Announcing the Celebrating Georgette Heyer Giveaway Winners!

Without further ado – here are all of the giveaway winners in the Celebrating Georgette Heyer event in August, 2010

Day 01   Aug 01 – Review: Georgette Heyer’s Regency World

Melly S., librarypat, Alexa Adams, Elizabeth, and RegencyRomantic

Day 02   Aug 02 – Review: The Black Moth


Day 02   Aug 02 – Review: Powder and Patch


Day 03   Aug 04 – Review: These Old Shades

Sandra J.

Day 03   Aug 04 – Review: The Masqueraders


Day 04   Aug 06 – Review: Devil’s Cub

Lady T.

Day 04   Aug 06 – Review: The Convenient Marriage (Naxos AudioBooks)

Jennrenee, Meredith, and Felicia J.

Day 05   Aug 08 – Review: Regency Buck


Day 05   Aug 08 – Review: The Talisman Ring

Julee Johnson

Day 06    Aug 09 – Review: An Infamous Army


Day 06   Aug 09 – Review: The Spanish Bride


Day 07    Aug 11 – Review: The Corinthian


Day 07   Aug 11 – Review: Faro’s Daughter

Cathy Allen

Day 08    Aug 13 – Review: The Reluctant Widow


Day 08   Aug 13 – Review: The Foundling


Day 09    Aug 15 – Review: Arabella


Day 09   Aug 15 – Review: The Grand Sophy

Laura’s Reviews

Day 10   Aug 16 – Review: Friday’s Child

Bloggin BB

Day 11    Aug 18 – Review: The Quiet Gentleman


Day 11   Aug 18 – Review: Cotillion

Meredith Austenesque Reviews

Day 12   Aug 20 – Review: The Toll-Gate

Trish B.

Day 12   Aug 20 – Review: Bath Tangle

Chelsea B.

Day 13   Aug 22 – Review: Sprig Muslin


Day 13   Aug 22 – Review: April Lady

Theresa N.

Day 14   Aug 23 – Review: Sylvester


Day 14   Aug 23 – Review: Venetia


Day 15    Aug 25 – Review: The Unknown Ajax


Day 15   Aug 25 – Review: A Civil Contract

Kristen Skold

Day 16    Aug 27 – Review: The Nonesuch


Day 16   Aug 27 – Review: False Colours

Regency Romantic

Day 17    Aug 29 – Review: Frederica

QN PoohBear

Day 17   Aug 29 – Review: Black Sheep


Day 18    Aug 30 – Review: Cousin Kate


Day 18   Aug 30 – Review: Charity Girl


Day 19   Aug 31 – Review: Lady of Quality


Grand Prize winner of 34 Heyer novels is Linda B.

Congratulations to all the winners. If you could kindly email me at austenprose at verizon dot net with your full name, address and which book you won by midnight Pacific time, September 14, 2010 I would be most grateful. Please leave a comment acknowledging your win. Because of the number of prizes I will not be able to chase down the winners, so if you do not respond by the deadline, I will draw additional names again on September 15, 2010. Shipment of books to the continental US and Canada only. Digital down load on The Convenient Marriage internationally.

Many thanks to all of the bloggers who contributed reviews, and for everyone who participated. It was great fun. Enjoy the books!

‘Celebrating Georgette Heyer’ event wrap-up and poll

This marks the final post of the ‘Celebrating Georgette Heyer‘ event here at Austenprose. It has been a wonderful month of 34 book reviews of her romance novels, guest blogs, interviews and all out Heyer madness. I hope it chased away that fit of the blue-devils.

A big thank you to each of the guest reviewers. Well done. I have learned so much and enjoyed your insights. A big round of applause for Vic of Jane Austen’s World for her wonderful interview, author Helen Simonson for sharing her life-passion for Heyer, the ladies at Teach Me Tonight for their blog on Heyer Heroes and an extra shout out to Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks for her wonderful interview and their donation of the majority of the novels in the giveaways.

Remember, you have until September 6th, 2010 to get your last comments in to qualify for the giveaways and then the winners will be announced on Tuesday September 7th, 2010. Good luck to all. Whoever wins the grand prize of 34 novels is one lucky sod.

Now, one last challenge. Please vote for your top ten favorite Heyer romance novels. I know it’s a tough job to narrow it down, but it is a great way to see who is a diamond of the first water.

It’s been such fun gang. You all were a wonderful partyers and I hope you will come back and search through the reviews before you choose your next Heyer to read.

