[DWJ] Georgette Heyer (also "what this list has given me")

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Jan 6 09:22:17 EST 2008


Jackie wrote:

>I suppose I just don't want to start in the middle of a series, where I'm
>supposed to know who everyone is already and what their inside jokes
>mean.

There are no serieses in Heyer.  Beau Brummel appears as a character in one
book (an early one when she hadn't yet learnt her trade as well as she did
later) and is mentioned in several others, but apart from him there is one
Heyero who is the son of a previous Heyero, so his parents appear in his
book having been in the one before, and then he and his wife are
grandmother and grandfather of the heroine in another for only a couple of
scenes.  Alayne I think has warned about those three, anyhow.

>Also, romp and skulduggery and Twins Who Cannot Be Told Apart sound good.

I think you will enjoy Heyer...

> Melancholy and upsetting do not.

I put in melancholy because if you had said it was what you wanted, I'd've
suggested 'then don't read Heyer just now'.  :-)

>I also love Joan Aiken, both adult and children's books (though i like
>less the last few in the Dido Twite Chronicles, which get positive
>body-strewn).

JA and DWJ were friends and each liked the other's work.  DWJ is convinced
that JA's Dido is one of DWJ's godchildren (as it were, because they
happened the other way round) and after they had met each other JA agreed
that yes, this was someone who could easily have been a template for Dido
if she'd met her before.

>I haven't read many (any?) regency romances, but am quite open to such.
>Oh, I did read (and enjoy) Sorcery and Cecelia by Wrede and Stevener--is
>that a regency? (displaying my ignorance!)

It's a *HeyerWorld* regency: it is setin the world Heyer would have
recognised but with added magic.   PW and CS are friends who visit DWJ when
they are in England, and they have asked her for help with the language of
their regency books before now (and got it).  I think it was their both
having read Heyer that made them write letters to each other in Heyer-style
to start with.

It is my opinion that the Heyer detective books are mediocre, and not to be
compared with Sayers or Tey, but I know that they have been much loved.  I
have read them all and remember absolutely *nothing* about them apart from
Pugs with Silly Names in one, which might be an indication since I know
where to find most of the incidents in either of Sayers or Tey (sometimes
after a brief hunt, and some toad has nicked my copy of *Gaudy Night* so I
can't give chapter-references for it, grrrrrrrr).  I do know that they are
seen as being very much of their period and a bit 'anyone for tennis?' ish.
Heyer seemed to me to cheat a bit, in fact one of the murderers being a
religious nutter was *exactly* the sort of 'cheating' that Sayers has
Harriet Vane and Peter Wimsey dismiss in *Strong Poison*.

Maybe some of this rambling may help you get a feel for Heyer?

Minnow





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