Heyer

JOdel at aol.com JOdel at aol.com
Thu Mar 7 11:06:12 EST 2002


In a message dated 3/6/02 6:18:58 AM, owner-dwj-digest at suberic.net writes:

<< I agree Cousin Kate is probably her least good Regency novel. >>

Probably because that one is actually a gothic. Heyer only dabbled in gothic 
a couple of times. She probably didn't really like it that much. It didn't 
like her, either. (Penhallow is the other example. And though there are some 
gothic elements to Footsteps in the Dark, that one is more of a muddled 
mysetry than anything else.)

I've always found her mysteries basicly competent, but a bit dull. The only 
one which has much life to it is the one with the "theatrical" uncle and his 
wife. (The title has gone walkabout on me.) I gather that she wrote those 
from basic plot suggestions that her lawyer husband gave her. I agree that 
Toll Gate and Talisman Ring are much better. There are some mystery elements 
to Reluctant Widdow as well, but that one is less sucessful altogether. 
(Talisman Ring IS laughing-out-loud funny in places, but it's like her 
romances in that it utilizes the player from her basic Commedia troupe. If 
you insist on realisim in any great degree, you probably won't care for it.)

Her romances on the other hand are rather like repetoiry theater, or a very 
dainty Commedia del Arte. Quite charming, but totally artificial -- which is 
the idea.
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