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.

Footnotes:

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

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

59 thoughts on “Heyer’s Heroes: Immutable Romance Archetypes

  1. Until my early twenties I fervently read only folklore and fairy tales and action adventure such as those novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs and sword and sorcery fantasy such as penned by J.R.R. Tolkien. Then in my early twenties I discovered at my local library, romance novels via the somewhat risque, historical romance adventures (10 novels circa 1950) of the French heroine Angélique written by Anne and Serge Golon. Thus followed Kathleen Woodiwiss and others of that somewhat racy type. After a while I found I was reading them for the historical plots and details and skimming the risque and the racy. Not that I’m particularly prudish, mind you, I just don’t particularly enjoy reading about, (or watching onscreen) the sexual escapades of other couples.

    Then in my early twenties I stumbled onto the love of my life Georgette Heyer’s “The Grand Sophy.” Suddenly I– as a great lover of the written word–found romance novels that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, where the emphasis was on the courtship, the dialogue, the historical settings and accouterments–books, in short, where I could savor every detail.

    I had always dreamed of being a writer, and Georgette Heyer’s comedies of manners, inspired that dream. In fact the first full-length novel I ever wrote was a Regency (That is another story.) To this day when I reach for a mostly lighthearted tale that I know I will enjoy, it is invariably a Regency Romance and to that lifelong pleasure I owe the wonderful Georgette Heyer and all of the other ladies she inspired with her delightfully witty tales of courtship and romance.

    Smiles,
    Teresa

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  2. Having only recently discovered Heyer, I have to say my favourite hero so far has been Beaumaris. I love that he is the epitome of taste and style, and has so much influence in society, and yet is so quiet and unassuming in his manner and in the way he completely falls for Arabella.

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  3. Fascinating! I like both types of hero, but am probably most fond of the Mark II hero (Freddie Standen comes to mind). The interesting thing is that he’s a confirmed Mark II hero who behaves in a Mark I-like way in the final chapter. I totally cheered him on!

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  4. I cannot pick just one favorite heyero. Mine, like my favorite books, are always in a group that rotates depending on my mood. Freddy Standen is always in the top 5, but Gervase Frant, Gareth Ludlow, Vidal and about 4 others are, too!

    As far as GH herself, there are several reasons I like her so well. One is the fact that she’s a comfort read, and no matter what mood I’m in, I can always find something to enjoy on my Heyer shelf. I also like to be challenged to learn new words, which is automatic when you read Heyer. My sisters and I used to have contests to see how many Heyerisms we could use in a conversation. What’s interesting is how many we found ourselves using in everyday life!

    I envy the folks that are reading them all for the first time.

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    • My favorite Heyer novel is ‘The Grand Sophy’ and the title says it all. The hero and everyone else is in severe need of Sophy’s services. I love all her heroes and heroines, but I like the intelligent ones the most.

      And like Terri, Heyer helped me with my PSAT vocabulary since I had the luck / bad luck to discover her in our high school library right before exam time. Where else would I learn what ‘vapid’ and ‘vacuous’ meant in actual use?

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  5. Personally, my favorite Heyer heroes are the ones who switch things up a bit, who don’t fall easily into Mark I or Mark II, like Kit in False Colours, or Gilly in The Foundling. The archetypes that most heroes fall into have been used and re-used so many times since Heyer’s day, that I’m a little jaded by them. I enjoy her atypical heroes for their ability to surprise me.

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      • I’ve already bought four Heyer novels this month, thanks to the great reviews on this site. Last night I started to read Lady of Quality… It’s so nice to know that there are so many Heyer novels. It’s going to take some time to read them all, thank god!

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  6. I usually say Lord Worth, because I feel like he just unites all the cooler-than-cool elements of Georgette Heyer’s men, but after that analysis… maybe I prefer one without a temper? :) I guess I’ll go with Alverstoke, who may act like he’s a bit of a selfish jerk, but we know that’s just hiding a total softie inside

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  7. Thank you for this valuable description of the different classifications used for Heyer’s heroes! I have been looking for a good explanation of these terms (with which I previously unfamiliar), for many have used them in comments this month and my particular favorites didn’t seem to quite fit either mold. Generally I find the Mark II heroes more endearing, if less romantic, but it is these hard to classify heroes that I like the very best, my favorites being Lord Sheringham and Freddy Standen. I also love the military men, particularly Hugh Darracott and Charles Audley. Perhaps it is precisely their uniqueness amongst Heyer’s firm Mark I and Mark II heroes that makes them special in my mind.

