sign up for the audiOMG! newsletter.
STEP 2 –
Hit submit, and you’ll be given a unique promo code. (Don’t worry if you miss it, this code will be sent to the email you signed up with, too!)
STEP 3 –
Copy that code and head to audiobooks.com/promo. Enter in your name, email, and add the promo code. You do NOT need to enter a credit card and this is NOT a free trial subscription! All the payment fields will disappear once the promo code is added.
(Note: If you already have an audiobooks.com account, log into the website and head to the My Account page. You can enter the code in the Promo Code field there.)
STEP 4 – Enjoy! The books will be automatically added to your library. You can listen on the audiobooks.com website, or grab the free listening app to enjoy on Android and iOS devices!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally to those aged 18+. Provide your email address and receive a gift code for three free audiobooks. This giveaway is administered by audiOMG! with Audiobooks.com. Giveaway ends 2/17/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per person, per email. Duplicates will be deleted. Limited to 500 participants.