Discerning readers of The Smut Report may have noticed that some of Holly’s reviews mention an elusive and undefined thing called The Duke Project. Now, the time has come for The Duke Project to actually begin.
So… What is The Duke Project, exactly?
You may have noticed that there are approximately one million smut books featuring Dukes. Many of those novels have the word “Duke” in the title, so they’re easy to find even if you don’t do a deep dive into the genre. In real life, there are like 30. In Romancelandia, they are everywhere. So Holly decided to set out and try to figure out – what is the deal with dukes?
She is obviously not the first person to notice or comment on this phenomenon. Author Lorraine Heath wrote for NPR : “In modern terms, the duke is the equivalent of the movie star, seen on the big screen, bolder than life.” In a piece on the popularity Dukes for USA Today, Elizabeth Hoyt told Madeline Hunter, “He’s the alpha-est of the historical world.” Basically: Dukes are fun! They represent fantasy and escapism – you know that when your hero is a Duke, he’s wealthy, powerful and noble.
But just because they’re fun doesn’t explain the whole thing, so Holly is going to unpack what exactly makes a Duke a Duke, one characteristic at a time.
Next Time in The Duke Project: Let’s talk about angst!