    Some of my favorite men in Heyer’s books aren’t heroes at all but younger brothers, thoroughly endearing and up to all sorts of mischief, like Felix Merriville from Frederica. I also am totally taken with her dogs, perhaps more so than any of her human characters.

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  8. This is a very interesting article. I have to say that I’m not sure some of her heroes can be put in one of these categories mentioned. Along with the rakes and Corinthians, you have characters like Freddy (or is it FreddIE? – I can never remember) Standen and Lord “Sherry” Sherringham, who end up somewhere else altogether.

    I have to confess, as a male reader I have no great liking for rakes; my preferred hero is someone I can see being a good friend, someone I wouldn’t mind letting marry my sister. Freddy Standen certainly qualifies.

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  9. I find it hard to choose a favorite hero, there is something endearing about every one of them, whether Mark I or II or somewhere in between. I am amazed how Heyer can create a hero, that I might describe as a ‘fop’ and yet he is manly and heroic.

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  10. I like all her heroes (themes and variations!), but have a special fondeness the (seemingly) sleepy giant–such as Sir Anthony in The Masqueraders. Hugo in The Unknown Ajax is a bit in this line, too, as is Sir Tristram in The Talisman Ring.
    Heyer also has fun with her heroes in the secondary romance plots in her (contemporary) mysteries. Often they seem foppish, but turn out not to be, such as in A Blunt Instrument and Behold, Here’s Poison. Since with these books she’s not writing romances but mysteries, she can be a little more unusual with the “romantic” leads (both male and female).

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  11. I must admit I have a soft spot for Mark II type heroes – in touch with their feminine self, ie, being able to express themselves well, a good friend of the heroine, not jaded or a rake, kind and gentle etc etc. It doesn’t matter if they were titled, or a corinthian or a non parelil, all those were added bonus, that’s all. ha ha!

    I have to mention Kit of False Colours, Freddy of Cotillon, Gervase of the The Quiet Gentleman or Gareth Ludlow of Sprig Muslin as my favourite heroes. Also, I couldn’t fit Lord Carylon of Reluctant Widow as a Mark I or II, but is a mixture of two maybe? I also like the secondary male characters like Charles’ borther in The Grand Sophy or Nicky in The Reluctant Widow who are very honorable/chivalrous, funny and “fresh” in their dealings with the world and heroine in general.

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  12. Great article. I love Heyer’s heroes…whether they are Mark I or Mark II types, by the end of one of her novels she never fails to have me falling for the hero. I don’t think I can pick a fav… :)

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  13. Great discussion of Heyer’s heroes. I like both the Mark I and Mark II heroes, although secretly in my heart I love the “The brusque, savage sort with a foul temper” of the Mark I. I find the Mark II hero interesting though as at times they seem almost effeminite and to care more about their clothes than anything else. It’s always interesting when Heyer has them rise to the occasion and save the day. I don’t have one specific hero that I like above the rest, there are so many unique and interesting Heyer heroes.

    I can’t wait to read the new biography of Georgette Heyer! I’ll have to keep that on my radar for next year. Truthfully although I love her novels, I only know the barebones of her own personal story and would love to learn more.

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  14. I think my favorite are the ones who are good at everything and smart and all knowing as unrealistic as they seem. I love Lord Damerel, because he always struck me as being so nice. But I always kind of was drawn to Lord Worth from Regency Buck.

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  15. (posting again b/c i’m not sure it worked the first time)
    I usually say Lord Worth, because I feel like he just unites all the cooler-than-cool elements of Georgette Heyer’s men, but after that analysis… maybe I prefer one without a temper? :) I guess I’ll go with Alverstoke, who may act like he’s a bit of a selfish jerk, but we know that’s just hiding a total softie inside

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  16. I love Georgette Heyer! Her books are extremely well written and fun, they just draw you in and entertain from cover to cover! My favorite character is Mr. Beaumaris, because he is so calm, cool, and collected, but he is not too full of himself. I love that he talks to his dog!

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  17. I’ve just read my first Heyer novel–Lady of Quality–and my favorite character in it is Ninian. Annis is quite interesting, as is her relationship with Oliver, but Ninian had such a good heart that I couldn’t help developing a soft spot for him.