‘Celebrating Georgette Heyer’ Event Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one copy of all 34 Georgette Heyer Regency romance novels being reviewed here during the event  (YES! THAT’S RIGHT! 34 NOVELS) by leaving a comment during the event in any post during the month of August stating what intrigues you about reading a Heyer novel or who your favorite hero or heroine is by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. The grand prize winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Cheers, Laurel Ann


Celebrating Georgette Heyer   •   August 1st – 31st, 2010

Heyer’s Heroes: Immutable Romance Archetypes

As the month-long Celebrating Georgette Heyer event draws to a close, we can look back through the thirty-four reviews of Heyer’s romance novels and see a common thread through each and every one. Her heroes are epitomes, nonpareils and nonesuches. In the Regency romance genre, they are a delight to read and an archetype for a new generation of writers. Each is unique but vaguely similar. Why are they so intriguing? So compelling? So swoon worthy?

Please welcome Heyer scholars Dr. Laura Vivanco and Sarah S. G. Frantz from the Teach Me Tonight blog as they touch upon Heyer’s genius in creating her heroes, paragons of romance perfection.

Georgette Heyer put her heroes into two basic categories: the Mark I hero, who is “The brusque, savage sort with a foul temper” and the Mark II hero, who is “Suave, well-dressed, rich, and a famous whip” (Aiken-Hodge 49).1 The main distinguishing feature is presumably their tempers, since the “brusque, savage sort with a foul temper” may also be “well-dressed, rich, and a famous whip.” Lord Worth, in Regency Buck, is a case in point:

He was the epitome of a man of fashion. His beaver hat was set over black locks carefully brushed into a semblance of disorder; his cravat of starched muslin supported his chin in a series of beautiful folds; his driving-coat of drab cloth bore no less than fifteen capes, and a double row of silver buttons. Miss Taverner had to own him a very handsome creature, but found no difficulty in detesting the whole cast of his countenance. He had a look of self-consequence; his eyes, ironically surveying her from under weary lids, were the hardest she had ever seen, and betrayed no emotion but boredom. His nose was too straight for her taste. His mouth was very well-formed, firm but thin-lipped. She thought it sneered. (15)2

Another criterion by which to classify Heyer’s heroes has been provided by Kerstin Frank: how “cold” or “hot” they are emotionally. For her part, Susanne Hagemann suggests that Heyer heroes vary depending on their place of residence: “A considerable number of Heyer’s works are based on an opposition between ‘London’ and ‘non-London.’ ‘London’ and masculinity are in many cases closely linked through the person of the hero, who tends to be a prominent member of high society” (482), whereas “The protagonist of […] The Foundling is described as slightly built, delicate, pale, quiet, and diffident” (481). He is “the Most Noble Adolphus Gillespie Vernon Ware, Duke of Sale and Marquis of Ormesby; Earl of Sale; Baron Ware of Thame; Baron Ware of Stoven; and Baron Ware of Rufford” (Heyer, The Foundling 2) and he perhaps requires one to add at least one more category to Heyer’s own classification scheme, since he, like the heroes of Charity Girl, Cotillion, and Friday’s Child is neither “suave” nor “brusque.” In addition, one might have to create a small category for Heyer’s military heroes who are neither “suave” nor “brusque” but instead have a penchant for behaving in unexpectedly unconventional ways, and which would contain the heroes of Beauvallet, The Spanish Bride, The Toll Gate and The Unknown Ajax.

Heyer’s novels, and her heroes, have been so influential in shaping the modern romance genre that the heroes created by modern romance authors either fit or struggle against the molds that Heyer perfected. So the supercilious man-about-town (Worth from Regency Buck), the wild child (Vidal from Devil’s Cub), the villainous hero (Avon from These Old Shades) may all seem like immutable romance archetypes today, but they are that way because Heyer established types that appealed to the romance-reading audience to such an extent that they have been copied and revised and expanded upon in Regency and historical romances for almost a century.

Many thanks to Dr. Vivanco and Ms. Frantz for enlightening us on what makes a Heyer hero, and why they are so compelling. We all have our favorites, *cough* Lord Jasper Damerel, and I challenge anyone to dethrone him. What is your favorite Heyer hero type, Mark I or Mark II? What do you like and dislike about each of the archetypes? Of the heroes that are flawed (in your eyes) how would you improve them? And, why or how does your favorite succeed?

Dr. Laura Vivanco can generally be found blogging about romance at Teach Me Tonight. Last year she presented a paper to the first academic conference on Heyer and her most recently published essay, co-written with Kyra Kramer, can be found online in the Journal of Popular Romance Studies. It explores the relationships between romance heroes and heroines and contains numerous quotations from a range of Heyer’s novels.

