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?

I love Sherry and won't hear a word against him, but then I'm more interested in the more twattish heroes too <hands back feminist Brownie badge> like Vidal swoon

I think at the beginning he sees her as a little sister and accepts her devotion in that sense. It is only at the end that he realised his feelings for her are sexual romantic rather than fraternal.

That's my take, anyway. It is protective but fun and not grown-up. He doesn't know what it means to be a husband - thinks he can carry on as before, just with a nicer house with a Kitten in it - and she is too devoted and bloody grateful for rescue from aunt's house (cf Phoebe Marlow and Pen Creed) to complain. Something about not being accustomed to having her wishes considered - is that from this? Will hunt it down!

Back later.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 21-Nov-12 17:27:37

Hope you don't mind my popping in, but I HAD to say that I too fell in love with George. He was my first love. The first time I had ever entertained those kind of thought for a fictional character.

I also wholeheartedly agree about the other characters in Friday's Child.

DilysPrice Wed 21-Nov-12 17:34:05

Thank you Humphrey (and there is no need to excuse yourself, all are always welcome to the GHBC). I feel slightly less exposed (am 44 FFS, should not be swooning over handsome masterful fictional types).

HumphreyCobbler Wed 21-Nov-12 17:35:59

When I read it the other day I remembered how much I loved him blush and how I wanted to be Isabella. I think you are spot on in your analysis of her character.

My tastes lean towards Lord Worth now.

Interesting re the Iceberg. I never got what George saw in her, besides the fun of the chase and the addiction to the unattainable.

Will reread with that in mind.

thewhistler Wed 21-Nov-12 19:26:11

Can't share the George fan group. I think he would be a good friend but one of those tiresome ones always demanding attention unless he had remembered to take his medication.

But I do think he is kind and very funny.

It's Gil I like, but I bet he was gay.

I hate to say this but it has never been one of my favourites. I enjoy it more now I am older. I love the scene where Sherry sends his awful uncle out of the room and quells his mother. And there is a good portrait of an older woman, and Jasper is the other really attractive character.

It is one of the ones where the character development is more important and that is good, too. And I am.smiling as I type this, so I do enjoy it. And the young men as a group are brilliant, likewise the names of Hero's awful cousins.

And I do think hero should end up with sherry. She would be bored by the others.

But I cannot quote from it, unlike that woman in an E European prison who wrote to GH.

But I know I am alone here

LadyDamerel Wed 21-Nov-12 20:26:05

Ah, I see. That kind of revelation grin.

Can't share the George fan group. I think he would be a good friend but one of those tiresome ones always demanding attention unless he had remembered to take his medication. Hahahahaha, brilliant summing up of him there!

George doesn't do it for me, either. I find him irritating and find myself tutting, 'oh for goodness sake, stop throwing your hair about and being such a drama queen' in most of his scenes.

To be brutally honest, I could quite happily do without the entire George/Isabella subplot. I find Isabella annoyingly two faced, although you have made me look at her differently, Dilys, so I will attempt to view her in a more charitable light when I read it later on!

I'm with Horatia on Sherry's feelings towards Hero. I think the 'Oh Lord' is because he's realised that she still hero-worships him in the way she did when they were younger (not that she's exactly old now, but he is a man-about-town while she's still a chit out of the schoolroom so there is a noticeably gap in their maturity levels), rather than him thinking she's romantically in love with him.

My favourite scenes in the book are those with Ferdy, Gil and the rest of Sherry's friends. The interactions between them make me laugh out loud, especially Ferdy's dopey remarks. I love the chapters when they take Kitten shopping and she wants to buy all those ludicrous gowns and trinkets. Ferdy is so comical as he's trying to persuade her out of it all, then she still comes away with the canary in the gilded cage.

I completely agree with Dilys that it's the extra length of this one that makes it so good. You get to know the characters far more and have lots of time to invest in them and to enjoy them. That's why I like Frederica too.

Humphrey, that's interesting what you say about George being your first fictional love but now you've moved on to Lord Worth. When we did Regency Buck most of us had a bit of a crush on him when we were younger but now we're older and a bit more experienced we aren't so keen on his over-domineering ways. What is it that you prefer about him?

HumphreyCobbler Wed 21-Nov-12 20:37:22

I quite like his domineering ways blush Possibly not as an actual life partner, but as the hero of a romantic novel he certainly works for me.

LadyDamerel Wed 21-Nov-12 21:10:08

Fair enough! I'm an Alverstoke/Damerel (surprisingly enough)/Miles Calverleigh girl myself so I'm not averse to a little bit of domination, albeit it in a GH way, rather than a 50SoG way grin.