    Two things intrigued me about Heyer in the book. First, I was surprised and impressed that she had Annis and Oliver speak so frankly about his past romantic exploits. It was a nice dose of realism. Also, I’m quite interested in the way Heyer combines elements of screwball comedy with more Austenesque comedy of manners.

    I can’t wait to read more Heyer novels.

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    • Thank you, Lucy Warriner, you described it for me: I really enjoy “the way Heyer combines elements of screwball comedy with more Austenesque comedy of manners.” She takes me away from the everyday world, AND she entertains me and makes me laugh; what more could I ask for in a novel?

      Thank you, too, Laurel Ann, for the hero-description excerpts from the “Teach Me Tonight” blog. A very informative and enjoyable posting. Also, thank you for a VERY enjoyable month of “Celebrating Georgette Heyer.” It has gone MUCH too quickly. You’re the best!

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  18. I like reading about Mark I heroes, but will probably go for a Mark II in RL! =D

    Favorite Heyero: the one pictured in this post – Sylvester, the Duke of Salford! He’s a bored and cynical man who gets taken off his high horse by Phoebe, who doesn’t even like him and runs away from him initially. This ‘pride goes before the fall’ transformation of Sylvester, who realizes his folly and eats humble pie, is what enchanted me.

    But what I really love about Heyer’s writing is her meticulously researched details, sparkling dialogues, and very memorable secondary characters — those that remind me of people in real life! ;-P

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  19. Nice article. I am glad for the expansion beyond the Mark I and Mark II to the “antiheroes” like Freddy and Gilly, and the military men like John Staples and Hugo–the latter two categories are my favorites!!

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  20. interesting how many people have rated Freddy as my favorite–also mine! Because he’s always the gentleman but does rescue people and like “wisewoman” above said–he gets to act like a Mark I hero @ the end!

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  21. I am very new to Heyer. It is hard for me to name a favorite hero since I have only read Arabella but I really, really enjoyed Beaumaris. I am looking forward to reading more of her books and maybe then I will find a true favorite. Thank you for a great event and for introducing me to a new author.

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  22. Oh Laurel Ann, this is tough! – the distinctions that Heyer made in her heroes [and heroines!] makes it all appear as such a formula, when indeed she took that “formula” and brought each and every one of her characters to such life that we can recall the names and plots and settings and language with ease. I confess to being a hopeless romantic, so the Mark I type, the “brusque, savage sort with a foul temper”, so modeled after Mr. Rochester of Jane Eyre [and Mr. Darcy as he first appears] always grabs me – the hope that the love of a good woman will redeem him – those books where the hero is such and the heroine NOT a “green girl” are my favorites: Max Ravenscar in Faro’s Daughter [my first Heyer and remains my favorite mostly for that “virgin” experience reading it!]; Lord Alverstoke in Frederica, so bored and bad tempered, Lord Damerel in Venetia [I agree with you here Laurel Ann – he is perfect!], Miles Caverleigh in Black Sheep, Lord Rotherham in Bath Tangle, etc – I love all these fellows, because we still, despite extreme feminist sensibilities, want to be dragged off to the cave – and so also the strong women in these novels work best for me – but we ARE talking romance novels after all! – when one thinks of Real Life, I don’t want one of those Mark I sorts, or the Mark II feminist dandies, but the realistic, softer-spoken strong type who appear regularly in Heyer – Gervase Frant in The Quiet Gentleman, and Hugo Darracott in The Unknown Ajax [currently listening to this – it is delightful! and so for this very moment, the Major is my first choice!] –

    I recall once standing in line in the Ladies Room at a JASNA AGM – the theme was Austen’s Men and everyone had on their nametag their favorite male hero [mine of course being Capt. Wentworth] – there was a woman in line who had “Willoughby” on her tag and a few women expressed horror and disbelief that one would CHOOSE such a rake – and suddenly a woman who was in the stall hollered out “I have a ‘Darcy’ at home; I would like a ‘Willoughby’ on the side!” – several of the older ladies were sent into near swoons – but most of us understood! – and so indeed, when forced to choose a Heyer Hero, can’t I have TWO please?

    [and I love everyone’s comments! – to see the very different takes on each book – thank you Laurel Ann for this very delightful month of Heyer – whatever shall we do come tomorrow?!]

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    • You are welcome Deb. I love your wanting two heroes in your household! I am glad you had a great time. Thank you again for your wonderful reviews and insights. You always add so much to the conversation.