Sarah S. G. Frantz is the President of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance and a professor of literature at Fayetteville State University, NC. She is the co-editor of Women Writing Men: Female Novelists and Their Male Characters, 1750-2000 (Lexington, 2009) and the forthcoming New Approaches to Popular Romance Fiction. She blogs at Dear Author and at Teach Me Tonight. She is currently writing about her life-long obsession, Alpha Male: Power and Masculinity in American Popular Romance Fiction.


1. Germaine Greer describes Worth as “a fine example of a stereotype which most heroes of romantic fiction resemble more or less” (175).

2. Jane Aiken Hodge, in her 1984 biography of Heyer, adds that If Georgette Heyer had two kinds of heroes, Mark I and Mark II, this is equally true of her heroines. The Mark I heroine is a tall young woman with a great deal of character and somewhat mannish habits who tends to dominate the plots of the books she appears in; the Mark II one is a quiet girl, bullied by her family, partly because she cannot bear scenes. When a Mark I heroine meets a Mark I hero, as in Faro’s Daughter, there will be fireworks. But Charles, in The Grand Sophy, is a Mark 1 who thinks he is a Mark II. It takes Sophy’s outrageous behaviour to bring out the Mark I in him and achieve the happy ending. (79)

  • Aiken Hodge, Jane. The Private World of Georgette Heyer. 1984. London: Arrow, 2006.
  • Greer, Germaine. The Female Eunuch. 1970. London: Paladin, 1972.
  • Hagemann, Susanne. “Gendering Places: Georgette Heyer’s Cultural Topography,” in Georgette Heyer: A Critical Retrospective. Ed. Mary Fahnestock-Thomas. Saraland, AL: PrinnyWorld, 2001. 480-492.
  • Heyer, Georgette. Regency Buck. 1958. London: Pan, 1968.
  • Heyer, Georgette. The Foundling. 1948. London: The Book Club, 1949.

A new biography of Heyer, written by Jennifer Kloester, is due to be published by Random House UK in October 2011.

Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 19 Giveaway

Enter a chance to win the grand prize of all thirty-four copies (yes, 34) of the Georgette Heyer novels being reviewed this month during the ‘Celebrating Georgette Heyer’ event by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about Georgette Heyer or who your favorite hero and why by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Upcoming event posts

Day 19   Aug 31 – Event wrap-up

Day 20   Sept 07 – Giveaway winners announced


Celebrating Georgette Heyer   •   August 1st – 31st, 2010

Lady of Quality, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

Guest review by historical romance author Elizabeth Hanbury

Lady of Quality was Georgette Heyer’s last book before her death in July 1974.  She suffered chronic ill-health in her later years and fractured her leg in a fall in January 1972.  Despite this, she began work on another book and by April had sent the outline to her agent.  Lady of Quality was published in October – an amazing achievement and a tribute to Georgette Heyer’s talent and dedication to her craft.

The heroine is Annis Wychwood and the title sums her up nicely.  Annis is twenty-nine and unmarried (an old maid in Regency terms), but she’s no dowdy spinster.  She’s intelligent, rich, beautiful, elegant and charming, with a sense of humour and an independent spirit.  She lives in Bath with an impoverished cousin, Miss Maria Farlow, as her chaperone.

The book opens with Annis travelling home with Miss Farlow after a visit to her brother and his family.  In spite of her comfortable lifestyle and independence, Annis is bored.  Her future holds no promise of excitement and the well-meaning but prosy Maria only adds to her gloom.  Unsurprisingly, then, when Annis encounters a young couple arguing beside an overturned gig, her curiosity is aroused.  She alights from her carriage to investigate and discovers orphan and heiress Lucilla Carleton is running away from home in the company of her childhood friend Ninian Elmore.  Ninian’s parents and Lucilla’s aunt have been urging them to marry, but it’s a match that neither want.

Much to the jealous Miss Farlow’s dismay, Annis invites Lucilla to stay until her affairs can be sorted.  Annis enjoys introducing her protégé to Bath society and things go smoothly until Lucilla’s uncle and guardian arrives.  Rakish Oliver Carleton is the rudest man Annis has ever met and sparks fly from their first meeting.  He’s blunt, sardonic and unheeding of society’s rules,  but he’s also honest about his flaws, makes her laugh and is never, ever boring …

Lady of Quality is a truly delightful read.   Annis is a Regency heroine that modern women can easily relate to and the way her ordered, independent life is thrown into confusion by the arrival of Oliver Carleton lies at the heart of this story.  Oliver is less well-drawn than some Heyer heroes, but I love how he is honest with Annis from the outset and treats her as an adult, and his equal.  Their sparkling exchanges are one of the highlights of the book and their mutual passion oozes off the page.  In a contemporary review, journalist Phillipa Toomey coined Evelyn Waugh’s phrase ‘the bat’s squeak of sexuality,’ to describe the frisson of sexual attraction between Annis and Oliver.

