The word chuffed is, in my opinion, one of the most British verbs in existence. It comes from a Tudor term meaning “swollen with fat”, but in today’s parlance it means absolutely swollen with delight. Filled with squee. Full of happiness that something really pleasing happened, often in a very flattering context. Frequently one is simply chuffed to bits.
Well, today I am chuffed to freaking bits.
I read romance novels for fun. Granted, I also write serious academic essays about the romance genre, but mostly I read them because I like them. I really enjoy a positive, uplifting, emotionally fulfilling ending to a story and, contrary to the what the sexist literati proclaims, many romances are very well written. Yes, some are shite, but that happens in every genre so the idea that romances are somehow LESS well written on a whole is malarkey.
Anyway, I recently found this series by Molly Jameson called the Royal Romances about a fictitious, alternate British royal family wherein the multitudinous monarchial heirs are all young and falling in love with commoners or royals from other European countries. That is right up my ally, because I am delighted to read about sovereigns and royals – even fake ones.
It is a fetish I cannot explain and cannot defend.
The books are cheap on kindle, not overly-long or heart-wrenching, and have good prose so I’ve been reading my way through them. Thus I start the fifth book in the series, with a cup of tea and my disbelief already suspended in anticipation, all set to enjoy myself … when I got chuffed.
The heroine of the story, Princess Beatrice, has a secret. No one knows it, but she is the internationally famous feminist blogger “Lavinia Hayhurst”. Yay feminism. That’s when the chuffing occurs. One of the feminist role-models that she’s read is … ME!
Yep, in black and white (actually, sepia because I had the kindle on the ‘night’ setting) was this sentence:
“She liked to cite academic sources where possible, peppering in Americans like Helen Gurley Brown, Gloria Steinem, and Kyra Kramer, along with a bit of Simone de Beauvoir.”
WHAT??? Me, listed with luminaires! Ms Jameson is 1) clearly a fan and 2) wildly overestimating me. Still, the chuffing was undeniable. I am officially a feminist icon for at least one person.
I can only assume Molly Jameson has read The Jezebel Effect: Why the Slut Shaming of Famous Queens Still Matters (it is my most overtly feminist work) and has mistaken me for a big cheese when I am actually small beer. Nonetheless …