With hundreds of millions of books sold Mills & Boon® is proud to celebrate 100 years of pure reading pleasure!
Mills & Boon Limited began as a general fiction publisher. Early authors
included P.G.Wodehouse and Jack London. Georgette Heyer was launched as a romantic fiction author paving the way for the company's later specialisation.
|1920s The First World War stimulated the desire to "escape" with a good book and the demand for Mills & Boon novels was up, mainly from libraries.|
During the Depression years, reading became the favourite form of escapism and romantic novels were in great demand. Mills & Boon concentrated on hardback romances which, due to their distinctive brown binding, became known as "the books in brown".
|World War II made the demand for romantic fiction stronger than ever. Mills & Boon authors were influenced by the times, with heroes in the services and heroines joining the war effort.|
|In the 50s Mills & Boon novels swung away from the harsh realities of the war to escapist-fantasy. The demand for romance novels was insatiable.|
|Sex between husbands and wives was commonplace in Mills & Boon novels, though it was more euphemistic than explicit in its description. The company now published eight titles a month.|
|The Canadian company Harlequin and Mills & Boon merged and the world became aware of romantic fiction as a literary force. The genre responded by taking on a more realistic and readily identifiable profile.|
|There was open sexual awareness as heroes and heroines faced more emotional than external obstacles on the path to fulfilment. By the end of the decade six different Mills & Boon romance series had been established.|
|Mills & Boon novels ranged from compelling romances with international settings to sensual, racy books. Heroines were as liberated as they chose to be and more assertive in their attitude to men. By the same token, the assumption that the hero was Prince Charming had gone − they had to earn the respect of their heroine!|
|Twenty First Century|
|Mills & Boon has been part of Britain's staple literary diet during the 20th century and currently publishes over 60 romance titles every month. We're proud of our 100 years of publishing excellence, which wouldn't have been achieved without the loyalty and enthusiasm of our authors, readers, retailers and librarians.|
|back to top|