By September 24, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Georgette Heyer: Classic Reprints

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For years I have been hearing that Georgette Heyer is as close as we will ever come to Jane Austen. Fans of Heyer speak of her in reverant tones, and remember the first Heyer they read in their youth.

Luckily, Georgette Heyer’s classic Regencies are being republished by Sourcebooks and Harlequin Books in trade paperback editions with stylish covers.

Last week, Nancy Pearl reviewed Black Sheep on KUOW, one of Seattle’s NPR stations. The way that Nancy described delving back into Heyer’s catalog made me realize that it was high time I gave Heyer a try.

A colleague of mine who retired told me that These Old Shades was her favorite Georgette Heyer book, so that is where I have started. It is the story of a notorious rake, Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and his page, Leon, then ward, Leonie. It is a story of vengeance, family secrets and, ultimately, love. I found it a winsome and delightful diversion.

Reading Heyer for the first time, while simultaneously working on a Regency Romance display, gave me a greater appreciation for the readers who enjoy this romance genre. For one, as Nancy points out in her review, the slang of the Regency period can be quite fun and also positively quizzical.  I found a great site, “Good Ton: A resource for readers of Regency romance novels,” that includes a Regency Lexicon.

Any book group wanting a taste of Austen’s world and style, or wanting to explore the Regency period, should try some of the Heyer reprints for size. Lud! 

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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