Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guest Post by Aarti - A Self Confessed Heyer Addict!

We are very pleased to have our first guest post from Aarti who blogs at BookLust. Don't forget if you would like to do a guest post for Heyer Season just let us know, and you will go into the draw to win the Heyer book of your choice!

First of all- thank you to Historical Tapestry for inviting me to be a guest blogger! What an honor. And to blog about my favorite author? Even better! I am thrilled with the opportunity. Georgette Heyer has been such a huge presence in my historical fiction reading life since I first started reading her that I can't really determine whether I like Heyer because I have always enjoyed historical fiction, or whether I like historical fiction because I was introduced to it by Georgette Heyer. Either way- I'm glad it's all worked out the way it has.

My first Georgette Heyer book was The Nonesuch. I was probably about seventeen when I read it. I loved Sir Waldo and his sense of humor and his charitable works. I thought Ancilla was the perfect match for him. I thought the secondary characters, all village busybodies who gossiped about anyone around them, were so fleshed out that I could imagine exactly what a conversation involving two of them would be. I loved the setting, and the descriptions of the clothing and the carriages and the horses. But, I admit... mostly, I loved Sir Waldo.

From then, I was hooked. I went to the library and got a few more Heyers. Then a few more- luckily, the local library was well-stocked. I went through a dozen, from These Old Shades to The Reluctant Widow, from The Talisman Ring to Black Sheep. I started purchasing them soon after. It is Georgette Heyer, even more than Jane Austen, that got me on my unending obsession with Georgian and Regency era England- I now purchase pretty much every non-fiction book relating to that era I come across. I went to my semester abroad in London armed with a list of sights to see, from Brighton Pavillion to Rotten Row, Bond Street, Hatchard's book store, Grosvenor Square- everywhere. I visited any sight remotely connected to the Regency era. Georgette Heyer has an entire shelf (and a little bit more) of prime space on my bookshelf devoted solely to her novels. She is one of the few authors whose books I will read and re-read, over and over. If I see one of her books at a used bookstore, I buy it, even if I already own it. I often think that, had I just lived two hundred years earlier, in an aristocratic London populated by her characters, I would never be bored.

I'm pretty much a Heyer addict, to put it mildly.

Georgette Heyer has obvious appeal for teenage readers- her books (I am focusing on the Regencies, since I have not read many of her mysteries or her novels set in non-Regency eras) are full of dashing heroes, adventure, marriageable ladies and, of course, true, pure love. But she has much to offer readers as they grow older as well. Her heroes are dashing, yes- but they often have flaws (usually excessive pride and arrogance). Her ladies are marriageable, but they are refreshingly not always beautiful or helpless- they are often witty and self-reliant and perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. And the dialogue- Heyer makes me laugh out loud. She is simply a pleasure to read. Some of her characters have so much chemistry that they literally sizzle. Charles and Sophy in The Grand Sophy are an example of this. Dominic and Mary in Devil's Cub. Some of the matchings are more mature, and based on real friendship and comfort in each other- Tristram and Sarah in The Talisman Ring, or Miles and Abby in Black Sheep. Some of the pairings help each character grow into a better person, such as happens in Sylvester, Cotillion and Friday's Child.

I would try to name a favorite, but I don't think I really can. I love all the ones for which I have name-dropped throughout my post above. I am sure I'm also forgetting some of my favorites. If you are new to Heyer- welcome. I envy anyone their first reading of The Unknown Ajax (there's another name I'm dropping!). If you have read Heyer before, I hope Historical Tapestry's focus on her novels will move you to re-read her books. I know it is doing so for me. The only trouble now is to choose which one...


  1. Regencies aren't my favorite genre, but Heyer sounds like fun!

  2. Hello! Thanks for your take on "Georgette Heyer Season!" She sounds like she was quite a lady and prolific writer. I am enjoying learning about her. Thanks,Cindi

  3. I'm glad, Cindi- let me know if you want any recommendations. I'm a huge fan (obviously).

  4. You did one of my favorite authors justice! I've loved Georgette Heyer's books ever since I came across them in my libary back in my teens.

    Her mysteries are just as fun to read. I think what I truly love is that all her characters come across as folks you could possibly run into today, if the speech is a bit different, they're fully fleshed out.