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Posts Tagged ‘Regency’

Vivienne Fox has been left an unexpected fortune by a distant relative.  Unmarried at twenty four she is almost on the shelf by Regency standards but she hasn’t given up hope of a marriage for love.  She starts a rumour that while she has been left some money it was only really enough for her to spend a short time in London  helping to chaperone her cousin Adelaide after she has provided herself with a suitable wardrobe.

Then there’s the handsome but impoverished Earl who must marry money in order to rescue his estates from rack and ruin.  Could it be a match made in heaven?  Or at least a very convenient marriage for both of them?  But Vivienne isn’t someone who will marry for the sake of it and a life of independence, reading, writing and generally enjoying herself also seems attractive.

Georgette Heyer this isn’t but the book has marvellous dialogue. plenty of amusing incidents and some delightful – and not so delightful characters.  I particularly liked Vivienne herself as she is no simpering miss but a woman with a mind of her own.

If you want something to read which is not too taxing and which will leave you feeling all is right with the world then you may enjoy this light hearted Regency romance.  I shall be watching out for more books by this author.

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The Corinthian

This was the first book I read by Georgette Heyer and it set me on the road to a lifelong love of her books.  Sir Richard Wyndham is being pressured into marriage with someone he has known since childhood.  He doesn’t like the thought of the marriage but lacks the incentive to refuse to comply with his family’s wishes.

On the night before he is to propose he is walking back to his house slightly the worse for wear when he says what he thinks is a young man climbing out of a window. He stops the runaway falling and realises it is a young woman.  Together they decide to run away with Penelope Creed disguised as Sir Richard’s nephew.  Their adventures make entertaining and amusing reading.

This is perhaps one of the most light-hearted and engaging of Heyer’s Regency romances even though it does include stolen jewels and a murder.  The dialogue sparkles and the situations the runaways find themselves in are at times hilarious as well as dangerous.  If you want to try Georgette Heyer for the first time then this would be a good place to start.  The heroine is resourceful and engaging and the hero intelligent and not above laughing at himself.  I recommend it if you want something light-hearted with an historical background

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The Angel and the Cad: Love, Loss and Scandal in Regency England

Catherine Tylney Long inherited a fortune at a very young age.  She was  pretty and well behaved as well as being highly intelligent and determined underneath her calm and gentle exterior.  She captivated society and the newspapers when she made her come out into Regency society, even capturing the attentions of the Duke of Clarence to the extent that he proposed marriage.

Catherine’s family tried to persuade her to accept the Duke’s proposal but Catherine had fallen in love with William Wellesley Pole – a nephew of the Duke of Wellington.  William was clever and handsome but also indiscreet, manipulative and very fond of his own way.  He was for a time working in the diplomatic service but his indiscretions and tactlessness almost started a war.

Against family opposition Catherine and William married.  As was the law at the time all Catherine’s income became William’s property but her trustees managed to tie things up so that he only had a lifetime’s interest in the land and estates and he could not sell any of them. Catherine herself was given an income of eleven thousand pounds – which was a fortune at that time.  Out of that she provided annuities to her unmarried sisters.

For a while the marriage was harmonious but problems soon surfaced involving William’s infidelities and his extravagance which quickly put the couple into debt in spite of Catherine’s fortune putting her in the billionaire category by today’s standards. William had a great many advantages and could have made a parliamentary career for himself but his character seemed to prevent him settling down and making something worthwhile of his life.  Instead he indulged in all the worst excesses of the period.

The marriage broke down but that wasn’t the end of it.  William was determined to gain custody of his children even against the opposition of his uncle the Duke of Wellington.  The stress and strain of trying to keep her children safe from William caused Catherine’s early death and her children were eventually entrusted to the care of her sisters after a custody battle during which William failed to convince the court that he was a fit parent.

The court case marked a turning point in legal terms and led to the law being changed a few years later to ensure that young children could remain with their mothers in the event of divorce or separation.

This is a fascinating story which involves some of the most famous people of the period.  It is well written and as exciting as any historical novel.  It gives an idea of how women were treated by society and by the law at the time.  There are plenty of notes on sources used, a bibliography and an index.

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Georgette Heyer's Regency World

I first read Georgette Heyer’s novels over 30 years ago and I wish this book had been around then.  It makes interesting reading for anyone interested in social history as well as fans of Heyer’s novels. There are chapters on famous people of the era, newspapers and magazines, clothes, shops and books read as well as food eaten and social etiquette.

Most of the information is referenced to one or more of Heyer’s Regency novels.  The only down side as far as I am concerned is that it only covers the Regency novels and some of my particular favourites were set in the eighteenth century, but as a companion to the Regency novels alone this is excellent.

The book contains a historical timeline of events from the start of the Georgian era to the end of the Regency – which is useful.  There are also brief plot summaries of the 26 Regency novels.  I found the book revived happy memories of reading Georgette Heyer’s novels and I have gone back to re-reading them all with pleasure.  It is written in an accessible style and is very enjoyable to read – I recommend it.  I have also recently listened to the audio book edition and found it just as interesting even without being able to see the illustrations.

