Thursday, March 04, 2010

Off the shelf...

Currently rereading The Barbarian Princess by Florence King, writing pseudonymously as "Laura Buchanan".

It's really at its best if you've already read of how Miss King came to be writing a 5th Century bodice-ripper she originally wanted to title Sex and the Saxon Churl, the tale of which can be found starting on page 57 of The Florence King Reader:
My editor called as soon as he read it. "Go easy on the Latin. Sweet-savage readers can't handle that. You can have her scream desiste when she gets raped, though."
By page 59, I'm usually shrieking with laughter, and this from lines I darn near have memorized.
"Desistite!" (gang rape takes the plural)
This is great stuff. Just thinking of lonely housewives getting their introductions to Honorius, Alaric, and Hypatia as extras in a steamy romance novel makes me smile.


Anonymous said...

I have passed this book review on to the male partners of a few ladies who belong to the soft-core historical Pr0n, book of the month club. Just being a friend, ya know?

Now, for a more omnivorous take on sword-bearing heroic fiction and all manner of erotic predilection, try "The Steel Remains" by Richard K. Morgan [author of "Thirteen"].

By the end of it, damned if i didn't find ALL the good-folk protagonists to be people I would definitely want by my side in whilst in danger -- or drinking down a few or more. Recommend it highly on all accounts, for rational adult readers.


Bob said...

Great writer. Being misanthropic myself, my favorite King book is With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look At Misanthropy.

Anonymous said...

Barbarian Princess? Isn't that a Charles Murray piece from the '80s?

I've been hit in the head a bunch since then, but I think I remember that.

Shootin' Buddy

Nathan said...

Bwah ha ha.

I just ordered a used copy of it for Sally. She'll love it.

JC said...

Any leads as the nom(s) de plume she used for hardcore?
Gotta love Flo!

Lewis said...

Hey, whatever gets people to thinking about the way it used to be, it's all good. (And I've busted a couple of guts reading Florence King.)

Gutenberg's got a whole raft of cracking young boys' stories by a Brit named G. A. Henty, and I always thought Micah Clarke and The White Company put the Sherlock stories in the shade, and that's saying nothing of George Fraser's Flashman books. Now if I can just find a really good English translation of Seinkiwicz's trilogy (With Fire and Sword, The Flood and Colonel Wolodowjyski), I'll be historical fictioning with style.

Firehand said...

I love her stuff; way back wound up with a copy of 'Southern Ladies and Gentlemen' and laughed all the way through it.

phlegmfatale said...

I'm still kind of fuming about the person who borrowed my copy a couple years back and has not returned it. I expect it'll be well-worn on certain pages and stained with the butter-drippings of crumpets, if I ever see it again.