Georgette Heyer - which book to read first?

(40 Posts)
Grockle Fri 10-May-13 12:28:35

I see her raved about on here and fancy having a read... which book would you recommend?

cathan Fri 10-May-13 14:48:24

"The Grand Sophy" is my absolute favourite - she is Heyer's BEST heroine! Enjoy.

JeanPaget Fri 10-May-13 14:55:49

Nooo! I think she's dead annoying blush. Read Venetia or Frederica first.

DemelzaPoldark Fri 10-May-13 14:55:55

Devils Cub was my first one. Still love it. These Old Shades is practically a classic - it's fab!

JeanPaget Fri 10-May-13 15:00:46

These Old Shade's is totally fab, but it has a Georgian rather than Regency setting, so it's not a 'standard' Heyer iyswim.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Fri 10-May-13 15:04:16

I keep hearing she's good too but not sure if my sort of thingconfused I've always half assumed they're going to be historical Mills and Boons. That's probably totally wrongblush

derektheladyhamster Fri 10-May-13 15:06:17

I was going to say 'the grand sophy' too, but I also loved 'these old shades'. The first one I read was 'regency buck' which I still love.

TunipTheVegedude Fri 10-May-13 15:09:12

Are they all Georgian/Regency or did she do any other periods too?

derektheladyhamster Fri 10-May-13 15:11:22

She's written some contemporary (for her - 1920's) detective novels.

CousinRachel Fri 10-May-13 15:13:45

She also did other periods. One about Charles II, haven't read it and can't remember the title, sorry and one about William the Conqueror funnily enough called 'The Conqueror' which was v v good.

DemelzaPoldark Fri 10-May-13 15:18:39

I think 'My Lord John' is the Charles II one. It has been years since I read it but I remember enjoying it.

MooncupGoddess Fri 10-May-13 15:20:27

I'd go with Venetia or Frederica too.

My Lord John is 15th century, Royal Escape is the Charles II one. Neither is very good!

Frederica or Cotillion (tho Grand Sophy was my first too)

IloveJudgeJudy Fri 10-May-13 18:39:40

I also read Devil's Cub first. I really enjoyed it at the time. I do still enjoy it, but see it through very different eyes now (the way some of the women are treated). I do love the way she writes. I haven't found anyone like her at all. On Amazon there are all these "fantastic Regency writers, just like Georgette Heyer", but imo their writing style is nothing like.

SilverBrumby Fri 10-May-13 20:31:18

Devil's Cub a great choice and then... These Old Shades (the two are linked).
Also brilliant are..The Convenient Marriage, Arabella and Faro's Daughter. Sylvester is also good.
Loved Venetia too - but there is something for (almost) every mood.
Enjoy!

bluebump Fri 10-May-13 20:34:48

I started with Venetia, i'm now on The Talisman Ring. I picked up 5 for £10 in a charity shop recently so I'm giving them a go.

LeonieDeSainteVire Fri 10-May-13 20:45:03

ChewingOn her books are so much better than standard Mills and Boon. She really writes well and entertainingly although the subject matter is mostly light and above all she is very well researched, no historical inaccuracies in Heyer (well a few but they are tiny). They are mostly light romances though so if that isn't your thing you won't like them.

OP - what type of book do you like? Her novels mostly rely on character and language rather than complicated plots, but some are more detective in style (natural I suppose as she wrote detective fiction too). If you prefer the former then Venetia is my absolute favourite, closely followed and in no particular order by Frederica, Arabella and Sylvester. If you would prefer the latter try The Tollgate or The Talisman Ring or The Reluctant Widow. The Grand Sophy is very well thought of and often suggested as a good starting point, I don't like it much but it's not a bad one for a first try.

These Old Shades needs to be read before Devil's Cub and they are brilliant but a little different from the Regency ones.

edam Fri 10-May-13 23:26:01

I'm particularly fond of Venetia but also suggest Frederica - that's a good old romp with a glorious transformation of the hero wrought by the heroine (and her cheeky younger brother). The Reluctant Widow is another favourite. And Friday's Child... ooh, I'm so jealous of anyone who is dipping into Heyer's world for the first time. grin

JeanPaget Sat 11-May-13 10:27:57

Ooh good call Silver and Leonie, I'd forgotten about Arabella, it's definitely one of my favourites

Arabella was the first I read & I really do have a soft spot for it. But there are very few that I struggle to enjoy. Favourites include Frederica, Cotillion, The Tollgate...oh I could go on & on!

edam Sat 11-May-13 11:32:40

I just went up to my Mother's for the weekend and bagged her copy of The Toll Gate. That was a very happy train journey back again - so engrossed I almost missed my stop. grin

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 11-May-13 14:48:27

The important thing to know is that the MN Georgette Heyer Book Club has reached Sprig Muslin. If you can get hold of a copy and read fast (it's 250 pages in my edition and a really speedy read) then you can come and join in - I personally adore Sprig Muslin and think it's as good a place as any to start.

Next on the list is April Lady - not a good place to start I'd have said, I find it a bit depressing, and nobody upthread recommends it.

After that we'll be reading Sylvester, which is a lot of fun IMO, but not exactly typical Heyer, and then Venetia, which everybody loves, and The Unknown Ajax which is hilarious.

We're doing them at roughly one a fortnight. If you start on one of the older ones we've already done then you can always go back and read what we thought, and indeed add belated comments.

The Convenient Marriage
Sylvester
Devil's Cub
Civil Contract

It is all enormously well researched and although there is nothing more explicit than a crushing kiss, some of it gets me very hot under the collar.

TheYamiOfYawn Sat 11-May-13 15:10:02

I love Venetia, but it's so good, it's worth saving for later. Arabella and Cotillion are also fantastic. Basically, she only wrote a few duds.

They are romances, but extremely well-written with brilliant plotting. They tend to be loved along with classic detective novels as light reading by people who read very intellectual books the rest of the time.

edam Sat 11-May-13 16:42:34

Aw, I have a soft spot for April Lady. Not in my top three or even top 10 Heyers but still good, I think. Love Dysart. OK, the plot is silly but it's still a fun read.

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