[DWJ] Georgette Heyer books
minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sat Jan 19 15:50:39 EST 2008
>Thank you, Minnow! This is a great help.
I wish I'd had something of the kind when I was looking for Heyer in the
>I recognised a title I read and dislilked: The Quiet Gentleman. I didn't
>like the hero.
He's one of the less-successful, I think. Not a complete pain like one or
two of them, who need smacking, but not as immediately likeable as some of
>Sometimes a good heroine makes up for that. But I don't even remember this
Depending on the age you were when you read it, you might well not have
noticed her particularly. Drusilla Morville is one of Heyer's best
heroines to *me*, and the reason is that when the slightly boring Gervase
is rushing about Knowing All And Saying Nothing in the annoying way that
Heyeroes do so that Heyer can have a Grand Explanation at the end when he
Unveils The Villain and Solves The Mystery, Drusilla bites her tongue and
says nothing whatever, even though she knows as much as he does and has
worked it all out for herself. She reckons that it's not her business.
She only says what she thinks right at the end, and then she *does*, quite
suddenly. I really liked her mum, but she hardly appears.
I found it in my teens and it took me several re-reads to come to like her,
though. I didn't like *April Lady* or *A Civil Contract* either, and now I
rate them high. Well, higher than most books by other authors, anyhow.
>I wish I had read more Heyer titles, though. But what I've picked up lately
>seems to be the ones I like least.
That's a shame, because there are some lovely *bits* in all of them: minor
characters who are exactly right, or incidents that make me catch my breath
and want to howl with laughter, or turns of phrase that stick with me. It
doesn't happen so much with the actively-historical like *The Conqueror*
and *Royal Escape*, and not at all in *My Lord John*, but her later-written
books are full of observation, especially the regencies.
Looking through and trying not to remember what I read most recently (I
always like best the book I read last) I think there is a small group I'd
be sorry not to have available to pick up and re-read when I have a cold.
I've put some stars beside them below: the more stars the more I like them,
>> These Old Shades 1926 1756 *
>> Devil's Cub 1932 1780 *
These two are rescued from being rather standard stuff by the minor
characters, mostly, and a few ridiculous situations.
>> The Convenient Marriage 1934 1776 **
This is Heyer starting to subvert a bit. The heroine doesn't sit still to
be abducted by the villain: she ups and knocks him out with a poker
>> The Talisman Ring 1936 1793 **
Again, subversion: we have a Classic H/H Romance going on and being rather
ridiculous, and another couple being real people and wildly funny.
Then she started to get into her stride as far as I am concerned!
>> Faro's Daughter 1941 1795 **
>> Friday's Child 1944 1816-1817 ***
>> Arabella 1949 1817 *
>> The Grand Sophy 1950 1816 ***
>> The Quiet Gentleman 1951 1816 *
>> Cotillion 1953 1816 ***
>> The Toll-Gate 1954 1816 **
>> Bath Tangle 1955 1816 **
>> April Lady 1957 1813 *
>> Sylvester 1957 1817-18 ***
>> Venetia 1958 1818 ***
>> The Unknown Ajax 1959 1817 **
>> A Civil Contract 1961 1814-15 **
>> The Nonesuch 1962 1816/17 **
>> Frederica 1965 1818 ***
>> Black Sheep 1966 1816/17 **
Everyone's mileage on Heyer may vary, but that's how my list would go
today. Tomorrow it might be different. I reckon, though, that an author
who wrote as many as twenty books that find their way into my 'keep it'
shelves is worth knowing.
obDWJ, she has all the regencies and historicals except *The Great
Roxhythe* which she read but didn't want anyone to bother finding for her.
But I have probably said that already several times... :-)
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