The Sheik

The Sheik Diana Mayo is young beautiful wealthy and independent Bored by the eligible bachelors and endless parties of the English aristocracy she arranges for a horseback trek through the Algerian desert Tw

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  • Title: The Sheik
  • Author: E.M. Hull
  • ISBN: 9780553104974
  • Page: 464
  • Format: Paperback
  • Diana Mayo is young, beautiful, wealthy and independent Bored by the eligible bachelors and endless parties of the English aristocracy, she arranges for a horseback trek through the Algerian desert Two days into her adventure, Diana is kidnapped by the powerful Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, who forces her into submission Diana tries desperately to resist but finds herself faDiana Mayo is young, beautiful, wealthy and independent Bored by the eligible bachelors and endless parties of the English aristocracy, she arranges for a horseback trek through the Algerian desert Two days into her adventure, Diana is kidnapped by the powerful Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, who forces her into submission Diana tries desperately to resist but finds herself falling in love with this dark and handsome stranger.Only when a rival chieftain steals Diana away does the Sheik realize that what he feels for her is than mere passion He has been conquered and risks everything to get her back The power of love reaches across the desert sands, leading to the thrilling and unexpected conclusion.One of the most widely read novels of the 1920s, and forever fixed in the popular imagination in the film version starring the irresistible Rudolph Valentino, The Sheik is recognized as the immediate precursor to the modern romance novel When first published there was nothing like it To readers the story was scandalous, exotic, and all consuming to such critics as the New York Times the book was shocking, although written with a high degree of literary skill In the author s native England, the bestselling book was labeled poisonously salacious by the Literary Review and banned from some communities But the public kept reading.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.

    One thought on “The Sheik”

    1. One of my GR groups was reading Trade Wind and having an in-depth discussion about whether a relationship (spoiler for Trade Wind here) (view spoiler)[that begins with rape can really lead to lasting love. (hide spoiler)] One of our readers mentioned The Sheik in connection with this discussion, and curiosity + free on Gutenberg sucked me in.<-----I'm kind of bad that way.This book was pretty much our grandmothers' and great-grandmothers' Fifty Shades of Grey. It really has no redeeming quali [...]

    2. Ah yes, the book that launched a million Harlequins. Imagine, there'd have been no The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl if not for Edith Maude Hull's 1918 bodice ripper, which turned sheiks into literary catnip forever, for all time, and - I'm pretty confident - into infinity and beyond.This is the original "virgin ravished by sheik" romance, with all the required alpha male swagger and conceit, as well as the shamed heroine's vows of eternal hatred eventually blossoming into consuming love. [...]

    3. 1 ½ Melodramatic and Very Disturbing StarsI don't know where to start with this very disturbing, highly repetitive, and very melodramatic book. Oh, the melodrama! A previous reviewer stated that she kept thinking of a silent movie while reading the reactions and internal dialogue of the heroine. I couldn't agree more! All I kept seeing in my mind's eye was this picture. The Sheik, written in 1919, both horrified and intrigued me at the same time. I truly HATED the storyline—the racism, animal [...]

    4. Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || || Pinterest💙 I read this for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2018 Reading Challenge, for the category of: Classic (Literature) Romance. For more info on this challenge, click here. 💙In my review of THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER, I said that Woodiwiss is often credited with writing the first bodice ripper. While she was certainly one of the first mainstream authors to publish a widely read romance with an open bedroom door *wink*, THE SHEIK has a [...]

    5. Serious trigger warning for sexual violence, abusive relationship, animal harm.There are all kinds of observations I could make about this book. Diana's perceptions of Arab women were especially interesting to me. I didn't even mention the godawful racism below, but that could be another post just as long. This post is about rape. Discussing other things in the comments is fine and welcomed, though.Setting aside the issue of assigning a potentially triggering text, I would totally assign The She [...]

    6. EDITED: 7/20/13I decided that this book deserves a 5 star after never leaving my mind since I read it in 2011.Whew, Ahmed Monseigneur! I have never feared a couple not ending up together as I did with Diane and Ahmed! Up until the last page you are left in agonizing suspense. When Diane loves or hate it is with such a passion that defies all reasoning. In the beginning I was amazed by the hatred she had for the hero and couldn’t see the way out of such blatant malevolence. The animosity she ha [...]

