As preparation for an upcoming grad school interview (also known as "attempt to use my wit, wisdom, stawberry-fresh hair and vast appreciation of her corpus of work to charm senior professor into pulling for me with the admissions committee") I've been reading Mary Poovey's book "The Woman Writer and the Proper Lady." It's a really interesting look at Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley and Jane Austen and the ways each of them reacted to and against the myth of the "Proper Woman," which developed at the beginning of the nineteenth century and really took root in the Victorian period. I know it sounds dry, but it's fascinating and, hey, this is what I want to go to school for, right?
One of the quirks of my NYPL-issued copy (thank God for the Mid-Manhattan circulating branch) is that at least two, and possibly three of the book's previous readers have provided copious and sometimes entertaining notes in the margins. They include brief summaries of Poovey's major points, ammendments to her arguments and sometimes outright denials (I've seen "NO!" and "I don't think so" written a few times).
But imagine my surprise when, deep in a chapter about prostitution as empowerment in Wollstonecraft's final, unfinished novel Maria, I see the note "See The Bride of the Unicorn, Kasey Michaels."
I read Kasey Michaels! I read the Bride of the Unicorn! A later note about Joan Smith's A Kiss In the Dark sealed the deal.
Romance readers a clever bunch, no?