Earlier this week, I read that Princess Diana’s step grandmother Barbara Cartland has penned over 600 romance novels before she died in 2000. And now 57 of her unpublished manuscripts are being released as ebooks.
But before we clear our schedules to reacquaint ourselves with the Marquis de Longmember’s smouldering eyes and throbbing manhood, let’s get one thing clear — why are so many of us drawn to brutish alpha male characters?
Even strong, assertive women are occasionally drawn to stories where a man dominates — sometimes even menaces — a seemingly independent heroine until she succumbs. As Germaine Greer wrote in The Female Eunuch, “I cannot claim to be fully emancipated from the dream that some enormous man, say six foot six, heavily shouldered and so forth to match, will crush me to his tweeds, look down into my eyes and leave the taste of heaven or the scorch of his passion on my waiting lips. For three weeks I was married to him.”