Miss Pym and a Friend

Miss Pym and a Friend

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know: Rush Limbaugh on the Byronic Hero--No Kidding!

My dissertation, "In Small Things Forgotten" on Barbara Pym's subversion of the romance drama into romantically comedic literature morphed into my book, The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of  Barbara Pym, The Popular Press, 1998, currently, The University of Wisconsin Press.  One of my sources was an article title "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know."   The piece appears in the book Dangerous Men  and Adventurous women, Ed. by Jayne Ann Krentz, a romance writer. Of course, the title comes from the term Lord Byron's lover coined for him.  Here is one source of other works that borrow the title.  The Cradle of Filth song is surprising.  One of my prized possessions is a CoF T-shirt my mother gave me the money to buy.  They are hard to get, these shirts.  Mine has very provocative, but nasty-mean vampire girl on the front and back.  I can't wear her to work, but when I wear her to Walmart, or Hot Topic, I get adoring glances and compliments from the 20 and under set.  I'll take it.  My mother used to iron the shirt for me, and called the little vampire, "That Ugly Girl."  Yet, maybe not too surprising; in one T-shirt, the group also alluded to Cardenio, the controversial play some say as Shakespeare's.

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know was a phrase used by Lady Caroline Lamb to describe Lord Byron. It has since been used as follows:

Yesterday or the day before, I heard Rush L. on the radio talking about how successful, attractive, strong women often prefer the "bad boys", the pirates, reformed criminals and lost heroes, to stable, responsible men.  That's a very brief summary; you'd have to find him on line for the rest, but wow! In a nutshell,  he described a good part of my book and this essay.  There were also other essays, many written by romance writers.  He mentioned Harlequin, and asked if anyone had ever read one.  My friend, the late Angela Wells, wrote many.  She was an accomplished, well-educated author who could hold her own anywhere, in any genre, but she loved writing for Mills&Boon.

Rush also mentioned and discussed the success of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Kudos to rush and the Fifty Shades author, though I confess I only read a few chapters and thought it was about an English major trying to get a job and settling for corporate America.  Have't we all?!

I belong to romance writers group, though mine turn into Flannery O'Connor type pieces.  Still, I published one, Wild Horse Runs Free, and it is on Kindle, should anyone care. 

Jayne Ann Krentz, very successful romance writer, was one of the authors kind enough to respond to my inquiries and to help with the research form y book.  She writes criticism on Byronic heroes, including Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester types.  You can read similar comments abut bad boys in the implicit critique of Jane Austen through her narrator in Pride and Prejudice. 

Certainly Pym had her own versions of Mr. Rochester and assorted Byronic heroes.  Even Dracula is a Byronic hero in some literary circles.

Rush and others claim we like to reform bad boys, we like to civilize them, though Rush pointed out that they are civilized int he sense that they can eat with utensils and walk upright.

We romance folk do pop our bodices in the news every so often. Johnny Carson on the old TS talked about them last week, and made some comments.  

I just had to note Rush's talk, and was really pleasantly surprised to hear the allusion.  Happy Pym Reading, summer reading, and I hope you find a Byronic hero to add to your life. Me, I adore Lord Byron on many levels.  IN the country of my birth, he will always be a hero of the Revolution.  One has to give mega dittos to that, too. :)

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