In an effort to cash in on the “mommy porn” craze inspired by the sado-masochistic Fifty Shades of Grey books, a publisher is now in the process of “sexing up” classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Total-E-Bound, a UK publisher of erotic women’s romances, is planning to take advantage of the expired copyright of many of the greatest works of English literature to publish racy remakes. Dubbed Clandestine Classics, the first five remakes will be released at the end of this month.
“Readers will finally be able to read what the books could have been like if erotic romance had been acceptable in that day and age,” said Claire Siemaszkiewicz, founder of Total-E-Bound.
For instance, the modest end of Jane Eyre’s story, where she simply informs the reader in the final chapter that “I married” Mr. Rochester turns into a explosive sex scene with her new husband. Wuthering Heights’ heroine Catherine Earnshaw is involved in bondage session with Heathcliff and the famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes has a same-sex relationship with Dr. Watson in the new edition.
“We recognise it’s a bold move that may have a polarizing effect on readers but we’re keeping the works as close to the original classics as possible,” says Siemaszkiewicz.
“It’s not our intention to rewrite or distort them but to create a whole new experience, enhancing the novels by adding deeper relationships, character development, and the ‘missing’ scenes for readers to enjoy.”
Other titles to be published in the series include Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Not everyone is thrilled with the idea. Ann Channon, from Jane Austen’s House Museum, told the Mail she thought the concept was “desperate” and meant to provide people with a quick fix from their boredom.
“There will be a lot of Jane Austen fans banging drums about this and kicking up a fuss,” she said. “And I don’t think if Jane Austen was alive today she would approve. She was writing with passion, she had heart and feelings but these were restrained by the morals of her time. She held the moral line but she certainly understood passion, she alluded to it in her work.”
Channon added: “Some things are better left to the imagination and Jane Austen encouraged people to use their imaginations. These new ‘erotic’ versions are gratuitous.”
Much like the best-selling Fifty Shades series by E. L. James, Total-E-Bound will begin by offering the series as inexpensive eBooks and will expand into printed copies if they become successful.
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