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The Sheik

  • Author
    • E.M. Hull
Regular price £9.99
Regular price Sale price £9.99

'He was looking at her with fierce burning eyes that swept her until she felt that the boyish clothes that covered her slender limbs were stripped from her.'

The Sheik - to become notorious as Rudolph Valentino's greatest screen role - is an astonishing and touchingly artless expression of female sexual masochism. One of Virago's trio of turn-of-the-century erotic bestsellers along with Elinor Glyn's Three Weeks and Ethel M. Dell's The Way of an Eagle, its wilful heroine, is kidnapped and subjugated by the cruel but strangely compelling Sheik Ahmed who, it emerges, is not all that he seems.

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilisation as we know it. The influence of The Sheik on romance writers and readers continues to resonate. Despite controversy over its portrayal of sexual exploitation as a means to love, The Sheik remains a popular classic for its representation of the social order of its time, capturing contemporary attitudes toward colonialism as well as female power and independence that still strike a chord with readers today.
  • Published: Feb 08 1996
  • Pages: 256
  • 203 x 127mm
  • ISBN: 9781860490934
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Press Reviews

  • New York Times
    A high degree of literary skill
  • Bookwatch
    The Sheik . . . continues to be an outstanding and highly recommended romance novel for a whole new generation of readers
  • Conversation
    Hull's novel had a profound influence on 1920s popular culture - and its legacy has been long lasting - even one hundred years on readers are still losing themselves in the desert romance aisle
  • Variety
    Edith M. Hull's novel . . . won out because it dealt with every caged woman's desire to be caught up in a love clasp by some he-man who would take the responsibility and dispose of the consequences
  • Book Riot
    I started thinking about The Sheik in the context of Fifty Shades of Grey . . . they are both stories whose heroines go on a epic journey that, rather than being romantic, concludes with a cynical reinforcement of social norms concerning both race and gender; and they were both incredible commercial successes