      Cheers, Laurel Ann

      “‘My idea of good company, Mr Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” Persuasion, by Jane Austen – Ch. 16

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  23. Sadly I have not been able to participate in the GH event as much as I wanted to this summer as life got in the way. But I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts this month even if I haven’t commented on the majority of them.

    I was telling a friend the other day about GH and she said she heard about her recently from a friend of a friend who was doing a month long blog book review – hence YOUR BLOG! Ha Ha Small world isn’t it!

    Have a great day!

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    • Hey Janeen, we have missed you, but I’m glad that you made it for the last day! I hope you can read back through the reviews this next week and post comments. The giveaways end 09/06 so you could still be a lucky winner and be enticed into reading a Heyer novel! They are great.

      Cheers, Laurel Ann

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  24. Interesting thoughts on the Heyer hero types! The great thing is how unique they all are even if they are “types.”

    To choose just one is daunting indeed. My first Hero was Mr. Beaumaris, but I’ve recently swooned over Sylvester and Vidal and I utterly adore Lord Sherry. I am planning to read Cotillion soon, so I am sure to fall for Freddy next!

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  25. I’m looking forward to reading the new bio of GH coming. I read the other one, ordered from England, but will definitely read the new one! Your review has just piqued me more!

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  26. What intrigues me most about Georgette Heyer is how she managed to write so many wonderful books! I admire the variety in her plots, characters, and settings. The amount of historical research she put into her books also shines through in the details. I also admire the humor to be found in her stories. I’ve had several laugh out loud moments when reading Heyer novels, something that is pretty rare for me.

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  27. Please, please say it isn’t so. This wonderful Heyer celebration cannot be coming to its end. I have so thoroughly enjoyed this immersion and introduction into Heyer’s world. I will sadly miss checking in every few days to see what book review or exploration into Heyer awaited me and to read all the amazing comments, mostly from people who have already read and enjoyed her work, those who have recently discovered her along with a sprinkling of others, like me, who are ready for their first foray. I also want to say what a lovely job Laurel Ann and all the contributors have done.

    You already had me convinced within the first few days of this event to take the plunge but now it has exceeded that. I am excited to discover my favorite hero – Mark I or Mark II, heroine, and villain. I am ready to steep myself in Regency splendor and manners, to be enmeshed in sparkling conversation and slang with a touch of biting humor, to hear witty, clever banter. I want to be surrounded by soft, gauzy muslin fabric and fluttering ribbons and to be tempted by a well turned cravat, high leather boots and swirling cape. I want to never make the mistake of associating Georgette Heyer with the standard light, fluffy romance of no substance and no historical merit again. I mostly look forward to a comfortable escape with characters I don’t ever want to leave.

    I am very sad to see this all coming to an end but I am thrilled to have truly discovered Georgette Heyer and to have my misconceptions and previous judgements tossed out the window.

    Thank you,
    Dawn

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    • Thanks for your kind words Dawn. They made all the hard work and long hours to pull this off worth it. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Now, what is your next Heyer novel to read?

      Cheers, Laurel Ann

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  28. I’m with Janeite Deb – I’d like two or three (not necessarily messing up my house tho – unless I can have a large mansion and a staff of 20!!)

    But I think my favourite (at this moment) is Hugo.

    I have loved every minute of this month’s celebration of GH – thank you so much!

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  29. As an avid reader and loyal adherent of Georgette Heyer’s novels, I would have to say that my favorite hero is the one from my favorite book- Sylvester. Why is he my favorite? Hmm. Well, I don’t fully agree with the Mark I/Mark II analysis of Heyer’s heroes, because I can think of several who really don’t fit into either category, but that’s a good way of breaking down why I love Sylvester. He’s not a Mark I (a.k.a., a bit of a jerk- even though we still swoon over them, let’s be honest). He’s a truly decent, kind human being with good morals who behaves nicely towards everyone, not just towards the one he loves (read: Devil’s Cub, Frederica, Regency Buck, Venetia). At the same time, we can really respect him- he’s not spineless or slightly wimpy like some of the other Mark IIs- he’s got strong opinions, is intelligent, can boss people around and take charge of a situation…

    Or maybe I just love him because he’s a duke :)

    Why do we love Georgette Heyer? That question can’t be answered in a comment on a blog; a love this deep requires really intense introspection. (that was only slightly facetious).

