10 Classic Novels Marketed As If They Had Been Written By Women

Following on in the same vein of popular posts such as “I Hate Women’s Fiction And I’ll Tell You Why” and “Adventures In Book Genre Stereotyping“, we here at Bookology HQ are now inordinately pleased to bring you:

10 Classic Novels

(Described By Their Publishers, As Though They Were By Female Authors)

10 Classic Novels Marketed If They Had Been Written By Women

1. Heart Of Darkness  by Josephine Conrad

Two men face off in the African jungle in this world-famous tale of what happens when men are parted too long from the women in their lives.

2. Great Expectations  by Charlotte Dickens

She wore the most beautiful dress in all of England. But Miss Havisham’s wedding gown became a prison from which only the next generation could set her free. Would her disappointment ruin love’s young dream? And would there ever be another bride in Satis House?

3. Tess Of The d’Urbervilles  by Thomasina Hardy

In a small village in the English heartland, renowned beauty Tess Durbeyfield will do anything to save her family and beloved sister from starvation. But when the handsome aristocrat Alec d’Urberville tears her away from the dashing and worthy Angel Clare, Tess finds out that rural romance is not all ribbons and wedding cake.

4. The Name Of The Rose  by Umberta Eco

A handsome young monk finds himself in conflict with the old order in a Benedictine monastery set high in the verdant Italian hills. But what murderous secrets does Adso of Melk discover in the closely-guarded library? And will he be able to resist the temptations of the tantalising peasant girl who threatens all he holds holy?

5. War And Peace  by Leonora Tolstoy

These young, rich aristocrats have it all, until they discover that the fearsome Napoleon is closer to their gilt-threaded bed curtains than they thought. Will true love and high society be able to withstand the violence of men’s lust pour la guerre… et les femmes?

10 Classic Novels Marketed If They Had Been Written By Women

6. 1984  by Georgina Orwell

In a totalitarian regime there is no room for love, but one brave man risks everything to prove that we cannot ignore the beatings…. of our hearts.

7. The Great Gatsby  by Effie Scott Fitzgerald

Jay Gatsby is the man every man wants to be, and every woman wants to be with. But only one woman is the key to Gatsby’s secret heartache: can she stop counting her shoes long enough to swap one man’s credit card for another?

8. Lolita  by Vladimira Nabokov

Growing up is tough. As 12-year-old Lolita navigates the turbulent waters of puberty, she finds that she is the girl of Humbert Humbert’s dreams. But she soon learns – how clever of her! – that no man lives on dreams alone.

9. The Picture Of Dorian Gray  by Oscra Wilde

Devilishly handsome Dorian Gray has discovered the secret to anti-ageing, and is hiding it in his attic. He will do anything to protect it, but at what cost? Is there really an alternative to ruinously expensive face cream? Only time, and one mysterious portrait, will tell.

10 Classic Novels Marketed If They Had Been Written By Women

10. The Trial  by Franzes Kafka

Josef K. just wants to live an ordinary life and marry the beautiful Frau Bürstner. But when he is singled out by mysterious forces in the criminal justice system, he despairs of ever knowing whether or not she loves him in return.

  60 comments for “10 Classic Novels Marketed As If They Had Been Written By Women

  1. February 4, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Sad but true. My exposure to ‘women’s fiction’ comes from keyword scanning vampire novels and tripping over all the erotica and paranormal romance titles. I’m sure there must be some kind of vocabulary matrix that marketers utilise to cobble together blurbs. A stock phrase from here attached via the word ‘but’ to another stock phrase from over there…

    I think it’s only a matter of time before the marketing headhunters come looking for you. Especially if Umberto Eco decides to do a rewrite of The Name of the Rose from the tantalising peasant girl’s point of view.

    And the kind of forensic analysis in this post makes you the ideal candidate for the coaching job at Valencia. Do you think Negredo should play alongside Paco Alcacer or just drop behind him in a holding role? (That’s the only question you’d be asked in a job interview.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • February 4, 2016 at 10:51 am

      First comment again Chris! You are on a ROLL. Anyway, to answer your question, the latter, but only if the 8-0-0 formation is being used. I would think that was obvious, no?

      I’m ready for those marketing headhunters. Bring ’em on. I have my armour on, and a barrage of witty asides in my quiver. (Is it just me, or does that sound rude?)

      Liked by 2 people

      • February 4, 2016 at 11:06 am

        A barrage of witty asides is getting close to the bone. (Now you’ve got me at it. Mind you in one reply I made to a comment this morning I missed a crucial letter out of the word Count. Thank god you can edit your own replies.)

        And second time with the first comments. I’m typing a lot quicker these days. The 8-0-0 formation would leave three floating players, which as I expected, is the kind of left-field out-there tactical acumen I was expecting from someone who spotted the hidden romance agenda in The Trial.

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 4, 2016 at 11:13 am

          You spotted that. Well done. I assume you also noticed how the use of the gerund ‘being used’ as opposed to the more simplified ‘used’ implied the inevitability of man’s struggle with objects which have no corners. I’m full of hidden meaning like that.


  2. February 4, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    Ms Sparling delivers shameful (solitary) belly-laughs yet again! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. February 4, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Damn! You make them sound so sexy! Can I hire you to do my blurbs??


  4. February 4, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    This sort of literary oneupwomanship is far too much for me today. Though, you would bring a nice light touch to 1984. I must re-read. As for War and Peace, I have enough of that at home, no matter who is holding the pen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • February 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      Well, Conor, nobody likes a boaster. If your home really is full of sparkling epaulettes, impractical jewellery and French-speaking aristocrats, you might keep it to yourself.