The older secondary characters are unusually interesting too.  Maria Farlow’s annoying traits are masterfully displayed (she’s up there with Mr. Collins as the most irritating secondary character ever!) and family relationships are examined with a knowing and critical eye.  A vein of realism runs beneath the light hearted surface of Heyer’s romances.

In many ways, Lady of Quality is strikingly similar to Black Sheep, but, as Toomey pointed out, ‘Did anyone ever complain of being given another pretty little present by Fabergé?’  A fitting analogy and I highly recommend Lady of Quality, the last literary gem that the inimitable Georgette bestowed on us.  Her books have entertained generations of readers and will continue to do so.  She always delivered on style, wit and elegant prose, but above all, she was a consummate storyteller, one of the few able to recreate an entire world away from everyday life into which the reader could joyfully escape.  So if you’ve never read Georgette Heyer, what are you waiting for?  Read, enjoy, then spread the Heyer love – she’s too good not to share!

Lady of Quality, by Georgette Heyer
Sourcebooks (2008)
Trade paperback (304) pages
ISBN: 978-1402210778

Elizabeth Hanbury lives in a village in the heart of England and writes historical romance whenever she can find time to sneak away to her shockingly cluttered desk.  Her introduction to Georgette Heyer came in her teens when she discovered a battered paperback edition of Devil’s Cub in the bookcase.  Reading it sparked an enduring affection for Heyer’s work as well as a wider interest in the Georgian and Regency periods.  Elizabeth’s latest Regency romance is Ice Angel and her short story collection, Midsummer Eve at Rookery End is also available.  You can follow her blog posts at Elizabeth Hanbury and For Romance Readers.

Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 19 Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one copy of Lady of Quality, by Georgette Heyer (Sourcebooks, 2008) by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about the plot or characters, or if you have read it, which is your favorite character or scene by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Upcoming event posts

Day 19   Aug 31 – Heyer Heroes, by Teach Me Tonight
Day 19   Aug 31 – Event wrap-up
Day 20   Sept 7 – Giveaway winners announced

Celebrating Georgette Heyer   •   August 1st – 31st, 2010

Charity Girl, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

Guest review by Dana Huff of Much Madness is Divinest Sense

Georgette Heyer’s novel Charity Girl, originally published in 1970, is the story of Ashley Carrington, Viscount Desford’s entanglement with Charity “Cherry” Steane. Desford’s father wishes Desford, who is approaching thirty, had married family friend Henrietta Silverdale, known affectionately as Hetta, but Desford and Hetta insist, rather too much, that they were not in love. At a party where the Lady Bugle schemes to help her daughter catch the eligible Desford, Desford spots Cherry watching the party from upstairs. He learns through conversation that Cherry is a virtual Cinderella in the Bugle household. The next day he sees her walking toward London with a suitcase, determined to run away from her Aunt Bugle. When Desford cannot persuade her to return to her aunt, he takes her to London to find her grandfather, the notoriously nasty Lord Nettlecombe, only to learn Nettlecombe is not in London. Desperate to help Cherry, Desford takes her to his friend Hetta, where the Silverdales take care of Cherry while Desford searches for Lord Nettlecombe. Tongues start wagging—why is Desford so interested in helping the girl? Can it be that he has fallen in love with a charity girl?

I have to confess myself disappointed with this novel. I know many consider one of Georgette Heyer’s strengths her facility with Regency slang, but I found much of it incomprehensible, even with my Kindle dictionary. While the language does lend authenticity to the story, it did curtail my enjoyment. I think most readers will guess the ending by the end of the first chapter, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and the fun is in how the characters will figure out what they already know. Desford spends much of the novel traipsing all over England trying to help locate Cherry’s grandfather. He’s a gentleman to be sure, but he went to an awful lot of trouble to help a girl he barely knows. Cherry is never fully fleshed out as a character. Somewhat dull and submissive, she never emerges as a likeable character in the same way as smart, kind Hetta does. However, Heyer’s most brilliantly drawn character is Cherry’s long-lost father, Wilfred Steane, who shows up late in the novel demanding Desford marry his disgraced daughter. The storyline moves mainly through dialogue, and while it wasn’t a long novel, I had a difficult time maintaining interest in the characters. However, it is a light story with a happy ending and authentic Regency period details for which Heyer is justly regarded.

