Friday's Child: Georgette Heyer Book Club Part 13

(100 Posts)
DilysPrice Wed 21-Nov-12 16:54:37

I have just finished rereading Friday's Child and I have a confession to make.

My name is Dilys Price and I have a horrible crush on George Wrotham. Like Isabella, his tousled locks and dark stormy beauty have troubled my dreams.

How can this be? I'm a good modern liberal feminist. I've never read Twilight or Shades of Grey. I have scoffed at those of you who have inexplicable feelings for Avon (red high heels? really?). I have recovered from slight wobbliness over Vidal. I can take or leave pretty much any of Heyer's heroes, but George and Isabella reduce me to a gibbering 'shippy wreck rarely seen since my teen Duranny days. If I were Hero then Sherry could whistle for my return - I'd be exploiting George's sensitive and protective nature something rotten (ignoring the unfortunate fact that since neither of them have any money it would be a disastrous match).

In my defence I'm pretty sure that Heyer has given herself licence to go full fledged romantic with George in a way that she never permits herself with her leading men. She originally planned to write a sequel featuring George - which was clearly a stupid idea, since his story has reached an entirely satisfactory conclusion at the end of FC - so I can only conclude that she also felt his rather cliched allure. And, like Darcy, he has the irresistible charm of being horribly, uncontrollably, unashamedly in love with his heroine.

Which brings me to Isabella, who is just brilliant. She's appealingly flawed (but if I were surrounded by men behaving like children, a mother insistent that I marry for rank, and my best mate snogging the man I loved I'd be pretty damn flawed as well) but so brave. Heyer heroines tend to be rebels by nature or just plain crushed. I like the novelty of Isabella, who (like me) is a conformist at heart, but who, when push comes to shove, finds the strength to break decades of training and say "No I don't care if he's a perfect match. I'm just not doing it! I'm going to marry the man I love even if he is broke." It's a Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway moment.

I also love the other minor characters in this one. Ferdy, Gil and Duke are exactly the sort of characters I read Heyer for, and here they are allowed to breathe in the way that the supporting characters in The Corinthian aren't - Friday's Child is a good 50% longer than The Corinthian or Faro's Daughter and the supporting cast really shows the benefit. Jasper Tarleton is possibly my favourite example of Heyer Type 3B - the nice, sensible, competent chap who gets caught up in the madness of a Heyer end-game, and spends his time with hmm grin confused grin shock grin expressions.

Have I forgotten anyone? Ah yes, Sherry <sigh>. He's all very well, but I think Heyer kills him for me with a scene right at the beginning, just after Sherry has had his wizard wheeze.

"...oh Sherry, it wasn't k-kind in you to put it into my mind if you d-didn't really mean it!"
The Viscount patted her shoulder in a perfunctory way, a slightly rueful grin quivering on his lips. Shatter-brained he might be, but the full implication of this artless speech was not lost on him. "Oh, lord!" he said.

It's a great scene, but the implication is that throughout the rest of the book, when Sherry is behaving like a bit of a bastard to Hero and all his friends are trying tactfully to let him know that this is cruel because she is actually in love with him, Sherry is perfectly well aware how much she loves him, and is doing it anyway. Not attractive.

What do you think? Do you also see George's Crush of Shame potential, or should I get a grip? Can you forgive Sherry, or should Hero have lived happily ever after with George/Jasper? Should they have let George kill Revesby at the end? And is this the Best Heyer Ever?

LadyDamerel Sun 25-Nov-12 11:16:43

Oh wow, thanks for the heads up, VikingLady. I'll search that out later this afternoon when I've dispatched DH and the dcs for a walk. Don't lurk though, come and join in!

::eyes LadyIsabella through narrowed eyes::

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 25-Nov-12 11:30:59

Am listening to Radio 4 drama at the moment. Pretty good but they have made George effete shock sad.

Ooh ooh ooh <pinches laptop and locks self upstairs> thanks for grasshopper...

Grasshopper? Headsup. Stoopid phone.

Ninety minutes of ^Friday's Child^, so how do I lose the children for the afternoon...?

LadyDamerel Sun 25-Nov-12 13:52:48

It starts at 4 mins in if you want to skip the bits.

Sherry is quite middle-aged sounding but Isabella is suitably irritating wink. Jason's not as yokel as he comes across in the book though.

This is Sherry, he'd look alright in breeches and a cravat.