I have to admit that I always end up with a bit of a crush on Worth by the end though, once he stops being a complete hand to Judith and becomes all heroic.

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Nov-12 21:17:04

When I was younger I really disliked Friday's Child, because I hated the sheer silliness of the characters. They were just so undignified. Now I am <ahem> less young I can enjoy their silliness for its own sake, though I still find George pretty tedious. Isabella however I found myself warming to, on my most recent reading - she starts off all Melissa Brandonlike, but then develops a personality and even makes a couple of amusing comments!

The climax is a masterpiece, every thread and character neatly drawn together, and Jasper is a gem. It's not quite up to the finale of The Grand Sophy, but not far off it.

Anyone who has not read the letter to GH from the Romanian political prisoner who had memorised Friday's Child really should try to do so (it's certainly in the Jane Aiken Hodge biog and possibly in the more recent one). I have a heart of flint but it makes me snivel every time.

thewhistler Wed 21-Nov-12 21:21:43

Worth at the end is good news except for his complete callousness towards the fate of the impoverished lower classes.

Can I start a digression, please? Just that I suddenly have thought that there cools be a thesis in dogs in GH novels.

Pug has a small but not unimportant role. Flurry is essential. So is the mongrel in Arabella and the Romanian mousehound or whatever he is in Frederica. Sophy's whippet Tina is a non event, really, though she likes Charles so we know he is Good and Eugenia who doesn't like dogs is Bad.

Whom have I left out?

No cats. Ever. One monkey only, I think..

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Nov-12 21:26:21

Aubrey's dog Bess in Venetia, who scares the browbeaten pregnant Charlotte. Charlotte's ghastly mother tells Aubrey he doesn't understand Charlotte's Delicate Condition -to which Aubrey replies that he understands perfectly, as Bess is in the same condition herself. V. funny scene.

thewhistler Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:25

Ooh yes, Mooncup, and Venetia saying that she does hope Charlotte will get used to dogs as she will have to cope with the older brother's badly trained dogs.

And of course Tina is the means if getting Charles to realise how awful Eugenia will be in old age.

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Nov-12 21:53:47

Oh and Bouncer in The Reluctant Widow, who is insanely over-excitable and prevents Elinor leaving the drawing room for several hours on one occasion. Also plays a valuable plot role.

thewhistler Wed 21-Nov-12 21:57:08

How could I have forgotten Bouncer? He is wondrous.

There is of course the real Poodle Byng.

Root99 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:08:07

Had to post since I just finished this today. I found a copy of it while we were clearing out my Grandad's house and it's inscribed by my great grandmother! She wrote in it 'I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. Please return to' etc.
Anyway slight digression. I think Sherry's too immature for a romantic hero but I also love the scenes with him and his friends and how they protect Hero.

Have been rereading the beginning and can't believe how obvious it is that Bella is head over heels with George. slaps self

Still like neither of them.

I love Sherry in full-on strop mode in Bath, still constrained by honour and convention and having to call Hero "Miss Wantage".


I think Sherry is the only GH hero who actually follows through on a threat to strike the heroine ("You may take that with my compliments!") at which point we hiss LEAVE THE BASTARD so he is available to me.

LeonieDeSainteVire Wed 21-Nov-12 23:00:20

I do think there's a fairly obvious code of dogs (and dog lovers) good, no dogs bad, in quite a few novels.

I love this book, it's very, very funny in places and sad too. I actually cried rereading it this time when Hero runs away from Sherry and turns up at Gil's with the canary. Absolutely the funniest scenes are the first part of the book, Hero hiding under a blanket clinging to Sherry's leg, the horror that George should be acquainted with a bishop and the discussion about Shakespeare and where Hero's name is from, all have me giggling.

I like George and Isabella, they are far more fully rounded than the secondary couple usually are and I don't hugely warm to Sherry or Hero, he behaves like an arse most of the book and she just laps it up. However I think they're well suited in the end.

