Mills and Boon as a pop culture icon

The romance covers of Mills and Boon novels are becoming increasingly recognisable as icons of pop culture. Given the Auckland Readers and Writers festival has been on, we decided to pay homage to Kiwi romance authors with a display at the Central Auckland Research Center.

In the display are covers from the 1960s through to the 1990s. Covers that graced the books of authors such as Gloria Bevan, Robyn Donald, and the iconic Queen of Kiwi romance, Essie Summers are all represented. Also exhibited are some covers from Ivy Preston who, while not a Mills and Boon author, wrote for the English publisher Robert Hale.

Ref: cover from Smoke and the Fire by Essie Summers, Central Auckland Research Centre
The covers featured are all wonderfully illustrated. In 2000 Mills and Boon announced they were dropping the illustrated look for a more contemporary feel – and using photographs.  However, in 2008, as part of the Mills and Boon centenary, a celebration of the books, the authors and the art went on tour as part of the exhibition titled “And Then He Kissed Her.”

Auckland Libraries has a range of romance or love stories available in the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries as well as a large number of romance related resources which you can browse by theme. And for an amusing take on romance covers, check out an earlier Auckland City Libraries' Top 5 goodies blog post from Tosca.
Ref: Where No Roads Go by Essie Summers, Central Auckland Research Centre
Author: Joanne Graves, Central Auckland Research Centre