Charity Girl, by Georgette Heyer
Sourcebooks (2008)
Trade paperback (282) pages
ISBN: 978-1402213502

Dana Huff teaches high school English and is currently a grad student in Instructional Technology at Virginia Tech. She lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her husband Steve and their three children. She started her blog, Much Madness is Divinest Sense, in 2004, and began focusing the blog’s content on books, reading, and book reviews in February, 2008. She also writes about education at and genealogy at Our Family History. You can also follow her on Twitter as danamhuff.

Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 18 Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one copy of Charity Girl, by Georgette Heyer (Sourcebooks, 2008) by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about the plot or characters, or if you have read it, which is your favorite character or scene by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Upcoming event posts

Day 19   Aug 31 – Review: Lady of Quality
Day 19   Aug 31 – Essay: Heyer Heroes
Day 19   Aug 31 – Event wrap-up
Day 20   Sept 07 – Giveaway winners announced

Celebrating Georgette Heyer   •   August 1st – 31st, 2010

Cousin Kate, by Georgette Heyer – A Review

Guest review by Chris of book-a-rama

Kate Malvern just lost her job as governess and is staying with her old nurse Sarah until she gets a new situation. Sarah doesn’t like the idea of her Kate, whose father was a gentleman despite being a soldier and a gambler, hiring herself out to anyone who asks. Kate lived under all kinds of circumstances all over Europe so a little hard work doesn’t bother her. Still, Sarah can’t let it go so with the help of her crusty father-in-law, Mr. Nidd, she writes to the only relative Kate is aware of, Lady Broome of Staplewood.

At first, it looks like Lady Broome, or Aunt Minerva, is an answer to Kate’s prayers, offering her a place to stay for the summer. Kate starts to feel uneasy when Aunt Minerva gives her lavish gifts. There must be a catch. Lady Broome doesn’t seem like someone willing to give something for nothing. When she offers Kate a way to pay back her generosity, involving her handsome but unstable son, Torquil, Kate knows she has to get out of Dodge. Can she enlist the help of her other cousin Philip who thinks she’s a gold digger? Or rely on her own wits to disentangle herself from Staplewood?

Every Georgette Heyer novel I read becomes my new favourite and Cousin Kate is no exception. I loved Kate right from the beginning. She’s a practical girl with a sensible head on her shoulders. Plus, she’s sassy. She can go toe to toe with Lady Broome and her machinations. She also manages to charm just about everyone in the Staplewood household. Lord Broome treats her like a daughter and Torquil is calmer in her presence. Lady Broome is sufficiently nasty without becoming cartoonish. The dialogue between Philip and Kate is the best I’ve read from Heyer yet. Their back and forth is a lot like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Philip never really gets the better of her.

Cousin Kate is a fun story with an engaging plot. I wanted to know what the deal was with Torquil and what scheme did Lady Broome have up her sleeve. A cast of engaging characters added some humour to the story. There was nice mix of suspense and romance. Of course, I was never really worried that things wouldn’t work out for Kate. This is Heyer after all!


I had written this review over a year ago. I still feel this way about Cousin Kate. Looking back, I can see that it’s a darker book than some of her others. This was one of her later works, the third last to be published before her death in 1974. Kate is fiercely independent, unwillingly to be beholden to anyone, particularly financially. Considering how Heyer tended to be in financial trouble herself often enough, I wonder if she saw herself in Kate.

I can certainly see the appeal of a strong, independent heroine to women at the time, women themselves struggling for independence in the workforce. I still count this as one of my top Heyer reads.

Cousin Kate, by Georgette Heyer
Sourcebooks (2009)
Trade paperback (384) pages
ISBN: 978-1402217685

When she’s not reading, Chris is wrangling husband, child and various pets in Nova Scotia, Canada. The 30-something blogger of book-a-rama, her most loved books are often classics. Her favorite book of all time is Jane Eyre. Chris has been sharing her thoughts on a variety of books in numerous genres on her blog since 2007. She also helps administrate the Spotlight Series blog and hosts The Daphne du Maurier Reading Challenge. You can follow her on Twitter as Chrisbookarama.

Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 18 Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one copy of Cousin Kate, by Georgette Heyer (Sourcebooks, 2009) by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about the plot or characters, or if you have read it, which is your favorite character or scene by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Upcoming event posts

Day 18   Aug 30 – Review: Charity Girl
Day 19   Aug 31 – Review: Lady of Quality
Day 19   Aug 31 – Essay: Heyer Heroes
Day 19   Aug 31 – Event wrap-up

Celebrating Georgette Heyer   •   August 1st – 31st, 2010