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As Sarah Ferguson joins roster of authors, Mills & Boon and Bridgerton success shows there’s money in romance
It is easy to mock a fantasy world of personal assistants taming playboy princes, nurses unlocking the passions of surly surgeons, or chambermaids bedding brooding billionaires. Less easy to mock is the wild and continuing popularity of Mills & Boon when one of its romances is sold every 10 seconds in the UK.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, was this week revealed as the latest recruit to the publishers’ roster of authors, with a novel loosely based on the passions of her great-great-aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.Continue reading...
Class action lawsuit filed in US claims the houses have colluded with the online giant to keep prices artificially high
Amazon.com and the “Big Five” publishers – Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster – have been accused of colluding to fix ebook prices, in a class action filed by the law firm that successfully sued Apple and the Big Five on the same charge 10 years ago.
The lawsuit, filed in district court in New York on Thursday by Seattle firm Hagens Berman, on behalf of consumers in several US states, names the retail giant as the sole defendant but labels the publishers “co-conspirators”. It alleges Amazon and the publishers use a clause known as “Most Favored Nations” (MFN) to keep ebook prices artificially high, by agreeing to price restraints that force consumers to pay more for ebooks purchased on retail platforms that are not Amazon.com.Continue reading...
Hergé’s original artwork for Le Lotus Bleu was rejected as too expensive to reproduce in 1936 and given to editor’s son, who kept it in a drawer for decades
A rejected Tintin cover illustrated by Hergé that was gifted to a child and kept in a drawer for decades has set a new world record as the most expensive comic book artwork, selling at auction for €3.2m (£2.8m) on Thursday.
Le Lotus Bleu was created in 1936 by the Belgian artist, born Georges Remi, using Indian ink, gouache and watercolour. It had been intended for the eponymous cover of his fifth Tintin title, which sees the boy reporter head to China in order to dismantle an opium trafficking ring.
This article was amended on 14 January 2021. It previously said the artwork sold for €2.6m; while that was the hammer price, it did not include premiums.Continue reading...
President decides against relocating remains of French poet to Parisian memorial
The remains of the famed French poet Arthur Rimbaud will not be moved to the Panthéon mausoleum despite a campaign to honour him as an artist and symbol of gay rights, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, has decided.
A petition last year backed by a number of celebrities as well as the culture minister, Roselyne Bachelot, called for Rimbaud to be reinterred alongside his lover and fellow poet Paul Verlaine at the monument in central Paris.Continue reading...
Paignton Picture House on the English Riviera awarded £200k grant from Historic England
A lovely old cinema in Devon that once reserved a balcony for the crime writer Agatha Christie – and a second one for her butler – is to be restored to its former glory.
The Paignton Picture House on the English Riviera has been awarded a £200,000 grant from Historic England to refurbish intricate stonework and stained glass windows.Continue reading...
Neal Kirby says he was appalled to see symbols of the patriotic action man among the crowds as ‘Captain America is the antithesis of Donald Trump’
The son of Captain America co-creator Jack Kirby has strongly condemned insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol last week wearing or brandishing symbols of the Marvel superhero, saying his father would have been “absolutely sickened” by the sight.
In a statement issued to CNN reporter Jake Tapper, Neal Kirby, 72, said he was “appalled and mortified” to see Trump supporters dressed in Captain America costumes or displaying his iconic star shield on 6 January. His father Jack, along with Joe Simon, created Captain America in 1941, with the comic’s first issue famously showing the superhero punching Adolf Hitler in the face.Continue reading...
Sarah Ferguson says historical tale Her Heart for a Compass is inspired by experiences in her own life
The Duchess of York has landed a book deal with the romantic fiction publisher Mills & Boon, revealing that she “drew on many parallels from my life” for the historical tale.
Sarah Ferguson’s debut novel, Her Heart for a Compass, will be released in August and tells a fictional account of the life and love story of her great-great-aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.Continue reading...
Beautiful World, Where Are You, set to be released on 7 September, follows four young people as they navigate love, friendship and sex
Sally Rooney’s third novel, and her first since the widely acclaimed Normal People, will be published on 7 September.
Beautiful World, Where Are You, announced by Rooney’s UK publisher Faber on Tuesday, follows Alice and Eileen, two friends in their 20s who find themselves on very different trajectories. Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a distribution warehouse and asks him to go to Rome with her; Eileen, recovering from a break-up in Dublin, begins to flirt with Simon, a childhood friend.Continue reading...
Co-written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, six-part series Pistol to star Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan and Babyteeth’s Toby Wallace as Jones
Danny Boyle is to direct a six-part television drama about the Sex Pistols – to be titled Pistol – based on guitarist Steve Jones’s 2016 memoir, Lonely Boy. In a statement, Boyle described the Sex Pistols’ emergence in the mid-70s as the moment that British society and culture changed for ever.
“Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent,” said Boyle. “It is the detonation point for British street culture where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion, and everyone had to watch and listen and everyone feared them or followed them.”
This article was amended on 11 January 2021 to correct the release date of Steve Jones’s memoir, Lonely Boy. It was first published in 2016, not 2018.Continue reading...