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?

edam Sat 11-May-13 23:25:32

Yes, chub, you sound just about ready to join the Heyer fan club.

I'm not too keen on These Old Shades...but love Devil's Cub

Chubfuddler Sat 11-May-13 23:01:25

If I love agatha Christie, and nancy Mitford and Jane Austen am I likely to enjoy these?

LeonieDeSainteVire Sat 11-May-13 22:57:01

Oh yes Frederica is great. Georgette Heyer herself wrote about one of her books (can't remember which) that it would be an ideal light read for someone recovering from 'flu, so hopefully just what you are looking for OP.

Horry, I meant 'not like' The Black Moth not TOS of course smile

edam Sat 11-May-13 22:03:07

You won't regret it. grin

Grockle Sat 11-May-13 21:28:07

OH wow, thank you so much. I'm not well so am looking for easy reads that are well written - Heyer sounds right up my street. I'm making a list of your suggestions but I'm tempted to start with Frederica.

I'm shock that anyone could not like These Old Shades!

LeonieDeSainteVire Sat 11-May-13 19:06:36

Yes but even a talented 17 year old had a lot to learn. If you make it through The Black Moth then follow it up with These Old Shades. If you don't like it enough to finish please do try a later one anyway.

TunipTheVegedude Sat 11-May-13 17:33:08

LadyDamerel - yes, it said on the other thread she was 17 shock

Some people are just so blooming talented, aren't they?!

LadyDamerel Sat 11-May-13 17:04:08

Maybe I should change to MrsJoeHarman grin.

JeanPaget Sat 11-May-13 16:59:32

Thanks LadyDamerel blush I sometimes worry that people who haven't read the book think I've completely missed MN etiquette and am just using my own name...

I'm likewise very keen on your namesake (obviously)!

LadyDamerel Sat 11-May-13 16:54:01

Tunip, just bear in mind, it was her first ever novel, written when she was a teenager so isn't representative of her later works. If you hate it, try one of her later novels, before you write her off.

LadyDamerel Sat 11-May-13 16:52:26

(As an irrelevant aside, JeanPaget, I love your namesake. A Town Like Alice is one of my all time favourite books. And Joe Harman is just gorgeous, you lucky thing.)

TunipTheVegedude Sat 11-May-13 16:50:22

Well I've gone and bought The Black Moth for my Kindle because it was cheaper than everything else and it got good reviews but now I've read the book club thread I'm thinking I shouldn't start with that one.

LadyDamerel Sat 11-May-13 16:50:11

Arabella and Black Sheep are good ones to start with - neither are too long but good heroes/heroines.

Same with Lady of Quality, actually.

I love, love, love Frederica though.

Are we helping you make a decision? grin

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.

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.

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.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Belgium 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.

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

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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