    7. Where to begin? Well first off this book drew me right in from the beginning to the end! When I first started it I was expecting it to be hard to get into considering the date/time it was written in by this author.But not at all! It was very modern,and very easy to follow and connect with all the characters.So lets get to the characters. Diana: What an independent,obstinate,spirated,plain spoken woman.Raised as boy,with no affection from her guardian brother,no genteel upbringing,she knew little [...]

    8. Stockholm Syndrome much?Wow, I have finally found a character as contemptible as Bella Swan. Diana Mayo is an insult to women everywhere. How could anyone, on principle, love a rapist?I couldn't find one single attribute in her I could relate to. Honestly, if it were me, I would have killed him as soon as he gave her that gun and said he trusted her.How can a woman, in her right mind, see the bruises on her arm and think: "It's not his fault, he doesn't know his own strength. If he killed me I'd [...]

    9. 4/17 Guilty Pleasures moduleIf you think 'Beauty and the Beast' has Stockholm Syndrome, this takes it to a whole new level.

    10. ✦ Read for the Unapologetic Romance Readers New Years 2017 Reading Challenge for a Sheikh/Harem RomanceThe Sheik is garbage in the form of a novel that was published back in 1919 when people still used slurs to refer to people of color. It has everything you don't want: racism, rape, every man ever falling in love with the heroine, and the heroine almost killing herself because the Sheik wants to send her away. Also, I'm pretty sure all the characters have lung cancer from smoking so much.

    11. My last recorded reading of this all-time-favorite was in 2003 but the first time was when I was a pre-teen sneaking the book out of my grandmother's bookcase to sample "forbidden fruit" (well over 50 years ago!). I was so taken by the romance and thrill of the story that I have never forgotten the feelings and this is my go-to book when I need mental comfort food or to recapture the sense of being young and embarking on an adventure. I collect copies of this book. I still have my grandmother's [...]

    12. 5 ++ Stars Original 1919 Landmark Historical Romance The Arrogant and Mesmerizing Blue Eyed SheikThis is the original and first Sheik story and still the best! I encourage you to download and read this Classic for FREE from or Guttenberg.Given the time of publication in 1919, almost 100 years ago during the shocking destruction and loss of life of The Great War (WWI)and the renewed interest in the Arab World due to the British fighting the Ottoman Empire there in Arab lands, and in the context [...]

    13. Stephen King, Clive Barker--hell, even H.P. Lovecraft have all been dethroned by E.M. Hull. Seriously, in addition to being one of the most disgusting "romance novels" ever published, it's also downright horrifying and offensive as hell. There's not a whole lot to the plot. Diana Mayo is a headstrong, fiercely independent young woman who pretty much gives societal conventions of the female gender the middle finger. In short, she's a boss-ass bitch (bitch bitch bitch) and for the first 20 pages o [...]

    14. Full disclosure: I only read this because it was referenced as the first official novel of the romance genre in an article. It was very interesting, but I can't in good conscious recommend it because it is precisely what I hate in a novel – the author tells you, constantly and incessantly, exactly what the main protagonist is thinking and why it makes sense in the context of her life. Part of the writing style is probably due to the time period, the book originally being published in the 1920s [...]

    15. Just picked up a hardcover copy at the UBS. Publishers A.L. Burt Company, inscription inside "To Albert. Xmas 1923."

    16. When I stated my love affair with reading, Barbara Cartland was the BOMB!! As a 12 year old young girl, I couldn't get enough of her books.So when I read a story about The Sheik being the Book that scandalized the world in the 1920's when it was released ( was even BANNED in certain areas). I so had to take a trip down memory land and read itNow, 36 years later, I can honestly say that I'm still in love with Barbara Cartland. The Sheik was a wonderful, sweet and exciting story. And yes, by today [...]

    17. I can't honestly say this is the best book I have ever read or anything. Yet at the same time I just don't know how I could possibly rate this any less that 5 stars! I enjoyed this so much! It has everything you could possibly want from a cheesy romance novel! Heroine raised as a boy and unaware of her womanly charms, kidnapping, rape (off page of course! this was written in 1918), brutal hero, attempted escape, another kidnapping, an attempted rape, murder, murder, attempted murder, hero near d [...]

