Why This Book? by Tanith Davenport
I initially had four possibilities in mind. As a Jane Austen fan, I considered Mansfield Park and Lady Susan, both of which were slightly subversive for the time. However, the difficulty with Mansfield Park was that the sexier interludes hinted at in the text always took place well offstage. Somehow I couldn’t imagine the shy and prudish Fanny Price carrying on a lurid affair in private. And while Lady Susan seemed perfect, it following a sexually active older woman who had no qualms about seducing men wherever she found them, the epistolary format struck me as ill-fitting for erotica.
Of my other two possibilities, one was The Woman in White. Unfortunately, if Lady Susan’s POV-switching was daunting, The Woman in White’s was positively terrifying. Which is why I ultimately went with my final option, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Anne Bronte has always been a favourite of mine. Had she lived as long as Charlotte, I’m certain she would have become an equally acclaimed writer. And The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was a shocking book for its time, with its graphic depictions of drunken debauchery and adultery leading a wife to flee the family home with her child – an act which was against the law. The fact that Helen Graham is married for most of the book was also a benefit, as it enabled me to include scenes of passionate sex without the worries of ruined reputations and mortal sin which a lady of the time might have had.
So I chose Tenant, and had a wonderful time adapting it for the Clandestine Classics line – I just hope everyone has as much fun reading it!
Into the quiet village of Lindenhope comes Helen Graham, an attractive young widow and mother. Living alone with her son at Wildfell Hall, her seclusion attracts curiosity from the local people, in particular Gilbert Markham, whose interest in her is soon edged with desire—and Helen, despite herself, begins to reciprocate his love for her.But when scandalous rumours begin to circulate about Helen’s behaviour, Gilbert is filled with anger and jealousy. Helen attempts to clear her name by offering Gilbert her diary, which reveals the dark, passionate story of her former marriage to debauched rake Arthur Huntingdon, whose sexual and sensual desires fill her with excitement and pleasure but precipitate a gradual descent into hell.Gilbert believes he could forgive her anything, but the lies continue to spread, threatening Helen’s peace of mind and, above all, her physical safety. Will the secrets of Helen’s past get in the way of their future?
About the Author
Tanith Davenport began writing erotica at the age of 27 by way of the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme. Her debut novel "The Hand He Dealt" was released by Total-e-Bound in June 2011 and was shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award for 2012.
Tanith has had short stories published by Naughty Nights Press and House of Erotica. She loves to travel and dreams of one day taking a driving tour of the United States, preferably in a classic 1950s pink Cadillac Eldorado.
Tanith's idea of heaven is an Indian head massage with a Mojito at her side.