Readers of novel by EL James, which has sold 2.3m copies in the UK, have turned to books that appear to have inspired it
Sales of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles have increased substantially since the arrival of the best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which features the work, booksellers say.
Readers of the novel by EL James, which has sold 2.3m copies in the UK, have turned to books that appear to have inspired Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels.
The novel, which is being adapted for the screen, reportedly by the makers of the 2010 American film The Social Network, also appears to have caused an explosion in sales of sex toys featured in the text.
A spokeswoman for Amazon said that in book and electronic form, sales of Tess, which is subtitled A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented, had risen threefold since May, when Fifty Shades of Grey was published.
A spokesman for Waterstones said the book chain’s sales of the Hardy novel had doubled over the same period.
In Fifty Shades of Grey the character Ana Steele is completing an essay on Tess when she interviews Christian Grey, a rich businessman who invites her to join him in a sado-masochistic relationship.
In the early stages of their relationship, Grey sends Steele an 1891 first edition of Tess, with quotes from the novel to warn her against agreeing to the relationship including “why didn’t you tell me there was danger? why didn’t you warn me?” and “ladies know what to guard against because they read novels that tell them of these tricks”.
Tess, meanwhile, is being adapted for the screen by the British director Michael Winterbottom. The film is set in an Indian location in modern times and has been renamed Trishna. It will be released in the UK later this year and stars Frieda Pinto.