  5. Sue Bridgwater
    February 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Skorn and commented:
    This is brilliant!


  6. February 4, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    The sad truth is that the blurbs sound real. Well done, Tara. You found your calling. (The redo’s on the author’s names cracked me up.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      It does make me wonder, Diana. I seem to be on the wrong side of the publishing industry all the time. But perhaps if I was on the right side, I wouldn’t be able to see it at all, let alone put anything out myself. It’s a quandary. Not to mention confusing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm

        All a matter of taste, Tara. It’s actually the great thing about writing and reading. There’s tons of freedom to write whatever moves us, and readers like what they like, regardless of what the stodgy old men of the industry dictate. I think the publishing world is going through massive changes and will continue to do so as writers are no longer boxed in by the old rules. It’s an exciting time to be an author. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 5, 2016 at 5:20 pm

          Oh yes! The freedom to write is still there. But the freedom thereafter to market it successfully and respectfully at the same time? that’s a WHOLE different ball game 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  7. February 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Aww brillo. You’re hilarious.Would love to hear the blurb on Huckelberry Finn by that slapper Marcia Twain :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      I’m not getting into any of that cross-dressing stuff Bernie Rose. The very thought of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. February 4, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Love this entire post, Tara, but take my hats off to the names. Umberta? Hehe

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 4, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Well, she’s a hell of a lot less clunky than poor old Vladimira. As you can tell, it didn’t take me long.


  9. February 4, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Jesus, Tara, you’re good at this, even in irony.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. February 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Into my specials box with this. I love the covers. My mind is racing with unlikely candidates… The Robe, by Leila C. Douglas?

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 5, 2016 at 9:19 am

      I haven’t read that one, Hilary, so you’ll have to do the honours! I did have fun with the covers. They’re so easy to make when you’re only messing.


      • February 5, 2016 at 10:16 am

        Spartacus crossed with the gospels plus some new miracles, fed to us at the convent (three years of my childhood in a Belgian RC convent school). I loved the book! Famous wee pie (spellcheck uh? weepie) film of the 50s. Wiki says: The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus.

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 5, 2016 at 10:26 am

          Ah yes, but what would be the women’s fiction version? I’m thinking the clue is in the title 😉


  11. February 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    “we cannot ignore the beatings…. of our hearts” Haha! Brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you, Ness… It’s kind of my favourite, but it would be weird of me to say that, so I won’t 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. February 5, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    ‘Nine search for a golden ring, while the fairest of the Elves dreams of her lost love. Yet he has turned to a mortal woman, a warrior princess, brave and true. As Middle Earth hurtles towards darkness, will the light of the Evenstar prevail and their love survive? As armies gather and the nine break apart, only the memory of desire can save her now.’ Josephine R. Tolkien

    Ha ha, loved all of these, Tara. You’re far too good, as usual 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 5, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Excellent, Helen! Fantasy was a big miss on that list. Especially because, as you so rightly point out, elves in particular are always pining for lost loves. I get so cheesed off with it at times. You can’t even have a drink with an elf in peace without the pining putting you off your pint.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. February 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Reblogged this on WHAT THE HELL and commented:
    Brill … That’s all. Just brill.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. February 8, 2016 at 9:24 am

    You nailed the blurbs. Next question would be—would anybody have ever read them? Apart from women who don’t really count, do they?

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 8, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      They might have been read, Jane, but only by that portion of the population to which they were marketed. Because no man will read women’s fiction, right? So there’s no point in telling them about it. Total waste of their time.


      • February 8, 2016 at 4:05 pm

        And so it came to pass that the world remained in crass ignorance and mind boggling stupidity. Manipulation of minds and keep ’em in their places. And no, I’m not thinking of Joe Stalin.

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 8, 2016 at 4:09 pm

          I’m not even sure there’s that much thought in it, Jane. In fact, I reckon it’s entirely thoughtless, which is even more depressing.


  15. February 9, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    How on earth do you think of these angles, Tara?

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 10, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I don’t know, Jean, but I think there’s something wrong with me. Surely there is more to life than this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 10, 2016 at 8:14 pm

        ‘It’s not the same way everyone goes mad,’ was a great expression of my mother’s and its the first thing that came to mind when I read your comment. I guess there is an element of madness in 99 p.c. of bloggers. You may be in the 1 p.c. or ….

        Liked by 1 person

  16. February 10, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Oh you are funny. And a bit jaded and cynical. But oh so wise. And a tad snarky when you fancy. But witty and bold. With a touch of sarcasm…I could go on. Indeed I’ve been told I do… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 10, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      I tried being positive and gentle-minded once, Jackie. It didn’t suit me. Seems my snarky side is much more in fashion. When it comes to blogging at least…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Alex Hurst
    February 11, 2016 at 4:36 am

    These really amused me, especially the Dorian Grey one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. February 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    You definitely know what sells books, Tara.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 11, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Do you know what else I know, though, Dorothy? I know how to tie up my mind in 20 million tangents that do not result in the writing of said books. That’s what worries me!


  19. February 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Extraordinary… and by that I literally mean ´Beyond what is ordinary or usual´… 😉
    I wonder if there were good amounts of copies sold…
    Thanks for sharing… best wishes. Aquileana

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 16, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      Thank you Aquileana. I don’t doubt that great amounts were sold – just not with these blurbs!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. February 22, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Mary Clark, Writer and commented:
    This is witty, and so true


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