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Plot stealing

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Post by Michy » Mon August 15th, 2011, 3:21 pm

I think I may have read one when I was a teenager, but certainly not more than that. There always seemed to be a lot of them in the libraries at that time (early '80s) and I was turned off by the covers, which always pictured heroines with huge doe eyes looking startled. I was also turned off by the inevitable photo of Cartland on the back covers, dressed to the nines with heavy makeup and jewelry, a huge bouffant hairdo and surrounded by dogs. And I also remember reading somewhere that she dictated all her books. It was some article that, I think, was supposed to convey how "elegant" she was, but it was a huge turn-off for me. Even as a teenager I understood there was more to writing books -- good books, that is --- than that!

She may have been a very smart lady, but she sure didn't come across that way, which is why it doesn't surprise me that she stole all her book plots and characters!

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Post by LoveHistory » Mon August 15th, 2011, 3:37 pm

I've read one Cartland book. It was rather short, and while the plot was ok, the writing was nothing special. I haven't bothered to read anymore. Think I'll stick with Heyer.

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Post by Ludmilla » Mon August 15th, 2011, 4:02 pm

I know I read several by Cartland when I was a teen, but they all seemed very formulaic and much the same. Completely forgettable and not worth revisiting. I only remember really liking one. It was the one they made into a tv movie with a young Helena Bonham Carter and Diana Rigg as the villianess, if I remember correctly (can't remember title of it).

Speaking of Heyer, in honor of her birthday this week, Sourcebooks is running a special on ebooks for August 15 - 21.

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Post by annis » Mon August 15th, 2011, 6:27 pm

I vaguely remember that movie which was called Hazard of Hearts. Love this review:

A Hazard of Hearts, dramatised for television in 1987, could hardly be a better demonstration of Barbara Cartland's unique status as the most critically reviled, yet widely read, romantic novelist. The qualities which feed both points of view are present in abundance. There are the certainties of a wafer-thin plot: vulnerable but plucky young heiress falls on hard and tragic times, sails through mortal danger and escapes the clutches of lecherous older man, chastity intact, before claiming enigmatic and devastatingly handsome Lord for her own at the last minute. There are the pantomime characters, atrocious dialogue-by-numbers, set-piece scenes involving duels and smugglers, tight breeches and heaving bosoms. Produced by Lew Grade and the team behind The New Avengers and The Professionals, this is 90 minutes of camp hokum crammed to bursting point with stars clearly having the time of their lives. Helena Bonham Carter, her face like an earnest, worried raisin, is the heroine Serena, with Marcus Gilbert as her paramour. But Diana Rigg's evil Lady Harriet steals the show.

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Post by SGM » Mon August 15th, 2011, 7:17 pm

Hugh Grant was in one called The Lady and the Highwayman. I only saw snippets of it but had a friend (who was generally very sensible and not a Cartland reader) who find it (or Hugh Grant) quite compelling in it. But I don't like Hugh Grant any more than I like Cartland although, I think, it was fairly early days for him.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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