Georgette 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.
Comments on Georgette Heyer
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.
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.