    18. What a horrible piece of tripe. Good Lord. This was simply the most painfully bad book I have ever read. True love equals rape, physical and emotional abuse and codependent martyrdom of the most depraved sort. And of course the whole time the "sheik" is secretly white because no white woman could be attracted to a real Middle Eastern. I feel ill.

    19. 4/17 Guilty Pleasure module. I was genuinely disgusted reading this book, and if I didn't have to read it for university you can guarantee I would never have touched it in a million years. Just so problematic. So problematic.

    20. I'd really, really like to think that this book was supposed to be a stealthy deconstruction of abusive relationships, shuffled into exotic parts because it would have been easier to present a "barbarian" than an Englishman as an abuser (view spoiler)[and then there was a Take That moment where the vile beast turned out to be (half) Englishman after all (hide spoiler)]; a look into what pushes a woman to persuade herself into caring for the abuser and consequently a very fine presentation of how [...]

    21. 3.5Leí "El Árabe" por Florencia Bonelli. En su biografía habla de como este libro despertó su curiosidad literaria. Seré honesta, me salté algunas páginas de la novela. En parte por la forma que esta escrito, es de hace +/- 90 años y las autoras en aquellos tiempos eran más descriptivas en sus novelas en lugar de las páginas llenas de diálogos que estamos acostumbradas hoy en día y otro por la actitud arrogante y elevada de la prota Diana Mayo y la actitud cavernícola de Ahmed, ambo [...]

    22. Even though I grew up loving this book, I have to only give it two stars for it's long and boring sections. Also because of the 'embarrassing' aspect in the story. For some reason, women are drawn to this story and it was a huge hit back in the 1920's when it first came out. It was also made into a silent film with Rudolph Valentino. My sisters and I were all in love with the actor, the film, and this book when we all first discovered it for ourselves in the mid-90's. But I tried to have my husb [...]

    23. The Sheik. It's rumor to be the godfather of bodice rippers, the book women whispered about in the days it was published and finally I got my grubby little hands on it! Ok it was the ebook version but hey I got it and that's what counts.Coming into the book I knew it was rumored to have horrible violence , rape and of course a simmer hatred that turns to love. The heroine, Diane Mayo is haughty unconventional and a bit of a naive adventurist. She's traveled the world unknowingly think man and wo [...]

    24. This is a remarkably offensive book by modern standards. Racism, sexism, you name it. I think, ironically, the most offensive part is the revelation at the end that somehow supposed to make everything that has happened more palatable? Just the fact that Hull thought it would is obscenely offensive.That said, there's a reason this is a classic. It's got remarkably good writing, lots of adventure, and a story and passion romance novelists have been trying -- and failing -- to emulate ever since.2 [...]

    25. Are you kidding me???? The sheik kidnaps her and rapes her repeatedly over a period of little more than a month; treats her like crap, forces her to obey him, is cruel to animals and rotten to everyone around him and this woman FALLS IN LOVE WITH HIM AND CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT HIM? This novel was a terrible book. Rape is a violent, degrading act and this man's actions should never have been forgiven. He should have been killed off and she was the stupidest woman ever. I would have given it half a st [...]

    26. What starts off as a seemingly feminist tale of morals, quickly descends into pulpy, semi-romantic fantasies of submission and exoticism. Diane Mayo is quite uninteresting as a main character, and her romantic liaison with an Arab sheik who kidnapped and raped her never quite comes across as plausible or even interesting.This used to be a Fifty Shades of Grey-kind of thing in the twenties. Now it's just racist and anti-feminist. Sad story.

    27. I huge hit with women during the 1920's, I read (now own) my grandma's copy of this (to be honest) boring book. I guess I'm jaded in my romance novel experiences (I devoured them in the 70's as an impressionable teen), but what once must have been risque and titillating in the 20's is really very quaint today. I give it 3 stars in honor of my grandma, and because it is a classic of it's genre.

    28. I haven't forgotten this review. Really. I'm just too damn sleepy every time I sit down to write it. >___< Hopefully tomorrow.

    29. This book sounds like Adora’s mildly racist cousin. Also what can you expect from a book whose main character shares last name with a condiment? Not much.

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