My Photo

Bookish Places


Blog powered by Typepad

« The Last Enemy by Grace Brophy | Main | Smelly in the Stacks »



So nice to find you're also addicted to Georgette Heyer. Although I've found her mysteries and straight historical fiction (believe there was only one of these) to be o.k., my real passion is for her Regency Romances, most of which I've read many, many times. To me they're an almost perfect combination of witty dialogue and amusing situations, with enough depth to the characters to get you engaged in their frequently ridiculous and very funny situations. I think her novels hold up so well because Heyer was so exacting in her historical research---her descriptions of uniforms, social customs and slang are based on very exacting historical research and are quite accurate. I think of her Regency Romances as little souffles--very light, airy and delicious treats that could only be the product of a great deal of talent and technique!

P.S My own favorites, In addition to Sylvester, are The Black Sheep and Bath Tangle. I look forward to your posting on the last.


Janakay--Unlike so many other readers I only discovered Heyer a few years ago, so I am now making my way through her books. I have yet to read any of her mysteries, but I did read An Infamous Army (is that one of her historicals?). I love the Regency novels best, too. She is fun--her books are well written and impeccably researched--they are so easy to lose yourself in. They are my reliable go to books when I need some good fun escapism! Glad to hear you like Bath Tangle so much--something to look forward to--I've only just started it today. I will have to check out The Black Sheep as well--that's one I don't own. I always love hearing which books are other readers favorites!


I came to Georgette Heyer only a couple of year ago - I'd always thought they might be a bit of fluff - but they completely blew me away with the writing, settings, characterisation and historical detail. I'm hooked now. I've not read Sylvester - on the list now!


In your top three? That's high praise, I presume. I still have to read her and will, one day but every time someone writes about her (I wrote this before) I discover another title as every read has a favourite. I'll keep this one in mind in any case.


Delighted you've now read Sylvester and thrilled to bits that it makes your top three. It makes mine too and is probably my favourite although Frederica and The Black Sheep give it a good run for its money. Lovely review.


I always thought Sylvester was the best of the rakes!


I read all of Heyer except one or two of the historical novels more than 30 years ago... and still have virtually all of them in my library available whenever I need comfort food between the covers of a book. I have started replacing some with these nifty new editions that have come out.

I don't know if you know that some of the books are linked by certain characters (i.e. These Old Shades, Devil's Cub, Regency Buck and An Infamous Army). These latter are among my favorites of Heyer's books along with Black Sheep, Venetia, Frederica, and The Grand Sophy. And The Nonesuch.

Your blog is a good read -- I'm looking forward to reading more of your postings.

Claire - The Captive Reader

I love Sylvester and I love Phoebe, but, most of all, I adore the secondary characters in Sylvester. The steadfast Tom is a brick and who could be more delightfully silly than Sir Nugent Fotherby? I've lost count of how many times I've read this - it is definitely one of my favourite Heyer novels (alongside The Grand Sophy and A Civil Contract). Most recently, I listened to the Naxos audiobook read by Richard Armitage. I'm not usually a big fan of audio books, but bringing Richard Armitage and Georgette Heyer together? Inspired.


Ranks in the top three? That speaks pretty well for it. I really do need to get around to reading Heyer one of these days. You make her sound like such fun!



Desperate Reader

This would be in my top 3 as well along with Devils Cub and The Talisman Ring. Lovely review, I want to pull it of the shelf now.


I only read my first Heyer last year--The Civil Contract, which I liked very much. I did grab a couple (Cotillion and The Foundling) at the Borders liquidation, and I'm looking forward to giving those a try (although I see no one here has listed them as favorites).


Bibliolathas--Even though her stories are very much on the light side, I think Heyer took her writing very seriously and was particular about getting details right.
Caroline--I've read about a dozen now. There was only one I didn't really like, but they are very enjoyable as easy, escapist reads. I think everyone has a different favorite!
Cath--Thanks! I have yet to read Frederica, but it is on my pile. Now that a few people have mentioned it I will be adding The Black Sheep to my list of 'wants' as well.
Mystica--Sylvester is an attractive rake, isn't he?! So self assured and condescending but....
AJ--I'm sorry it took me so long to discover Heyer, but am happy that I finally did. I am slowly making my way through her novels. I haven't yet read any mysteries, but find I love her Regencies! I also love these new editions that Sourcebooks is putting out. I didn't realize that some of the same characters reappear in other novels. Of your list I have read These Old Shades and An Infamous Army and am curious which characters recur. Otherwise I haven't read any of the other books you have mentioned though I have several on hand--I very much enjoy picking a new one up every so often. Thanks for the kind words and I do hope you stop back again--always love chatting with other readers!
Claire--I agree--her secondary characters are well done here--some are just as interesting as Sylvester and Phoebe--I almost wished she and Tom would have hit it off. Sir Nugent Fotherby is such a dandy--wouldn't this one make a great movie? I had heard that Richard Armitage had narrated some of her books, but this one was abridged, so I didn't buy it--now I am contemplating listening to it anyway as I love RA! :) Yes, very inspired thinking!!
Stefanie--She is fun. You should pick up one of her fun romps! I think there is at least one that is in the public domain that can be loaded onto an ereader, though I have yet to read it.
Bekah--If you like the period and historical novels Georgette Heyer is easy to get hooked on.
Desperate Reader--Her books are stories I could easily revisit. I loved The Talisman Ring, too. I like her more adventurous stories--with smugglers and hidden rooms in houses and swashbuckling getaways...Very fun.
Teresa-A Civil Contract is one of my favorites! I also bought a couple at the Borders sale--romance books were 30% off when everything else was only 10%...I have read both Cotillion and The Foundling (wrote about them, too--posts in my archives) and enjoyed them--but she has so many books I like a few of her others just a bit more. I have only read one Heyer that I didn't like. Some books are probably a bit better than others, but as good escapist fiction you can't almost beat her books.

