Love them or hate them, the romance novels published by Mills and Boon are a worldwide phenomenon, read by millions. The scale of their publishing operation is staggering, with around 70 titles published every month in the UK alone and one book being sold every 3 seconds.
I started thinking about it last week after reading the news of the death of romance novelist Ida Pollock, who was in fact the world’s oldest novelist, at the age of 105. A prolific writer for Mills and Boon, she has had an astounding 123 novels published under various pen names, the first one back in the 1930’s, with two more to be published posthumously next year.
I might not like Mills and Boon very much (having read one earlier this year was enough to put me off for life), but the appeal of such novels is clearly alive and well for a large number of readers out there, and an achievement on the kind of scale of that of Ida Pollock most certainly warrants praise.