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25 April 2007


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Maybe the urgers have already said this, but it was the imitator wanna-be's after Heyer (let alone the factory-produced romances like Harlequin and *their* respective imitators) that give the genre a bad name. Heyer was a Real Writer.


I went ahead and printed out a list of her books. I'm excited to see how many more I have to read!


oh but there are LOTS of real writers in romance, even in series romances! Of course there are also some real duds, too--but there are duds in every genre.

If you like the Georgette Heyer, you should also look for the Eva Ibbotson romance novels that were published originally as adult romances but are being reissued in a new YA package by Puffin/Speak. A Countess Below Stairs is VERY Heyer.


I read masses of Heyer's Regency Romances when I was in high school and college. (I know I read The Grand Sophy.) I think they pretty much disappeared for a while, but I've been hearing about them again for the last few years. I have a couple on my TBR shelf and may try to get to one of them during the 48 Hour Book Challenge.


A Countess Below Stairs is being reissued?! Squee! (Not that I remember it as being YA, but hey, a copy is a copy).

I think Heyer has a few dud books herself, but most of them are wonderful!


Just came across this entry and couldn't resist putting forth my two cents :) My favorite, favorite Heyer book is "Venetia" - and I've read upwards of 20 of her novels. There's less of a mystery factor in that one than there is in some of her others, but it does play up the personalities and relationship of the main couple much more.
Hooray for Georgette Heyer!! :D


I like These Old Shades. And I just read Sylvester, which I quite enjoyed as well.

I do wonder why there's never been any movies, or at least a BBC miniseries. Would be much better than the endless rehashing of Austens...


I've noticed that the prices of the used copies on Amazon are high-ish (okay, I consider them high-ish -- $6 as opposed to $.99 -- so I'd assumed that a lot of them haven't been republished recently.

I'm hoping to read the Ibbotson books ASAP, and I'll be sure to mark Venetia, These Old Shades and Sylvester as Sooner Rather Than Later Reads on my list.

So happy.


I've read Sylvester, too. I don't want to get into just how long ago I was reading these books, but I will say that Heyer's historical romances seemed to disappear for a long, long time. For a while, I only heard her name in reference to mysteries, I believe set in what would have been for her contemporary times. So that may explain why you don't see film adaptations of her books.

On top of that, I don't know if she can be categorized with Jane Austen. Jane Austen wasn't writing historical novels. Some people would argue she was doing social commentary on the society of her time. I can't remember enough about Heyer's books (other than that I went through them like potato chips, sometimes reading one a night) to be able to take a stab at what she was doing beyond history and entertainment.


Oh, wow. I just noticed that Slyvester was also published as The Wicked Uncle. That one is DEFINITELY getting bumped up the list.


Look for books by Carla Kelly for a modern take on the Regency format developed so beautiful by Georgette Heyer. She pushes the Regency envelope - more sex, more intensity, more "issues" - but she has the language, humor, and history down pat. I'd start with some of her older books if you can find them, because her newest one, Beau Crusoe, is pretty graphic about a shipwreck might be like.


Have you read Indiscretion, by Jude Morgan? It's a recent Regency romance, and the first Regency-set non-Austen book I've read. It rules. Sort of what would happen if Jane Austen had written a book about a woman of that period who knew swear words.


Oh, I must go get this immediately. I lOVED The Grand Sophy!


I just noticed my 'Slyvester' typo. I think I like it better that way.

Jen Robinson

I love the Heyer romances. I've re-read most of them within the past five years or so. I find them tremendous comfort reading. They're funny, in the way that Jane Austen is funny, and you can count on things working out by the end. I'm glad that you're enjoying so far!


I just read a romance featuring the genre's most depressingly realistic wedding night (To Wed a Stranger by Edith Layton) and the back cover blurb is all about the incredible fabulosity of the wedding night. I think they pick the thing about the book that they're most afraid of (like, God forbid, a little realism or a non-dainty heroine) and then deliberately subvert it in the blurb thinking, I dunno, we'll be fooled or something. Along similar lines, Eloisa James' romance featuring a fat heroine had a model that must wear a size -4 on the cover.

The Quiet Gentleman has never been a favorite of mine, but I'll have to reread it again. Try Cotillion for some truly awesome genre-expectation-exploding fun.


There have been a few made-for-tv versions of Heyer, btw. I've never heard of one that was regarded as being very good, though. (I've been on the Heyer discussion list for years. A younger Alan Rickman is a popular fantasy casting choice. :-) )


Have there really been some adaptations of Heyer books? I heard (although it may be nonsense) that Georgette was so disgusted by a film of The Reluctant Widow in the 50s she put a ban on anyone else making a film of her novels. I believe this ban was stated in her will and her son continues to follow her wishes.

Having said that, I heard a rumour that a literary agent somewhere is trying to drum up interest in her (terrible but wonderful) mystery novels.


Yeah.. cotillion is the best. I've read all her books which I was very lucky to inherit from my granny, and it's true that the 1950s+ paperback blurbs are all dire. So are the covers. The reason they aren't films is that some company bought all the rights and can't afford the make the films- can't recall the name of the firm but I resent them anyway! I have the film of the reluctant widow and will try to post the last section on youtube that's missing currently.

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