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  30. For me picking a favorite Heyer novel or hero is like picking one meal that you would want to eat for the rest of your life– impossible because it all depends on what you’re in the mood for. That being said, I always seem to have a soft spot for Damarel, probably because of his ability to spontaneously spout quotes of literature in his battle of the wits with Venetia.

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  31. Say it ain’t really over! This month has been a wonderful restoration of memories long over-written by other reading.

    For me the single biggest draw in a hero is competence. Thus the military heroes are all on my favourites list, especially Hugo, Gervase, Charles Audley (yes, I know he’s not technically The Hero in his appearances).

    The civilian men-about-town of similar stamp, who see more than they let on, and can manipulate events to their liking: Gareth Ludlow, Alverstoke (who meets his match in the Merrivales), Waldo, Kit, Carlyon.

    And then there are the nearly omniscient Worth and Avon…. ahh…

    The list of my favourite heroes is lengthy. How could I pick just one?

    Simpler to list the ones who don’t tremendously appeal, mainly those whose temper is untempered by brilliance in other arenas: Ivo, Calverleigh, and Vidal (heresy, but if he wasn’t Avon’s son I’d have no time for him at all).

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    • “Charles Audley (yes, I know he’s not technically The Hero in his appearances).”

      I’d agree that he’s not the hero of Regency Buck, but wouldn’t he count as the hero of An Infamous Army?

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      • I guess… but it’s really more of an ensemble piece. Audley, as with all the other familiar characters, is in a sense overshadowed for me by the movements of the army and vast scale of the looming war.

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        • I see what you mean.

          It’s strange, but despite the amount of detail Heyer gives about Waterloo, I suppose what makes me feel that Babs and Charles’s relationship is at the centre of the novel is that it seemed to me that the uncertainty of the pre-battle period mirrored the volatility of Babs’ behaviour, and the battle itself gives her a chance to show her true worth and forces her to recognise what’s really important to her. Somehow I felt that the emotional connection the reader has is to Babs, and that when reading the novel our feelings about the battle are chanelled through her. Obviously, though, that may be an idiosyncratic reading on my part.

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  32. When listing the reasons I love Heyer–and so many other regencies–I forgot to list my favorite Heyer heroes. It is a difficult choice as best, and one that probably changed as I reached different stages in my own life. However, there are two that I could probably agree on at any given time.

    Maria F listed “the seemingly) sleepy giant–such as Sir Anthony in The Masqueraders” and I would have to agree with him as my number one choice, and oddly enough, the Duke of Avon from both these Old Shades & The Devil’s Cub for my second choice.

    There is something intriguing about a man who is so casual about being manly, and also about a man who is so casual about being in charge.

    Smiles,
    Teresa

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  33. I don’t think I’ve read enough Heyer to really say which hero is my favorite. But I love Miles Caverleigh’s calm and witty character and admired Freddy Stanton’s matter-of-fact practicality.

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  34. Good God! I love them all! I can not help it. But if I have to, I can not help but put a word in for Sylvestr. And of course, we all love Alverstoke. Oh! and how about Avon?! Avon would do for me ;-).
    But I do believe that Heyer´s heroines are perfection. Where would World be without women like Grand Sophy or Arabella?

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  35. How many classifications!!! I usually use the type I and type II or alpha and beta, but only taking into account their tempers or personalities.

    As I have mentioned before, my top favourite would be Alverstoke, but then, there is also Kit. In general, my vote woud go to anyone who can be competent, who can manage in a crisis, which most Heyer heroes are quite capable, even Freddy, one of the most unlikeliest, yet quite endearing too. In addition, could I add Vidal, Hugo, the gigantic Sir Anthony, and Capt. Charles Audley?

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  36. My love of Georgette Heyer began here with a review of The Grand Sophy. I have read many since and loved them all.
    As to a favorite hero, who can pick just one? For me, Lord Damerel and Beaumaris would be at the top of the list.
    Freddy Standen seems to have quite a following on this thread so I guess I will read Cotillion next.
    This has been a great event!

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  37. I’ve been reading Heyer since the 1970s and never tire of the books. What intrigues me the most is how she can draw me so completely into the world she is portraying. She has such knowledge of the details, and I love the cant and the slang (former language major here). I probably like Lord Dameral the best-a rake who is intelligent!

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  38. Pingback: Carbon Copy Companion Reading II (or is everything a vague reflection of GEORGETTE HEYER??) | Blue Castle Considerations

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