 

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Product Details

This is one the most light hearted of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels and one of my favourites. Sir Waldo Hawkridge inherits Broom Hall in Yorkshire. He visits the house with his cousin Julian Lindeth and both of them quickly become popular in the neighbourhood most especially with Miss Tiffany Weild and the other young ladies in the area. But Sir Waldo seems to be more interested in Tiffany’s companion Miss Ancilla Trent.

I loved the characters in this novel – Ancilla and Sir Waldo especially. Mrs Underhill, Tiffany’s aunt, is also excellent with her down to earth practicality and common sense. Tiffany herself is a monster of selfishness and probably one of Heyer’s most unpleasant female creations but she is so unaware of her behaviour that people soon realise what she’s like even though they are impressed by her looks when they first meet her.

The dialogue and the plot are as ever extremely well done and no one can match Heyer for her portrayal of the Regency period with its different manners and morals.

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Regency Gold (Love, #1)

Regency Gold by M C Beaton – originally published under the name of Marion Chesney

This is a marvellously entertaining and at times laugh out loud funny Regency romance.  Jean Lindsay has been brought up by her thoroughly unpleasant uncle.  She is invited to a fashionable ball but has to make do and mend with a dress of her late mother’s which she soon realises is completely out of fashion.  In spite of her dowdiness she attracts the attention of the handsome Marquis of Fleetwood.  Her uncle against his better judgement, finally sends her to London to her godmother to make her come out and hopefully meet a rich husband so that she will be off his hands for good.

What might seem a pretty run of the mill plot is rendered completely out of the ordinary by Jean’s tendency to daydream in any and every situation and consequently act in some very strange ways.  This leads to lots of misunderstandings and plenty of embarrassing and very funny incidents.  But there is also danger for Jean when she is about to come into an inheritance and more than one person wants her dead.  Fortunately the Marquis of Fleetwood is on hand to rescue her even though he finds her totally exasperating.

I fond myself laughing out loud at several of the scenes in this book and it really does keep you turning the pages to make sure Jean is all right. The characters are marvellous too – especially the outspoken Lady Frank and Freddie – The Marquis’s closest friend.  If you want a book to cheer you up and you enjoy Regency romances with a bit of mystery thrown in too then you may enjoy this one.

The Constant Companion (Regency Season)

The Constant Companion by M C Beaton

Miss Constance Lamberton is left destitute by the death of her aunt. She receives a letter from a distant relative – Lady Amelia Godolphin – intended for her aunt but she decides to travel to London and ask Lady Amelia to accept her as a companion in place of her aunt. Thanks to the intervention, not wholly well-meaning, of Lady Amelia’s friend, Mrs Besant, Constance becomes her companion.

But that is really only the start of a distant set of problems when she attracts the attentions of Lord Philip Caudry as Lady Amelia was hoping to marry him herself. Instead Constance marries him. It is a marriage of convenience but Constance at least is in love and when she disappears Philip realises he cares more than he thought for his bride.

This is an exciting story and involves an element of mystery and intrigue. I liked the characters especially Lord Philip’s eccentric friend, Peter Potter who always goes around in strange clothes and writes poetry. Lady Amelia and Mrs Mary Besant have to be two of the nastiest women in M C Beaton’s books, not to speak of Lord Philip’s snobbish sister, Lady Eleanor.

If you want an entertaining story with romance and a hint of mystery to curl up with on a cold winter afternoon then this book will probably fill the bill admirably.

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The Education of Miss Paterson (Regency Season)

The Education of Miss Paterson

Miss Patricia Paterson is a spoilt sixteen year old who is used to getting her own way and who spends as much time as she can flirting with any man she comes across.  She is an orphan and an heiress and has been left to the guardianship of the eligible Lord Charles Gaunt.  Sparks fly between them as soon as they meet but Lord Charles is determined that Patricia will grow up well educated and able to fit in with society so that she can make an eligible marriage.

What happens when Patricia makes her come out is entertaining and amusing reading and both characters will be changed before matters can be arranged to suit both of them.  I found myself chuckling over this story of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.  If you want a light hearted Regency romance to curl up with on a cold winter’s afternoon then you could do worse than settle for this one.

 

The Original Miss Honeyford: Regency Season 1

The Original Miss Honeyford

Miss Honoria Honeyford – Honey to her friends – is very far from being an ultra feminine female. In fact she is tough as any man and hunts, swears like a groom, carries a pistol for protection and has no time for dancing or dressing up in fine clothes. But her father has fallen upon hard times and Honey is being packed off to London to do the Season and find herself a rich husband who will help her father put his estates back in order.

Honey discovers that she actually isn’t averse to dressing up and playing the reasonably demure miss when she realises that the ton actually consider her a beauty. In any case she wants to get the better of Lord Alistair Stewart who always seems to be rescuing her from scrapes and there’s the charming Lord Channington who seems very interested in her.

This is an entertaining romp of a story where an engaging heroine strives to be what the world thinks she should be. I liked Honey – and wanted things to work out well for her. The dialogue and the situations Honey gets herself into are frequently amusing and not always predictable. If you want a light hearted book to curl up with on a cold winter’s afternoon this may well fill the bill.

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