Friday, October 1, 2010


Now you've probably all worked out by now that I do love a trash novel. Daniele Steel, Penny Vincenzi, Jackie Collins...these are a few of my favourite not-so-literary things. It's all very well wading through Turgenev, but I defy you not to wallow in the pure pleasure that is Collins' masterpiece, The Bitch. Hello?! Hysterical. And don't even get me started on The Stud. I also drink up vintage trash. Agatha Christie is the undisputed queen. But I've just discovered a new guilty pleasure-inducing saga to loll in bed with: Mazo de la Roche's Jalna series. O.M.G!! (as the kids text), love, love this indulgent rubbish from the 1930s through the 50s.

I first head of Mazo (whose real name was the somewhat duller Louise) a few years ago via a biography of Nancy Mitford in which is noted that literary giant's scorn at Pursuit of Love being eclipsed - in popularity at least - by some Canadian drivel about five generations of wealthy settlers in Ontario. Said drivel was of course penned by de la Roche.

Soon after, in a charity shop in Newtown, I stumbled on a complete set of these books from the 1950s. They were $15 the lot so I bought them all, if only for the lovely muted colours of their spines. Only last week did I start actually reading these beauties and hey ho, move over PV, JC and, yes even Danielle. This page turning pap is my thrill of the week.

On another note, to tie all this together, did you know that Jackie's sister Joan starred in the 1978 film version of The Stud (genius, I tell you) and that somewhere out there is the soundtrack on vinyl with Joan on the cover, pre-empting Kylie Minoque as a sort of pre-Village People gay icon in the making, in a corset and On The Buses cap. If anyone has a copy, please let me know!


  1. I love this! I read The Stud when I was 16. Found it on the bookshelves at the neighbors while I was babysitting their toddler. I borrowed (without asking, of course) and read it cover to cover in a day.


  2. Wow, someone that actually uses those vintage books for something other than decor. I personally love stories of scandal from other eras.

    Beautiful photos :)