Georgette Heyer's missing books

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Thu Dec 16 06:11:06 EST 1999

> Some university press or other (USA, I think) reprinted these in the
> middle-late '70s after GH died. I remember red bindings with black lettering.
>  The missing books consist of;
> Great Roxhythe--historical fiction
> Footsteps in the Dark--Heyer's first mystery/gothic/whatever
> Instead of the Thorn--modern romance (modern being 1920s, this one was a
> strong enough story to be worth reprinting now)
> Barren Corn--modern romance (and boy was this one ever corny)
> Helen-- reputed to be modern romance (never encountyered it myself)
> Pastel--ditto

Many thanks.  I'll take the list to a bookshop ASAP.  American copyright was
strange at that date - you had to publish _in the USA_ to gain any protection at
all - so that could explain how this could have happened there but not here.

> Simon the Coldheart was in print pretty much all along, being a tie-in for
> Beauvalet. It was My Lord John (an unfinished work) which was published
> posthumously.

Well, not much of a tie-in.  Nick Beauvallet is supposed to be descended from
Simon, but otherwise there is little or no connection.

StC in print all along could also gave been a US phenomenon.  IIRC, StC was
pub'd in the UK in around 1925, and when it came out again in ?1972 GH's son
started the introduction along the lines of "No, this is not a new Georgette
Heyer.  If you look carefully at the flyleaf, you will find...".  This intro
contains one of my favourite lines, very much in GH's style: "Apart from one
Californian woman who considered, for reasons somewhat obscurely expressed, that
all her works should be publicly burnt by the hangman, my mother was her own
sternest critic."

My Lord John, on the other hand, was _not_ an early book.  She was working on it
whenever she had the time through most of the 1960s, and what we now have is as
much as she'd produced when she died.


Someone mentioned a surprising number of men (of whom my Papa and I are two) who
read GH, but don't read elsewhere in the regency romance genre.  So I will say
this is because no-one else is as good.  Caroline Courtney is a pale imitation.
Jane Aiken Hodge (Sister to Joan Aiken FWIW) is adventurous enough to take the
genre further than GH did, and might be regarded as a successor rather than an
imitator, but IMHO finds GH a _very_ hard act to follow.

Worth reading though is JAH's biography of GH.


Finally, some pure speculation:  I've often wondered what GH would have done
with the Arthurian legends...


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