The plot is that the beautiful and delicate heroine has been kidnapped by an evil Russian nobleman (obviously, since nearly all Russians are evil in BCs) who has run off into the desert with her. (I forget where this is set)
She is placed in a tent and after telling her how he plans to ‘de-flower’ her, he claps his hands imperiously to summon a serving woman to dress his fragile flower in an outfit of suitably flimsy eastern robes.
She is then told that if she thinks about trying to escape by bribing her, the serving woman is a deaf-mute and won’t understand her.
In the margins, some unknown reader before me has underlined ‘deaf-mute’ and noted in red in the margin,
“How did she hear him clap his hands?”
By golly that’s a good point! I would never have noticed that.
I really enjoyed that little note. It really perked up the book.
Someone was telling me about this artist (can never remember names) who had a project where volunteers had to take romance novels and read them very openly on public transport.
They couldn’t hide it, they had to sit up, holding the book high at eye level with the cover facing outside.
The idea being to gauge the reaction of strangers (Or so I vaguely remember being told) and later the participants would fill out some form describing how they felt and what they felt other people were thinking about them.
What a great idea for a project. I feel slightly embarrassed about reading the Barbara Cartland’s on the tube.
The Heyer’s have a little more cred, but there can only be shame in BC titles such as “Pirate of Love”
I fear the judgement of strangers. I don’t know why, but I do.
So I use various mechanisms of hiding the title. Mostly I fold the cover over, which I don’t like doing because it ruins the spine.
Really what I need is a dust jacket.
I believe someone created a series of dust jackets designed to look like serious books of literary merit like Tolstoy’s War & Peace.
I saw someone reading this on the tube once. What a show-off.