Classics Laid Bare
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Novels such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights return to book stores with an erotic twist
The classic novel Jane Eyre with its bold characters and bolder storyline raised many a hackle when it was published in 1847. But imagine for a moment that Charlotte Bronte is a writer in these times of Danielle Steel, Jackie Collins and even E L James of Fifty Shades of Grey fame. Could Jane's character possibly be more bold and passionate?
Following this thought, several writers and publications are releasing a slew of revamped classic novels, in which characters express a new-found sexual freedom. Take, for instance, the Clandestine Classics series published by Total E Bound, which has eroticised versions of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Dracula, among others. "The Clandestine Classics are about taking the original story and developing it further. It's a 'what if'. We're imagining what might have happened in the story if the authors were able to write the books as erotic romances instead of the convention of the era dictating the content," says Claire Siemaszkiewicz, CEO of Total E Bound.
Pan Macmillan has also published an eroticised version of Jane Eyre, written by Eve Sinclair. For Sinclair, the original novel already had erotic undercurrents and Jane Eyre Laid Bare was her effort to bring it in the open. "The erotica is all there, simmering under the surface, but I always wondered what would happen if the characters weren't so buttoned up. I jokingly mentioned the idea to my editor at Pan Macmillan and he told me to write it," says Sinclair. Her intention was not to replace the original but to put a new spin on the relationship aspect of the story.
Ranae Rose, author of the revamped version of Wuthering Heights in the Clandestine Classics series, also believes that her book retains the spirit of the original. "Wuthering Heights is my favourite novel, so I didn't want to take anything away from the wonderful story that was already there," says Rose.
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