The National Library of Australia collects one of every book published in Australia.
Think about it.
One of EVERY book… including the sexy ones.
With a current monthly release of over 80 print books, and more in ebook format, Harlequin Mills & Boon lead the way in romance publishing output, comprising a significant part of the National Library’s collection. We currently hold more than 12,800 Mills & Boon books across approximately 350 metres of shelving!
Just the tip of the Mills & Boon print collection!
Because our collection is so well endowed with Mills & Boon romantic treasure, and as I’m a voracious reader, I set myself a year-long challenge to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Library’s building (2018) by choosing one Mills & Boon book to read from every year since the Library opened its doors in 1968. (My full list is at the end of this post)
Attitudes towards premarital sex, women in the workplace, divorce, single mothers, interracial relationships, sexual orientation, and gender identity have all changed significantly over the past fifty years, so I was curious to see if and how these changes are reflected in Mills & Boon romance.
I was also interested to see how Mills & Boon books themselves change over time, including the introduction of ebooks, as well as the front cover design, which reflect the fashions and tastes of the day, and which can play an important role in grabbing readers’ attention.
Carpentaria Moon (1987)
- I am not an academic, so if you want to read detailed scholarly analysis of romance writing, there’s probably something more appropriate in our catalogue
- My list is by no means a comprehensive representation of Mills & Boon titles, as I frequently targeted Mills & Boon that are set in Australia, have amusing titles, or that feature librarians!
In 2016 the National Library launched our edeposit service, allowing publishers to deposit their ebooks for legal deposit.
At the forefront of electronic publishing, Harlequin Mills & Boon (a division of HarperCollins Publishers) were keen to deposit ebooks. Readers can now come into the reading rooms of the National Library and use our computers to read about billionaires (millionaires are passé), princesses, sheikhs, virgins, playboys, vixens, single mothers, librarians and more all getting their romance on, with a happy ending guaranteed.
To read on, click on the attached document. Be warned, it’s not all love and romance…
1968: A house called Kangaroo / Gladys Fullbrook: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2393441
1969: One string for Nurse Bow / Joyce Dingwell: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1298644
1970: Big man at Katta Wirri / Anne Vinton: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1104461
1971: Kookaburra Dawn / Amanda Doyle: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2888822
1972: Copper moon / Margaret Way: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1086527
1973: The post at Gundooee / Amanda Doyle: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2607135
1974: Apple Island / Gladys Fullbrook: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1096777
1975: The black opal / Elizabeth Hoy: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1080151
1976: Dreamtime at Big Sky / Dorothy Cork: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn785754
1977: Outback rainbow / Dorothy Cork: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn763479
1978: The wool king / Kerry Allyne: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4612871
1979: Boomerang bride / Margaret Pargeter: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn550977
1980: Master of Uluru / Helen Bianchin: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4772317
1981: Nurse at sea / Judith Worthy: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4772650
1982: Tropical knight / Lynsey Stevens: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn281629
1983: Man from the Kimberleys / Margaret Pargeter: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2529780
1984: Tropical Eden / Kerry Allyne: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3028848
1985: Don’t play games / Emma Darcy: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4772895
1986: Flying doctor / Lilian Darcy: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4808832
1987: Carpentaria moon / Kerry Allyne: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4772657
1988: Snowy River man / Valerie Parv: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4840539
1989: Arafura pirate / Victoria Gordon: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4612046
1990: Surgeon rivals / Margaret Barker: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn7054181
1991: Dragon lady / Stella Whitelaw: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn7053749
1992: Torrid conflict / Angela Wells: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6331074
1993: A very stylish affair / Emma Darcy: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1567993
1994: Heart-throb for hire / Miranda Lee: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1789132
1995: Cats in the belfry / Patricia Knoll: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn5810323
1996: The trophy husband / Lynne Graham: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn5917038
1997: A nanny named Nick / Miranda Lee: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4772645
1998: Gentlemen prefer... brunettes : blondes aren’t necessarily more fun / Liz Fielding: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3312216
1999: Fruitcakes and other leftovers / Lori Copeland: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3105453
2000: The bride wore gym shoes / Jacqueline Diamond: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3105508
2001: Uninhibited / Candace Schuler: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3965337
2002: The librarian’s secret wish / Carol Grace: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3102499
2003: The librarian’s passionate knight / Cindy Gerard: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4230433
2004: Bushfire bride / Marion Lennox: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3122213
2005: Crisis at Katoomba Hospital / Lucy Clark: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3427252
2006: Expecting Thunder's baby / Sheri Whitefeather: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3765651
2007: Overexposed / Leslie Kelly: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4236227
2008: Winning the single mum's heart / Lynda Goodnight: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4398051
2009: The sheikh’s virgin stable-girl / Sharon Kendrick : https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4601418
2010: What the librarian did / Karina Bliss: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn4811876
2011: The librarian’s secret scandal / Jennifer Morey: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn5018773
2012: Cracking the dating code / Kelly Hunter: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn5958697
2013: A father for her triplets / Susan Meier: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6221813
2014: Secrets of a Bollywood marriage / Susanna Carr: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6448374
2015: Rock solid / Samantha Hunter: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6777526
2016: Matchmaker wore skates / Cari Lynn Webb: https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn7014260
2017: The Sicilian's defiant virgin / Susan Stephens: https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-662472283
2018: My royal hook-up / Riley Pine: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn7864853