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Topic: Judith McNaught

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Subject: Judith McNaught
Date Posted: 6/5/2010 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
Posts: 49
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So I never realized that Whitney, My Love was edited when it was re-released. Does anyone know what year(s) printings would be the original?

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
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The earliest I could find was 1985.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2007
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I have a copy that Jerelyn sent me and it's 1985. 

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
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Yeah, that's what I found. I think the 88-90 is also "original" because I don't think it was changed until the 2000 release. But I stumbled across a McNaught interview and the author and interviewer were talking about the changes she made, and my response, of course, is "what changes"? But they don't give any year or edition information. I might just go for that earliest edition then.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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I haven't read her yet so I don't know how much of  "bodice ripper" writer she was. But a lot of the bodice ripper writers have rewritten parts of their older books to make them less bodice rippery.  If that makes sense.  Basically they  make them more politically correct and tone down the "forced seduction" scenes.

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 3:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Waves at Brenda

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
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the new edition has the following revisement:

 

-the scene where Claytool physically punished Whitless was modified

-at least one use of the actual word "rape" was deleted. Because it wasnt rape, nuh-huh, no way. It was McNaught's subconscious mind that wrote the word and presented it as such. Freud has a lot to answer for, doesnt he?

- the ending was expanded to expound more drivel about how awesome Claytool's family line was through centuries

Date Posted: 6/5/2010 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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Boy Seton you sound like a real fan of this book.  I haven't read it but I have Almost Heaven in my TBR. 



Last Edited on: 6/6/10 12:18 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/6/2010 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
Posts: 1,170
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Almost Heaven I throughly enjoyed.  Really like the hero in that book.  Whitney(and the others in that series) I enjoyed at the time, but haven't stood the test of time for me. 

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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I would have to say that Whitney My Love is a classic example of a bodice ripper.  I read the 1st edition - think I got it at a yard sale or something - and later cross-checked it with the reissue, mostly because I couldn't imagine how JM could sanitize that mess without chucking most of the book.  I recall the riding crop scene being cleaned up, didn't even register the lack of the word "rape", because rape is just rape, regardless of whether the author chooses to acknowledge it or not, and the family history stuff at the end, I don't even remember, but I think my eyes were glazing over by then.

At any rate - if you've ever seen the purple prose parody contests at AAR, some of them read like a direct parody of this book.  Hero (HAHAHA) thinks heroine is a slut... until he rapes her and discovers that she's a virgin.  This is basically the hallmark of an old skool BR.  And then once she's no longer a virgin, she obviously must be a slut because she's not a virgin, and he can no longer use rape to prove that she isn't a slut.  The physical & emotional abuse, aside from being disgusting, is the stuff that gave bodice rippers their bad name to begin with.  Claytool (LOVE that name, Jess) never truly atones for his miserable behavior, and Whitney is doubly spineless & stupid for appearing not to notice.  I know it sometimes rubs fans of the old skool bodice ripper the wrong way to see/hear it, but here's the thing: there's nothing romantic or heroic about an abusive man and a codependant relationship.  It's just tragic and disgusting to watch.  Frankly, I don't care if the abusive monster grovels or not, because even groveling with no sign of real character development, makes it almost a safe bet that it's just a matter of time until his insecurity makes him turn abusive again.  And don't even get me started on vapid doormat heroines...  At least this one has the excuse of being young, immature, and having no sense of her own self worth.  I had the option to put this book against the wall, I just didn't exercise it, so I blame myself more than I blame JM.  My only excuse is that I must have found it morbidly fascinating on some level to have finished it, and then still been curious enough to look at the edited version.  Clearly my bad on both counts.

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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This book sounds a lot like The Rebel Bride (orignal version) by Catherine Coulter.  I wanted to burn that book after I read it and then take a Silkwood shower to cleanse myself. 

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
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I enjoy a good old fashion bodice ripper maybe a few times a year lol. I know its not pc or even romantic but the angst and the tension is very arousing to me on some primitive level. I get why these books are popular even though they aren't 'romantic'.

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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I call it morbid fascination, but that's just how I read that response in myself.  In other words, I have no idea if it's the same for everyone, but in myself, I liken it to watching the Maury show long enough to see if that smirking jackass really is the baby daddy.  Yeah, I have sometimes felt like Mary - in need of a bath - and more than one of them has bounced off my wall, but I've read a surprising number of them cover to cover too.  I despise a great many old skool bodice rippers, but if I had to choose between that and your average wallpaper regency, I'd be hard pressed to say which one I dislike more.  What I have discovered about myself is that I like that degree of emotional angst, minus the customary bag of dirty tricks (rape, adultery & abuse) to get it.  IMO, it's not that I'm snooty, it's just that I think it takes a hell of a lot of talent & skill to create that angst without reaching into that bag.  To me, resorting to those plot devices seems cheap, manipulative, and all too easy, and I prefer something a little more intelligent.  There's something almost diabolical about a writer who can pull that off.