Sherry's just so selfish and thoughtless initially, but I agree with LadyD, I don't take that early scene to mean he knows how Hero feels beyond understanding that she is viewing him as a knight in shining armour come to rescue her. The bit where his arrogance and selfishness really comes out is when George takes Hero to Almacks because Sherry has forgotten and then tries to join them later but it is after 11! After they've made up and go up to bed it would clearly be the right place for a kiss and cuddle and what does Sherry say? That she was a good little puss and he had always had a fondness for her hmm shock I think his 'transformation' throughout the book is well done, taking responsibility for Hero makes him grow up and GH shows the change well, beginning with his falling out with Revesby and then the argument when he finds out about the race.
"Well, it is my fault," he replied "I should never have married you as I did. If I had not been such a rattlepated fool I should have known . . . The thing is you were never fit to be cast upon the town with no one but me to tell you how to go on."
So that by the end you really can believe it when he says:
"I have come by my deserts . . . My folly - my neglect of her, my damnable brutality"
And so I do think they stand a fair chance of future happiness together and I want them to be happy.

But the supporting cast, as ever make this book, as everyone has said, Ferdy, Gil, Lady Saltash and poor Mr Tarleton (I quite fancy him actually).

I haven't read the letter from the political prisoner mentioned above, I shall go off to track it down.

LeonieDeSainteVire Wed 21-Nov-12 23:02:53

Horatia I forgot that. It's the second time he hits her too. I think it's meant to show how immature he is still treating her as if she's a little sister.

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Nov-12 23:05:32

The other good thing about Friday's Child is the plot strand of Montagu Revesby and his seduction and abandonment of a local girl. Her turning up with the baby is really powerful; no doubt this sort of horrible behaviour and its consequences was very common at the time, but it is rare for GH to shine a light on the dark side of upper class life.

LadyDamerel Thu 22-Nov-12 06:10:15

I always thought the scene with Revesby and the baby/baby's mother, then Kitten and Sherry's subsequent rescue of her was to highlight what a Bad Man Revesby is, and to show Kitten's increasing influence over Sherry because it is she who persuades him to move the pair to the hunting lodge, isn't it?

Yes, and I think it shows her innate sense of fairness and honour.

She is still at that point vastly more mature than Sherry, but shows him how to grow up.

thewhistler Thu 22-Nov-12 08:55:32

Hey Horatia, you've been quoted in The Times today....fame..

thewhistler Thu 22-Nov-12 09:04:24

Yes, I agree that the revesby sub plot shows more of the mire than we have seen since Leonie's background. And with a lot of credibility too.

I love the horror of Sherry and George about the glee club. And everyone's teenage behaviour at the ball in Bath. And that hero knows what sherry's favourite food is. (One of the less appealing meals imv).

And Ferdie groping for the name of Nemesis. Came across them at Eton.

Yes I do laugh. And the minor characters are brilliant. I just don't like Sherry enough and save in the scene you mention, Leonie, Hero has never tugged at my heart strings.

Are you kidding? In what context? Women bishops, or sexy Richard Armitage?

Is Hero our youngest heroine at nearly-17? I can't think of a younger except Juana Smith who is too bloody young who doesn't count.

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 22-Nov-12 10:45:12

Oh yes the Nemesis theme - especially at the end when Mr Tarleton tries to explain who she is smile and when Ferdy says something like 'thought it was after me, turns out it was after Monty, gave him that wisty castor' Absolutely love it!

Link to Horatia's quote please bet it wasn't about Mr Armitage

P7, and those BASTARDS [sic]ed me shock

"A yes vote would have gone a long way towards bringing me back to the Church ... but I won't be part of a community that thinks I'm not equal to a man."

My phone autocorrected a misspelling of that to "they", which the BASTARDS left in with a coy [sic]. BASTARDS. Do their work for them <grumble grumble>

secretly very proud

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 22-Nov-12 15:03:28

How exciting Horatia, did they quote you by name? I think on the whole if you are going to appear in the national press it's probably better that it wasn't about Mr A wink

Yes, they quoted three MNetters by name in double quotes.

Part of me wonders if anyone will read it and think "I'm sure I know someone with that name" because of GH grin

RA might have read what I put and thought "that's the woman for me" and I'd have had to convince DH it was worth it for the sex money.

LadyDamerel Thu 22-Nov-12 20:53:47

grin @ people thinking you're someone they know, Horatia. Good comment, btw, I completely agree with you about Richard Arrmitage being the sexxiest thing on two legs and wanting to jump his bones the mysognistic tendencies of the church.

Leonie's met RA, fwiw. She didn't try to rugby tackle him to the floor and have her wicked way with him though, strange woman.

Leonie clearly has superhuman restraint. I'd be a hysterical mess - sexy.

Anyway, the book.

