Friday, May 7, 2010

Hey There, Georgie Girl! (Part III)

I really, really meant it when I said that my library has a lot of Georgette Heyer novels. Really.

Arabella. I adored the details that went into making over her mother's old clothes into new dresses for Arabella to wear to London (I wonder if they would smell musty or like mothballs?). On her way to London, the lovely Arabella takes temporary refuge in Mr. Beauvaris' house while waiting for the carriage to get fixed. He takes a fancy to her and his attentions make her the toast of the season...especially since eveyone but Mr. Beauvaris thinks she is a great heiress. She is not - she is a humble vicar's daughter - with a strong sense of justice. The scenes where she rescues a chimney sweep, rescues a mongrel, and wants to rescue a lass named "Leaky Peg" were all fun. (I would buy this one)
The Convenient Marriage. After a very promising beginning, this book flounders badly. I can overlook heavy eyebrows. I can overlook a stuttering heroine (although it does get a bit tiring), I can sort of overlook a seventeen year old girl marrying a thirty five year old man. I can't overlook him having a mistress - especially after marriage. I am also not very amused by the seventeen year old bride's predilection for gambling. Did I mention that her nickname is Horry? (If you want to read this, check it out from the library)

The Unknown Ajax. Adventure, smugglers, ghost stories, hidden passageways. The hero's name is Hugo - not Ajax - however, he is referred to as Ajax many times throughout the book - most often facetiously. Hugo's uncle and cousin have recently died in a boating accident - which now means that Hugo,aka"the weaver's brat", is an unwilling heir to Lord Darracott. The entire family resent his existence - even his good looking cousin Anthea, who has been told by Lord D. that he wants her to marry to boy. Hugo is fun - he pretends to be a poor yokel...when in reality he's practically a millionaire (is mother was no weaver - she was only daughter to a man who owned weaving mills) and does not need to be dependent upon a capricious grandfather. He also happened to have a good education (Harrow) and spent 10 years as a military officer. (I would buy this one at the thrift store!)

Black Sheep. When an impecunious fortune hunter goes after Abigail's niece, his black sheep Uncle Miles deftly scotches his schemes...and wins the hand of Abigail in the process. I love the ending of this book. Miles says, "My dear girl, you don't consent to an abduction! You consent to an elopement, and I knew you wouldn't do that." (Thrift store..yes. Full price. No.)

A Civil Contract. I stayed up until 1:30am reading this (I am generally asleep by 10pm or if I'm really really staying up late, 11pm). This may not be a Heyer book with universal appeal, but I really enjoyed it. Adam marries Jenny, only daughter of a very rich Cit, so that he can save the family estates. Jenny marries Adam because her father wants her to have a title. Okay, she really marries him because it's the only thing she can do for him. Jenny is plain, plump (someone says that she'll be fat by 40), no fashion sense, prosaic, and did I say plain? I'm not picturing a Betty Neels plain girl (with beautiful eyes), but really a plain, slightly chunky girl. Adam is recovering from being in love with the beautiful, ethereal, romantic Julia...who doesn't help matters in the least by swooning over him at awkward moments. (I would definitely buy this book - but I wouldn't be offended if you just check it out from your local library).

Frederica. This book definitely gives The Grand Sophy a run for its money (I might even like it a tiny bit more). Frederica has brought her 3 younger siblings to London so that her beautiful 19 year old sister Charis can have the opportunity of contracting an eligible marriage. She applies to a distant relation - Lord Alverstoke for help in presenting her sister. He agrees...but really only does so because he knows it will make his own sisters mad - they also have girls that are "coming out" - and he knows that Charis will put them in the shade. I'm not sure which part of the book I enjoyed more - his lordship falling in love, or little brother Felix's scrapes. (I would buy this one...and I might even pay retail, which is saying a lot)


  1. Barbara here--
    Love your reviews and reactions. I really enjoyed Convenient Marriage when I first read it (40+ years ago). I tried to re-read it recently and wanted to smack almost all of the characters.
    Haven't tried re-reading Civil Contract recently but I have fond memories. Frederica and Black Sheep are on my favorites shelf and get re-read often. Let's hear it for restorative pork jelly!

  2. My husband was looking for a book to take on vacation with us this past week so I handed him my library copy of Frederica. Not his usual kind of read, but I think he is enjoying it. (I do have to translate some terms for him)I'm looking forward to him finishing it so that I can get a man's perspective.