Karen K.

I know what you mean, I don't think anyone can replace Jane. I had a library patron today that had read (or maybe watched) Sense & Sensibility and asked What was the name of that other book she wrote?" !!!

I tried not to look aghast, and luckily, we had copies of all the other books. She walked away with P&P and Northanger Abbey. Best part of my day, actually!



The connection between the characters in those two books is only really clear if you read Devil's Cub and Regency Buck, particularly the former. I just remember being delighted when the pair from These Old Shades turned up in Devil's Cub and then the pair from the latter turned up in An Infamous Army (I won't give away the connection as it was fun to be surprised by it).

Speaking of film versions -- as I think someone was -- I love Austen as much as the next person -- but in my lifetime (I am not THAT old but still) Masterpiece Theatre has done three different complete series of Austen and three different series of Miss Marple, and yet no Heyer novels. Her mysteries in particular seem to be right up the PBS alley.

And while I am apparently on a mini-rant, why have they only filmed one (I think) Josephine Tey mystery.
I think she only wrote maybe 8 or 9 books, but she was great. Anyway ... sorry ... rambling off track.

Dorothy W.

This sounds like so much fun. The Pride and Prejudice story is such a great one, that it only makes sense that other writers would want to tell their own versions of it.


I think inevitably Heyer is quite different from Austen. Austen is more like a contemporary Helen Fielding because she's writing about her contemporaries doing what they do. Heyer uses the regency era to escape into - like a glittering fantasy world.

Sylvester is one of my favorites - there's a Heyer for every mood! I'm all "These Old Shades" for high drama, "Frederica" for humour, "Venetia" for sheer romance (Damarel is my favorite rake), "Bath Tangle" and "the Grand Sophy" for great fights, "Cotillion" for wit, froth and sweetness and "Sylvester" for an unusual heroine, great tension, humour and a magnificent pair of eyebrows (my favourite feature on any romance hero, ever).

His repression meets her irrepressibility which delightful consequences. She's got a great character arc, I'm totally with her as she grows in confidence and devastated when they have the awful row on the dancefloor and she faces social ruin. It's heartbreaking!

I think what I most love about Heyer heros and heroines are their imperfections. Phoebe is a great example, not that pretty, clever but hot-headed with front but no confidence and a great capacity for friendship.

Got to agree with the other comments though, the secondary characters are what makes this great. Tom, Sir Nugent and the little nephew make for a great interplay. I love the scene where Sir Nugent's boots are mangled!


I must read more Heyer. Haven't picked up one of her books in a while but I should remedy that. This sounds so fun.


Karen--How does someone go through life not knowing all about Jane Austen? :) It is nice when you can give a patron what they are looking for--especially when it is something so good as Jane! They are in for a treat if they are just discovering her.
AJ--I'll add those books to my wishlist! It's fun when characters show up again in other novels. I think Georgette Heyer's novels would be great fun made into movies--such a great period to film and wonderful stories too. I agree with you on Josephine Tey's books as well--hadn't thought about those but they would also make great films. Rant away as I totally agree with you! :)
Dorothy--Georgette Heyer's books have been great right now as her books are sometimes all I can manage lately. This one was fun. I wonder how many writers and filmmakers have been inspired by P&P? Loads I bet.
Margaret--Thanks for the clarification--very right, and I've slightly changed my post so as not to give the wrong information to anyone stopping by. I've just started Bath Tangle and your description is very fitting! I have lots more great Heyer novels to look forward to, I see. She does do great characters--a few staples that seem to show up over and over, but they still have their own quirks and personalities. And yes Sir Nugent was a funny character--such a dandy with his boots.
Iliana--I seem to read a few every year and am slowly making my way through them. She wrote so many I think I'll have plenty to work on for a while!

Liz F

I haven't read a Heyer for a very long time but your post makes me want to get one now this minute!

My favourites, and they must have impressed me if I can recall them after 20-plus years, were Bath Tangle and Arabella so I will have to see if I can work out where I have stored my copies.


Liz--I only recently discovered her and have been reading a few books every year--she's a good escapist author so I have a number of unread books by her on hand. I'm just starting Bath Tangle now and am enjoying it--I think I have Arabella, too! :)


What a lovely review. I read Sylvester when I was ill and it really cheered me up. Georgette Heyer on good form isn't Jane Austen, but I completely agree she's the next best thing!


Litlove--Sylvester seems to be a universally liked Heyer novel! She is good for cheering up. I will always love Austen, but Heyer has her own style, too.

Kristen M.

This is definitely in my favorites list now too after reading it last month. If I had to choose three like you did, my others are The Nonesuch and Simon the Coldheart.


Kristen--Some of the books I've read by her have faded away just a bit, but I think this one will stay with me and will definitely keep on hand for a reread. I've only read one of her historical novels--will have to check out Simon the Coldheart, and I've not read The Nonesuch yet either. It's interesting hearing which Heyer is a favorite for each reader!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019

Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017

Books Read in 2016

Books Read in 2015