Passion's Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon

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Oxford University Press, 1999 - History - 322 pages
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This is the first history of Mills and Boon, the British publishing phenomenon which has become a household name, synonymous with romantic fiction. On the firm's 90th anniversary, Joseph McAleer has written the first history of Mills and Boon, drawing upon a long-lost archive of over 50,000 letters which reveal the intricate relationship between editorial policy, social attitudes, and sales. McAleer examines the dictates of the Mills and Boon formula and demonstrates how novels were 'Managed' by the firm to ensure maximum sales and to nurture a cadre of loyal readers in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth. The result is a cultural phenomenon whose 'product' reflected the attitudes and morals of the age while offering women an addictive escape from everyday life. It's a fascinating read for anyone who's ever wondered about writing a Mills and Boon, or wants to understand the story behind one of the most successful British firms of the twentieth century.

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Review: Passion's Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon

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This book was actually really interesting. The first half (the history of the company) was much more interesting than the second half (editorial policy). Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Born in Connecticut (US citizen) in November 1961. Did History degree and D Phil at Oxford, then worked for H.J. Heinz Foundation based at Hawthorden Castle in Scotland where he hosted and advised many of the leading fiction writers of the day. Was Professor in History and occasional lecturer at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut till 1983. Worked as senior writer and communications manager in a large corporation for six years . Currently Director ofCommunications, Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut and editor of a monthly newspaper, Fairfield County Catholic (circ. 91,000). Founding partner and editor of website devoted to reading, 'Now Read the Book' (

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