Happy dance of joy

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jan 21 10:52:08 EST 2005

>On Fri, Jan 21, 2005 at 08:00:45AM -0600, Ian Riddell wrote:
>>Where should I start with Heyer? Which book should I seek out first?

and Roger replied

>Broadly there are three categories: Regency and near-Regency romances,
>modern detectives, and other (modern non-detective, and historical
>non-romantic). Many Heyer fans (including me) stick largely to the
>first category.
>I would tend to recommend as a starting point any of Frederica,
>Sylvester, Venetia, The Grand Sophy, or Arabella. All of these fall
>into the first category. (They're quite different books within that,
>mind you.)

A simple rule-of-thumb seems to be that if it is a Regency and the title is
a single name (or in Sophy's case a name qualified by a single adjective)
Roger will recommend it!

I'd add *Friday's Child*, *Faro's Daughter*, and *Cotillion* to his five,
but I'd also like to point out that when this question gets asked on the
Heyerlist (as it sometimes does, along the lines "which Heyer would
listmembers suggest I give to my niece/friend for a first one?") every
Regency she ever wrote will have been suggested within two days or so, with
the exception of *Cousin Kate*, which nobody seems to think is a good place
to start.

How ornary do you feel?  Maybe you should start with CK!

There are two that are more Regency-historical than the rest.  *The Spanish
Bride*, an account of the Peninsula campaign, draws to a very large extent
on diaries and letters of the period and has mostly historical characters
in it, including the hero and heroine, Mr and Mrs Harry Smith later of
Ladysmith fame.  *An Infamous Army* mixes some fictional characters from
two of her other books with what I think is held to be a pretty accurate
factual account of the build-up to the Battle of Waterloo, and the battle

ObDWJ: she shares with me a personal un-favourite: *Regency Buck* is early
work, rather melodramatic and overdone and with a hero who's a MCP pain and
a heroine who's a sap, and includes too much infodump obviously lifted
straight from period guide-books and contemporary accounts of London life.
It also has Beau Brummell as one of the main secondary characters, and
includes him saying most of the things everyone knows he said, but
shoehorned into the situations in the book; for some reason that puts me
out quite badly, but it might not bother anyone else (except DWJ).


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