I looked them up too (though couldn't place her) and he isn't handsome enough. Also, Sherry in my brain is broader in the shoulder.

Will try it later if DH gives up lappy.

LadyDamerel Sun 25-Nov-12 15:48:30

Sherry in my head is blond, no idea why. I'm sure there must be a description of him somewhere in the book and GH heroes are inevitably dark so where the blond comes from is anyone's bet. I'm about to get stuck into the ironing mountain so I shall listen to the rest while I toil.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 25-Nov-12 20:11:40

Sherry is definitely blond, his fair curls are contrasted with George's dark ones right at the beginning.

I went Up West today and walked past St George's, Hannover Square for the first time ever. Was unreasonably excited - DH was hmm.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 25-Nov-12 20:12:55

Loved Julian Rhind-Tutt as Ferdy btw - if he'd been playing Sherry I might have warmed to him more.

LeonieDeSainteVire Sun 25-Nov-12 20:16:02

Only listened to first ten minutes so far (family keep interrupting me!) but I'm sure Sherry is blond too LadyD, must be in the description at the start. And definitely better looking than the actor. Main thing that's annoying me so far is the voices - its all a bit Jeeves and Woosterish which is not how I had them down at all and Hero sounds much too jolly hockey sticks, I think she would be quieter and gentler, more sad undertones and shyness than all gung ho. Anyway I shall listen to more whilst I do tomorrows pack ups.

Thanks Vikinglady

who is LadyIsabella, do we know?

Am partway in. It is really peculiar to hear the characters' voices without the authorial voice - going to lose some of the humour I fear.

Agree that Hero is too old assertive. Quite like Sherry though. Bluff and thoughtless, yes.

Just got to a hangover bit. Roffle.

George "root-em" ?!

Row-th-em, surely. Row like the boat, not arguing.

And yy to playing Sherry like Hugh Laurie as a posho.

LeonieDeSainteVire Sun 25-Nov-12 20:53:32

Yes to the pronunciation of Wrotham, I had it exactly as it written but I guess it could be any number of ways such is the joy of the English language confused

Oh and Hero like Julia Sawalha as Lydia Bennett. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 25-Nov-12 21:03:50

I think they play Isabella too old as well - she's a bit younger than Sherry but older than Hero, so very early twenties at most - her dialogue is haughty but it's just a front.

WHO ARE YOU?!

Oh dear. It was All Wrong. Mildly diverting, but All Wrong.

Not sure if it might not have been fractionally less annoying if I hadn't read it so recently.

But WRONG.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 25-Nov-12 21:57:22

<flutters fan enigmatically>

VikingLady Sun 25-Nov-12 22:20:49

I think Isabella is meant to be 18 or 19 at the most. From other GH books, girls are on the shelf after a couple of seasons, and she wouldn't be all the rage unless this was her first or second season. The actress sounded late 20s to me.

I thought Sherry was well cast, though. But Hero should be practically a child, very ingenuous and innocent.

Hoping they don't dramatise too many of the books as I really fancy the heroes have strong views on how some of the male leads should be played. Especially the Avon men... grin Am not too fussed about the casting for FC as I don't fancy feel emotionally invested in them!

Roffle Viking. I agree about ages. Hero and Isabella are meant to be friends from childhood. A couple of years is acceptable but not much more.

Also, miscast Vidal and I will stabstabstabstabstab the casting director.

Have requested more GH audiobooks for Christmas, don't know if DH has taken hint, but hope the voices are right!

What's next, by the way? Last time I tried to guess I read Beauvallet.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 27-Nov-12 13:55:17

Reluctant Widow IIRC?

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 27-Nov-12 13:57:51

Next is The Reluctant Widow, another one I had totally forgotten, enjoyed it though.

I didn't like the play, so much so I didn't finish it, I might later. They cut so much out, Sherry's sending Hero off to his mother came out of the blue instead of being the culmination of a series of events, so I turned off. And all the characters were so wrong. We should be the advisory panel on this if they are going to do more. Can you imagine what they might do to my poor Justin . . .

And yes Isabella is a little older than Hero but no more than a year or so and Sherry can only be a few years older again or their playing together as children doesn't work.

Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 27-Nov-12 14:36:26

I'd say it's just about worth carrying on to the end Leonie, because they (bizarrely) hired Simon Russell Beale as Tarleton, and he's vg. But because they cut out so much of the Revesby plot, and all of Sherry's mother, the denouement doesn't hang together brilliantly.

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