101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No 13. 50 Shades of Grey

Every woman of a certain age wants to read about a ‘red room of pain’ it seems. Every supermarket bookshelf is filled with copies of the—originally–self-published and—apparently, I of course haven’t read it—turgidly written mommy-porn.

Just who’d have thought that some women would like reading about s-e-x? I don’t know, what’s the world coming to? I mean, isn’t a quick look at Eric Bristow showering in I’m A Celebrity… enough to keep them buzzing along? With or without batteries.

But it’s really just a romance novel, not particularly sexily sexed up. And the progenitor of romance novels that really hit the spot?

Dame Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland, of course.

Of Edgbaston, of Birmingham.

Of course.

You may stand now.

(from original idea by Frilly)

Author: Jon Bounds

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed. His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it's out now. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It's Not Shit.