Thursday, March 18, 2010

Georgette Heyer Poll Results & Classics Circuit Check Up

So 75% of participants in my little poll enthusiastically exclaimed, "Oh yes! Please oh please provide Heyer reviews!" Ask and you will receive. As I do with Austen inspired fiction, I will review the Heyer's books that I enjoy as I peruse them. The problem is that I've already read several very good selections, so I think I will need to go back and at least briefly describe the very best. I will start by mentioning my two favorites, both Regency romances. For those of you who haven't been there before,, "the definitive fan website for Georgette Heyer", provides excerpts from all of her books, quite useful in navigating (and remembering!) all of this prolific lady's work.

I think my favorite book so far is Friday's Child, a remarkable thing considering the incredible shallowness and one dimensionality of Lord Sheringham and Miss Hero Wantage, the main characters. I love that this is a tale that begins with a marriage rather than ending with one. The foolhardy couple mentioned above decide to marry under most exceptional, hasty, and unpromising circumstances, engage in a totally ridiculous and most improper series of escapades, and eventually find perfect happiness in their silly selves. The plot and dialogue are absolutely hysterical, our heroes admirably supported in their absurdity by a cast of equally inane supporting characters. This is the first Heyer book I read aloud with my husband, immediately after finishing it myself, and the one that made him open to more. We laughed from beginning to end, thoroughly enjoying this vicarious romp through Regency London.

Not everyone was so charmed. Read The Classics Circuit reviews by Sparks' Notes sasha & the silverfish, and Reading, Writing and Retirement.
Cotillion is also great fun. The characters, though also not brilliant, are far more personally endearing that those of Friday's Child and engage in a similarly ridiculous and equally charming plot. Kitty Charing has been put in the awkward circumstance of having to marry one of her cousins or forsake any inheritance. One of said cousins is the Honorable Freddy Standen, whom she convinces to fake an engagement, giving her the freedom to kick up a lark in London (for who knows what the future may bring) and attempt to entice the cousin she really wants, Captain Jack Westruther, to ask for her hand. The result is a cacophony of secrets and intrigues that remarkably work themselves into a satisfying conclusion. Mr. Standen, a kindhearted but vacant man of impeccable ton, is shockingly endearing, as is another hapless cousin, Lord Dolphinton, though for very different reasons.
Read the Carol's Notebook review for The Classics Circuit.
Several other Regency romances that I enjoyed are being featured in this month's Classics Circuit. Here are links to reviews of other books that I particularly liked (I will add to this list as the Circuit progresses - last updated 4/7/10):

Yes, Frederica and The Grand Sophy were popular picks for good reason. Also, you can visit my review of Black Sheep, which was wonderful (the book I mean, not my review, which I am only willing to deem adequate), right here.

Above image borrowed from Historical Tapestry.


  1. I love Heyer! I just finished Devil's Cub. I think my fav Heyer so far is Frederica.

  2. Hi Naida. Devil's Cub was fun, but I preferred it's predecessor, These Old Shades, about the Duke of Avon and Leonie.