Feb 22, 2010

The Magnificent Georgette Heyer


What I'm reading:
Hot Toy, by Jenny Crusie
Listening to: Peggy Lee Sings the Blues
Watching: Castle
What's making me smile: Walking for 3 hours along the beach yeterday!

For many historical romance readers (and writers), their love of historical romance started with reading Georgette Heyer. Obviously, not every lover of historical romance has read Georgetter Heyer -- but if they haven't, they've missed something!

Georgette Heyer established the regency romance subgenre, writing in the 1920s through to the 1970s. When she was in good form, she absolutely couldn't be beaten. Her books are marvellously written, witty, and meticulously researched.

I know that not everyone enjoys reading historicals, but let me just say that Georgette Heyer is not purely for fans of historical romance. Two years ago, I was at a fantasy writers convention in North America. As I sat waiting for someone, a woman asked me what I was reading.
'Georgette Heyer,' I replied, thinking that she wouldn't know who Heyer was. It was a fantasy convention, after all!
'Oh, I love Georgette Heyer,' the woman said. 'The Grand Sophy is my favourite.'
And then -- get this -- a man sat down with us and asked what I was reading.
'Georgette Heyer,' I said again.
'Oh, I love Georgette Heyer!' he said. 'The Grand Sophy is my favourite.'

So, as you can see, her appeal is broad! And, as you can also see, if you haven't read The Grand Sophy, you really should!

My favourite Heyers are The Grand Sophy, Arabella, Faro's Daughter, and Sylvester (or The Wicked Uncle), all of which are set in the regency period, and Devil's Cub, The Talisman Ring, and The Masqueraders, which are Georgian.

If you read Georgette Heyer, which is your favourite? And if you don't ... go out and get one!


  1. Emily,
    the love of Georgette seems universal...
    I'm slinking off now to get my hands on a Georgette Heyer LOL!

  2. Enjoy it, Mel! But do start with one of her really good ones. See if your local library or bookshop has The Grand Sophy!

  3. I write Historical and have never read her. Where have I been? About to change that fact very soon. Thanks :)

  4. Have fun, Tamara! The excellent news is that she wrote dozens of books, so once you've started, there are plenty more to read!

  5. Emily, I laughed when I read your two conversation snippets - you must have felt a bit like you'd fallen into some odd "response" warp!
    I haven't read The Grand Sophy but I can see I MUST! I've been meaning to do a Georgette Heyer historicals buying spree!

  6. The good thing is, Sharon, that they're reissuing all her books, so you should be able to find new copies fairly easily. And yes, definitely read The Grand Sophy!

  7. Reading Georgette Heyer has been on my To Do list for ages now. And finally, I have one in my TBR pile - guess which one? The Grand Sophy! I can't wait, and now you've blogged about this, I might actually move it up a little in the pile. ;)

  8. I've been reading her since the 60's when my old infants teacher lent me her hardbacks. Bliss.
    My favourites are: Cotillion, Friday's Child, The Convenient Marriage, The Unknown Ajax, Sylvester, Faro's Daughter and Devil's Cub.
    I've read them in hardback, paperback and eversion (those I can get) and now I'm collecting the audiobooks from Audible.

  9. I'll be interested to know what you think of The Grand Sophy, Rachel. It should make you laugh!

  10. Laine, you sound like a big fan of hers! She's great, isn't she? You've mentioned a couple there that I haven't read for ages -- The Unknown Ajax and Friday's Child. I must read them again!