Let’s have a look at our very own favourite books — bodice rippers!
The origin of the bodice ripper is loosely based on the romance novels of the Austin era, but more erotic. Bodice Rippers became popular in the 1980’s when it became more acceptable for women to enjoy their own form of pornography.
Generally, this genre is predictable and formulaic with a handsome, strong and rich man sweeping some poor, long-suffering beauty off her feet. Seduction scenes should happen often enough to keep the pages turning, and all must end happily ever after.
The difference between a romance novel and a bodice ripper is the level of titillation. Romance novels tend to be tamer — more about love and good over evil, where bodice rippers, although with the same agenda, tend to be juicer. Covers of a true bodice ripper will show the male hero with his heroine, the damsel in distress, safely in his muscular arms. She is (of course) breathtakingly beautiful, with ample breasts that are spilling from the figure forming corset with laces coming undone.
Despite the success of romance novels and bodice rippers, with commercial book sales in the millions, the literary world has yet to accept the work as legitimate. Such criticism has affected how the public reacts to this genre. To this day, readers of books like the bodice ripper, generally hide behind their iPads or magazine covers so as not to publicly reveal their true indulgence.