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It is the mash-up so obvious it is hard to believe no one thought of it already: Sexing up the classics Fifty Shades of Grey-style.
Clandestine Classics is making all the implied sex in such classics as Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice and, yes, Sherlock Holmes explicit.
The publisher touts: “The old-fashioned pleasantries and timidity have all been stripped away, quite literally. You didn’t really think that these much-loved characters only held hands and pecked cheeks, did you? Come with us as we embark on a breathtaking experience — behind the closed bedroom doors of our favorite, most-beloved British characters. Learn what Sherlock really thought of Watson, what Mr. Darcy really wanted to do to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and unveil the sexy escapades of Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre. We’ll show you the scenes that you always wanted to see but were never allowed.”
The company is releasing reworked versions of five classic novels as ebooks on July 30: Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet, Northanger Abbey and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (who knew that needed to be sexed up?).
Claire Siemaszkiewicz, founder of Total-E-Bound Publishing, the parent of imprint Clandestine, told The Independent, “We’re keeping the original prose and the author’s voice. … But we want to enhance the novels by adding the ‘missing’ scenes for readers to enjoy.”
Here is a scene from Pride & Prejudice that takes the main romance a step further: “Fire blazed in his eyes as he looked down at her and she felt overwhelmed by the possession she saw in their depths — astounded, but perfectly at ease as though she were right where she needed to be. Her heart pounded as she breathed in the scents around her. The fresh, earthy smell of the forest, the pine trees, the grass beneath their bodies combined with the delicious scent of Darcy. Hot, spicy and all man.”
These are sexy novels aimed at straight and gay readers. The new spin on Sherlock Holmes casts the detective and his sidekick John Watson as gay lovers.
Here Watson stumbles on two male lovers in a tryst. “Confusion claimed me for a moment, and my mouth dropped open as I took it all in. The joy of knowing other men were the same as I was quickly eclipsed by the fear that if they were caught it would be the end for them. I was stuck between wanting to step forward and warn them they ought to be more careful and remaining where I was to silently watch.”
“People are going to either love it or hate it,” said Siemaszkiewicz. “But we’re 100 percent convinced that there’s a market there.”
See the covers of Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet and Pride & Prejudice below.
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Tracee Ellis Ross