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05 January 2009


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The Black Moth was written when Heyer was 15, which makes it less surprising that it's not the best of her novels.


Oh, really? I thought she was nineteen. Just looked it up -- it was published when she was nineteen, but I think I read somewhere that she'd written it for her brother (because he was sick?) originally, so it makes sense that she'd have written it earlier... Wow. Fifteen. More impressive than lots of other stuff out there, anyway, regardless of how it stands up to some of her other books!


It's always interesting to view the early stages of development of a writer to see how she first explored themes that she later reworked when she had come more into her power as a writer.

The Black Moth is online here.

Book Chook

I totally agree with your assessment of the Black Moth. I much preferred Justin in his incarnation as the Devil's Cub's omniscient father. I hadn't realized it was her first book, and think her characterization skills developed so much more later. Later heroines had more life and verve and we were able to enter into their thoughts more, I think.


I love reading your thoughts on Heyer - it's kind of like discovering them all over again, without the disadvantages of being 14 :)

What I find most interesting about TBM is the fact Heyer clearly looked at it later and thought to herself "you know, the villain is so much more attractive than the hero ... *right*" and things went on from there :)


Margaret: Thanks for that link!

Book Chook: If you haven't read These Old Shades, you should! Lots more Justin in that one.

Kyra: Yeah, I find it so interesting that she went back and revisited the characters. At some point I'd like to read them back-to-back -- I'm sure that the similarites would be even more apparent. It's interesting, too, that I didn't find Tracy attractive at all, whereas I was, like, head-over-heels in love with Justin.

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