Sunday, January 6, 2013

Georgette Heyer

Happy New Year everyone!!!

I completely neglected this blog over the holidays; too busy eating food with family and obsessively watching the first two seasons of The Vampire Diaries. (It's on Netflix; what can I do?)(I tried watching it a while ago but couldn't get through the first episode. Guess I was in the right mood for it this time!)

So I have a ton of blogging to catch up on!

I'm going to devote this post to an author quite out of my usual range. One of her books was on my iPod during my 54-hour trip to Buenos Aires, so that's why I decided it was time to blog about her. Georgette Heyer is an early 20th C writer of Regency Romances (romantic novels set in the early 1800s). I love Jane Austen, but I would likely never have picked up Georgette Heyer if I didn't keep seeing her name mentioned, by people whose opinions I value. (Like Robin McKinley.)(And people who like Robin McKinley.)(And Lois McMaster Bujold.) All right then, I said, maybe I should check this author out.

Delightful. That's the best word to describe her novels. They are light, fun, funny, sweet, hilarious, silly, witty, and altogether a treat to read. The plots are all pretty much exactly the same--well, there are a few variations--and she reuses different versions of the same characters in every story (the heros are all consummate horsemen with excellent fashion-sense. Probably so she can show off all her research into the fashions and pastimes of the day.) But that's exactly what you want an author to do, isn't it? She writes a book you love, and then she writes another one just like it!

So far I've read and thoroughly enjoyed all of these (not just in the past month, by the way!). I also tried one of her historical novels, but decided I wasn't nearly as interested in every detail leading up to the battle of Waterloo as Heyer was. (And I read The Reluctant Widow, which I didn't like as much, because I felt the hero bullied the heroine and she meekly submitted. Unlike most of her other heroines, which is why they're so likeable.) I have not tried any of her murder mysteries, but I will.

Reading Georgette Heyer is like going into your favourite pastry shop and being allowed to choose whatever you want!
The Nonesuch
Everyone in the quiet
 country town is thrilled
when the eligible Sir Waldo
 comes to visit, except
 the sensible governess
who is past all that

The Grand Sophy
Irrepressible heroine
sweeps in and shakes up
aristocratic family that
didn't know it needed
shaking up
Frederica
Feisty but over-the-hill
older sister is
determined to make a
brilliant match for
her beautiful younger sister
The Corinthian
Fashionable young man finds
 heiress climbing out a window
to escape a marriage she doesn't
want and helps her return
to the country to
find her first love
Friday's Child
Two very immature characters
marry on a whim and proceed
to rescue each other from
each other's improprieties
The Convenient Marriage
Someone needs to marry
wealthy Lord Rule, and the
beautiful sister he offers
for is in love with someone else, so
impulsive young Horry
offers herself a sacrifice
on the alter of family fortunes
A Civil Contract
Impoverished nobleman must
marry wealthy tradesman's daughter
who knows he will never love
her but is determined to
make him happy

2 comments:

  1. I discovered Heyer as a teen, in a used bookshop, and have loved them ever since.

    I'm a history major, and liked some of the historical (Regency era mostly) but didn't like her moderns or her mysteries much. (I'm not much of a mystery fan -- not unless the characters are likable and make me care.)

    Favorites: Devil's Cub, Faro's Daughter, Frederica, Venetia, Grand Sophy (despite the anti-Semitism straight out of Shakespeare).

    These books got me onto Jane Aiken Hodge's Watch the Wall, My Darling which is an American meets The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, sort of.

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