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Oh I love Bodice Rippers. I don't even mind a "forced seduction" or a little rough sex.  But some of them are just horrid. 

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I adored The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss for years.  Even now, it's not that infamous rape scene that turns me off, so much as it's Woodiwiss' signature purple prose.  I'd love to do a book discussion sometime on some of her books.  Like is that carriage scene in Shanna date rape or just a somewhat forceful seduction?  I mean she was struggling & saying no a lot for a willing partner.  Of course, never say that Ruark Beauchamp was a rapist.  He's one of my top ten fav romance heroes, and actually one of the really honorable, good guy types:P

Date Posted: 6/6/2010 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
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You know if you read Victorian erotica (The Pearl, My Secret Life), "forced seduction" is a pretty common theme and not regarded as being particularly immoral.  I realize that's a later time period than a lot of bodice rippers, but I have to wonder if the non-PC "seduction" was more true to the times. 

My Secret Life is actually a memoir, and there's a bit of discussion by the editor on that very theme, and how the author, Walter really thinks nothing of doing what we consider rape. 

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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Mary -

I threw ALMOST HEAVEN in the trash literally.  Except for SOMETHING WONDERFUL, JM's work usually drive me batshit with the manic-depressiveness. I seem to be the only person on the internet who seems to think so i usually keep my thoughts to myself altho the overall fawning makes me bilious.

 

You mention REBEL BRIDE. Yes, it has a WTF rape in it but I accept and admire Coulter more than I ever did JM because at least she didnt whitewash and change the rape in her revised edition of the book.

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 2:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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She didn't change it?  I thought I read that it was "revised and  updated" which I took to mean that she made the hero a little more PC.  I still read her a lot even after that book, including her older historicals.   But had I not read some of her other books before I read that one-I probably wouldn't have read anymore.   



Last Edited on: 6/7/10 2:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/7/2010 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
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Nope. she didnt change the WTFness of the rape. CC making her hero more PC? hahahaha!

I did a line by line comparison of how she wrote the rape between the 2 versions and the only changes she made was she smoothed some of the sentences and added one paragraph from the hero's POV. That's it. The rape happened exactly as it did before.

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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One of the books in Coulter's Magic series has the hero putting the heroine over his knee and spanking her.  I always think of that one when people mention the spanking from Whitney My Love.  Can't remember which book...  but I did like that series.  Of course it's been a long time since I've read it too.  I mostly skimmed Rebel Bride, but I remember cringing a lot.  Coulter has always stuck me as pretty brazen about what she writes.  I can imagine her changing things due to elements that she wasn't satisfied with, but sanitizing due to pressure from readers or editors?  Nah.  She's like the female Bill O'Reilly:P

Date Posted: 6/7/2010 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 468
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Very interesting discussion! I agree with you Kim on the morbid fascination lmao. I have read 3 of JM's novels and the only one I really liked was Almost Heaven. I have never read any Woodiwiss but have Shanna and Rose in WInter in my tbr.



Last Edited on: 6/7/10 6:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/8/2010 8:56 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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I loved The Elusive Flame by Kathleen Woodiwiss.  I have Everlasting and I think Flame and the Flower in my TBR-can't remember off hand the 2nd one that I have. 

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2009
Posts: 2,920
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OMGosh, you have read the Flame and the Flower??? :-) Must read ASAP. One of my all time favs, well all of her oldies were my favs actually. Shanna, Ashes In The Wind, The Wolf and the Dove, A Rose In Winter. Will admit to not reading Everlasting. I just couldn't.

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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I used to adore Woodiwiss.  She was it as far as I was concerned.  It seems like a million years ago, and I have a hard time understanding it when I read her now, but there was a time when I didn't much want to read anything else.

Date Posted: 6/8/2010 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2009
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Yeah - I didn't think there was that much change (b/c I was pretty sure I've read both versions),  but it was just the way she discussed the changes that lead me to wondering, and wanting to read. It's really interesting to read many long-standing authors back then, and now. Catherine Coulter and Judith McNaught have not only changed in writing style, but their plots - they've gone from historical and modern straight romances, to thrillers (with romance). I think I liked them better before.