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‘Newsweek’ or Trashy Romance Novel?

A quiz.

When it came to the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Tina Brown, the editor of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, truly flooded the zone. In the week of the wedding, the two publications featured an account from Brown herself of the big day; an interactive feature detailing Kate’s trajectory from commoner to princess; assessments of Kate’s dress, her sister Pippa’s dress, the hats, and the possibility that Prince Harry and Pippa might hook up; and a piece from a sex researcher analyzing what Kate and William’s balcony kiss revealed about their love life. Below, we’ve printed quotes from Newsweek and Beast articles interspersed with quotes from best-selling bodice-rippers. See if you can tell which is which. (Names have been replaced with pronouns.)

1) There were flowers everywhere, beautiful spring flowers in sculptured urns on the marble floors and in crystal vases on all the white linen tablecloths.

2) The glimmering veiled bride, driven slowly on her mystical journey. … The tall, virile prince in the scarlet military uniform who awaits her at the altar.

3) He looked seven feet tall, dressed as he was in full regimentals, his scarlet coat and its gold facings immaculate.

4) The veil was a light dust of snow over the glow of her face.

5) All those years when he seemed unable to commit to her had nothing to do with his love for her and everything to do with his fears.

6) She had taken stock of his strengths and weaknesses and decided he was worth the effort. Somehow she’d calmed him down, fulfilled all his needs.

7) Even in his crisp captain’s uniform ... there’s a roguish hint of dishevelment about his hair.

8) Her slender waistline was emphasized by the gown’s narrow bodice.

9) Even in her demure silk gown, a hint of full bosom rose enticingly above the modest neckline.

10) For a long moment, their gazes held, locked in a long and silent question as if words were no longer necessary.

11) Her gaze was level and demure, secure in the long years of his affection. He returned it with a look that said, I trust.

12) You just succumb. You just roll over.

13) Does he always finish that fast?


1) Julie Garwood, Mercy 2) Tina Brown, Newsweek 3) Mary Balogh, Slightly Married 4) Tina Brown, Newsweek 5) Allison Pearson, Newsweek 6) Jackie Collins, Thrill 7) Tina Brown, Newsweek 8) Robin Givhan, The Daily Beast 9) Kat Martin, The Devil’s Necklace 10) Liz Carlyle, Wicked All Day 11) Tina Brown, Newsweek 12) Tina Brown, Newsweek 13) Debby Herbenick, The Daily Beast

Rachel Morris is the executive editor of The New Republic. This article originally ran in the May 26, 2011, issue of the magazine.

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