Georgette Heyer 1902-1974

Georgette HeyerGeorgette Heyer’s Wikipedia entry is here

The Georgette Heyer Appreciation Society has information and links to groups and websites dedicated to her.

According to Wikipedia, she “essentially established the historical romance genre and its subgenre Regency romance”.

Many romance authors would agree, and would credit Georgette Heyer with starting their love affair with the Regency period.

 

Frederica by Georgette HeyerRegency Buck by Georgette HeyerA Civil Contract by Georgette HeyerVenetia by Georgette HeyerFaro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer

Comments on Georgette Heyer

Sophie Weston Author

From Sophie:

Georgette Heyer made an instant hit with her Georgian-set romantic adventures, written when she was still in her early twenties. Then, in 1935, she published Regency Buck and a supremely popular romantic genre was born. Its hallmark, in Heyer’s hands, was meticulous detail in matters of travel, food, social customs and, particularly, dress which was unprecedented in popular fiction. This was mixed with an ironic wit and casts of brilliantly drawn minor characters which still delight readers today.

She also wrote serious contemporary novels when young; historical novels set in other periods; and, after her husband started to practise as a barrister, mystery novels on whose plots he offered advice.

Although she may not have had the literary acclaim that some readers feel she deserves, in 2015, English Heritage honoured Georgette Heyer with a blue plaque on her birthplace in Wimbledon. Sophie helped out at the celebratory junket and her account of it is here.

 

From Joanna:Joanna Maitland, author

I came late to Georgette Heyer (as I explained in my Love Letter to The Grand Sophy) and I was instantly captivated by her characters, her twisting plots and her laugh-out-loud wit. She certainly inspired some of my own historical writing.

Heyer wrote many Georgian and Regency settings though it’s not always easy to tell exactly when a particular book is set because she gives only subtle clues, at best. She also wrote — less successfully, in my opinion — books set in other historical periods such as medieval and Stuart. She is reported to have thought that her best books were the ones that were heaviest on history, like My Lord John. Most readers, including me, would disagree.

In addition to historical romances, Heyer wrote detective novels which I have yet to explore. Are they as good as her historical romances? Or even better? We’d love to hear what you think about any of her books.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Georgette Heyer 1902-1974

  1. sarigelin

    I can always rely on Georgette Heyer to entertain and divert me, however many times I’ve read the story previously. On a recent night when sleep eluded me, I fished out The Corinthian. When drunken Sir Richard said to Pen, disguised as a boy, ‘We are now wholly committed to a life of adventure,’ I was happily joining them. Magic! and so funny.
    In all her stories there are wonderful minor characters, described by one witty remark that never fades from the memory. Thank you, Georgette Heyer, for wonderful entertainment; and, if I’m honest, for a lot of detail in so many areas that helps me with my own Regency stories.
    And one other thing: I often wonder who she based her characters on, especially for people like Mrs Scorrier or Lady Aurelia, and on the other side of the spectrum, the magnificent Gideon, for example.

    Reply
    1. Sophie

      I absolutely agree with you about wondering who inspired her characters. I’ve never forgotten the fight in The Black Moth between tortured Richard and the flighty wife he expects to leave him, when he confesses that he cheated at cards. ‘She fought on, wanting to be defeated.’ Heyer was what? seventeen? when she wrote that. How did she KNOW?
      Ah. Gideon. Be still my beating heart!

      Reply
  2. Lesley Cookman

    In a moment of procrastination – ha! – I chanced on this. I’ve got about nine of her detective novels. I had one which I bought years and years ago, but when Libby Sarjeant came into my life, I decided to dive in. Although they received praise when they were published, they are terribly mannered, as though she’s just planted early 19th C characters a hundred years later. Nowhere near as good, I fear, as her contemporaries of the Golden Age.

    Reply
    1. Joanna Post author

      Interesting, Lesley, thank you. I have ALL her historicals (including the heavy ones that are a bit much, like My Lord John) but I’ve never read any of her detective novels. Sounds as if I might be disappointed by the style and characters even if not by the plots. She was such a brilliant plotter, I can imagine that she’d do detective fiction very well.

      Reply

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