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What is your opinion of Georgette Heyer?

(62 Posts)
Flossieturner Sun 07-Aug-16 20:53:17

I have friends who rave over them, but I have read 4 so far, and I can't make up my mind.

DaphneBroon Sun 07-Aug-16 21:10:09

Extremely witty observer of life and attitudes in Regency England. They may look like fluffy Mills and Boon to some, but she has a trenchant wit and sense of character. Definitely a supporter of "mighty girls"!!

Jalima Sun 07-Aug-16 21:16:45

I have a couple on the bookshelf inherited from MIL but have not read one - perhaps I should!

Jane10 Sun 07-Aug-16 21:19:06

I consumed them when I was at school. Interesting to discover that Stephen Fry put Georgette Heyer books as his guilty pleasure.

merlotgran Sun 07-Aug-16 21:25:08

I read Georgette Heyer in my teens but I soon moved on to Forever Amber!

DaphneBroon Sun 07-Aug-16 21:30:46

I think the move should have been the other way! GH 's heroines are always the feisty independent women (often of independent means) and I truly think people who read them too young can write then off unfairly as historical romance.

Anya Sun 07-Aug-16 21:33:55

Just re-read all her books lately and enjoyed them just as much second-time round. Agree that her heroines are not the simpering under a parasol types.

Is that a fact about Stephen Fry then Jane

Nanabelle Sun 07-Aug-16 21:41:03

I love them too. Read loads in my younger years and still enjoy them now. I gathered a lot of social history from reading her books and think they are well written.

kittylester Sun 07-Aug-16 21:41:21

I loved them while I was at school and like merlot moved onto Forever Amber -well it was cool. I reread GH in my late teens and really enjoyed them again but from a different perspective. I think I'll give them another try.

Badenkate Sun 07-Aug-16 21:45:12

Haven't read any for a long time but I used to really enjoy them. She clearly did a lot of research on the period. I always liked the ones with a strong confident woman rather than those with more scatty heroines. My favourite was 'A Civil Contract' probably because the ugly duckling won the handsome man smile

Tegan Sun 07-Aug-16 22:02:40

Oh, I loved them too. I think The Spanish Bride was my favourite. Seemed to be a 'rite of passage' read for 1950's teenage girls. Not sure how and why I got into them. Must dip into one again.

numberplease Sun 07-Aug-16 22:17:56

I was put onto Georgette Heyer`s books at the age of 14, recommended by my English teacher, a certain Miss Jessie Wilson. I read them all by my mid teens, and loved every one.

Maggiemaybe Sun 07-Aug-16 22:45:46

I've never read any, but someone at the last meeting of my reading group suggested that we read one of hers and several faces were pulled, so we haven't. I think I'd better try one, judging from the above. Which would be the best one to start with?

Mind you, between my reading group, library reading group, GN reading group and MN reading group, I rarely seem to have time to choose a book of my own grin

annodomini Sun 07-Aug-16 23:38:54

I read them avidly in my teens. They are entertaining and give a flavour of Regency society. The books were serialised in my Mother's Woman's Journal and I had to wait until she had finished with it before I could indulge my passion for romance. Luckily she was a quick reader.

Hilltopgran Sun 07-Aug-16 23:42:08

I have been enjoying re reading these recently, and daughter enjoys them as well. They are full of humor and an easy relaxing read so a good change from more gritty novels. As others say they feature independent minded women in an age when we women had few rights.

Flossieturner Mon 08-Aug-16 07:48:26

I was recommended to start with the the Grand Sophie. It started well but lost something towards the end. I enjoyed Fredrica and Ventia. Now I am on Friday's Child. The jury is still out on this.

I am also reading Murial Spark's A far cry from Kensington which I love.

BBbevan Mon 08-Aug-16 08:28:36

Read them all in my teens but none since. Perhaps I'll read them again if they are not too old-fashioned ?

Greyduster Mon 08-Aug-16 08:42:29

I've never read any of her books. I've never been a fan of romantic fiction and the covers put me off rather. Didn't she write detective novels as well?

Jane10 Mon 08-Aug-16 09:05:02

Having read this thread I might give her another go!

Nelliemoser Mon 08-Aug-16 09:23:42

I never really got into Georgette Heyer, no good reason but I was never really interested in the Regency era.
Most of the many historical novels I read were concerned with the Plantagenets. I stopped when Henry VII came to the throne.

Icyalittle Mon 08-Aug-16 10:34:40

I loved them as a teenager and will quite happily re-read once in a while. They are not old-fashioned, except where there is the occasional unpleasant anti-semitism e.g. in The Grand Sophy. Fun, witty and very light otherwise. I also enjoyed her whodunnits, which are similar to Agatha Christie, usually set in 1950's country house society.

Jennieantliff Mon 08-Aug-16 10:36:07

I too read GH in my teens. My 4th year history teacher didn't inspire me (10% in exam), sent me to the library. I learnt more history there reading GH and Jean Plaidy than I did in her class. Sorry miss.

annifrance Mon 08-Aug-16 10:56:36

Agree Jennieantiliff - despite being at a highly academic school where GH was deplored, i learned very little history there, but GH, Jean Plaidy and Anya Seton were a mine of information. Loved her books when I was about 14, must try them again and see how they have stood up to time.

amber22 Mon 08-Aug-16 10:57:37

Friday's Child isn't one of her best, but I've enjoyed all of her Regency novels that I've tried; authentic (I think) histrorical details, good characterisation and dialogue, and intersting plots. Yes, she also wrote detective novels of the Agatha Christie type, but I think she was better at the historical stuff.

Stansgran Mon 08-Aug-16 11:06:06

I started with DM' s copy of These Old Shades and read them all. I reread them feeding a non sleeping eternally hungry baby. God bless G.H. I keep meaning to try her detective series. My history teacher Miss Santer said she never minded Georgette Heyer's books because she felt they were accurate insights into social history and the materials and vocabulary I loved reading about ,but she hated having to disabuse us of Jean Plaidy's view of history.