I love the wit. GH has really got into her stride here and there is lots only just unsaid. The lads get pissed and Sherry sends Hero off to bed just too late; Wrotham was a romantic figure, particularly when his black locks were dishevelled through his clutching them in despair^; when Dowager Lady Sheringham says ^If I could but see you married to Isabella, I could go in peace and Sherry, baffled, says Go where? [...] The Dower House?^; countless comic hangovers including Ferdy in Gil's dressing-gown; the Almack's patronesses championing Hero to annoy her MIL who they think is being catty; Hero and Sherry very properly separating while he has his port, then drifting back together; Jason's kleptomania, which is comic for 95% of the book then is a necessary and unforeseeable plot device right at the end, at which Hero declares that he is terribly clever and needs a present; Sherry unwittingly bursting in on the visiting Bagshots, shouting ^My God! and exiting again, leaving Hero in hoots of laughter; Hero and Isabella controlling George's violence with threats about his access to his beloved, the only thing that checks him; the failed duel where they are each annoyed at the other for not hurting him; Sherry's utter hypocrisy regarding not interfering with one another and wondering if mental illness ran in his family; the lads' contempt for Sherry's driving and shooting ability, making him incidentally the first hero I think who hasn't been a prize whip; George's sulks; comments like Mr Ringwood was back in town again [having taken Hero to Bath] saying, with perfect truth, that he saw no reason why his rich uncle should not survive for another ten years.

I can't believe I never before spotted the heavy hints that Gil is gay. I collected them this time. Every time GH mentions him he reminds us that he is no lady's man, and later Sherry says By God, if I were not so well acquainted with you, I might have a very fair notion of what your intentions were towards her, so I might.

I'm faintly bothered by Gil's complete transformation during the book - which GH does declare - inasmuch as at the beginning he is a bit feeble and like Pel Winwood's friend whose name escapes me, then in the second half he is a calm and clever plotter, relationship expert and marriage counsellor. Pur-lease.

The Hero quotation I mentioned upthread is Her experience of life not having engendered in Hero any expectation of having either her dignity or her comfort much regarded, she made no objection to this proposal.

Love it love it love it. Much tighter than the earlier novels. No spare characters. Lots of dramatic irony (is that what I mean? when the reader knows everything but none of the characters does). Not too many comedy accents - just comedy Jason.

And the last lines:

"Indeed, I wish it was - at least, I mean I wish it was mine, because it is the dearest thing!" A thought occurred to her; her eyes lit up; and she turned impulsively towards Sherry. "Oh Sherry, do you think -"

"Yes," said his lordship hastily. "Yes, I do, Kitten, but not now, for the Lord's sake!"

"Bad ton," explained Ferdy kindly. "Not quite the thing. [...] Talk it over later!"

"No, by God, you won't!" said his lordship forcibly.

"Eh?" said Ferdy. "Good heavens! No, by God, so I won't!"

I love GH closes!

Bugger it. Italics fail.

LadyDamerel Thu 22-Nov-12 22:47:39

There's so much subtle humour in this one.

This made me chuckle this morning, it's early in Ch4 when Ferdy and Gil have been out drinking and Ferdy has gone back to Gil's lodgings:

Whether from a natural disinclination to proceed further on his way, or from a hazy belief that he had reached his proper destination, he had entered the house, arm in arm with his friend, ambled towards the sofa, and stretched himself out upon it, wishing Mr Ringwood - for he was the soul of politeness - a very good night.

There's just so many small, inconsequential remarks like that, that keep me in a state of chuckling enjoyment right the way through.

Ferdy is priceless though. When Sherry is trying to explain to him how he told the hotel that Hero's abigail had broken her leg getting out of the chaise, in order to explain how she came to be travelling alone and it continues:

'Did she though?' said Ferdy, interested. 'Daresay she didn't wait for the steps to be let down. I had an aunt - well you remember her, Sherry! Aunt Charlotte, the one who-'

He's just fab. I'd like him to be my friend.

(Pelham's friend is Roland Pommeroy and yes, she has reincarnated and improved those two for Ferdy and Gil, imo)

Pom, of course.

Shame no spin-off for Gil's vivacious beard and Ferdy's equally ditsy missus.

I can dream...

DilysPrice Thu 22-Nov-12 23:34:03

Ooh yes, you could write some brilliant fanfic for Gil - who would you slash him with though? How about Venetia's brother (not portrayed as gay I know, but not definitely straight either, and there'd be an "opposites attract" thing.

I can't think of any good confirmed bachelors, but maybe one of the overly enthusuastic ladies' men could be in denial, like terrible Oirish bloke from twenty years before Faro's Daughter. A slash writer could write the most gawdawful fantastic slash about those two.

LadyDamerel Thu 22-Nov-12 23:39:06

Oh my word, the idea of gay fan porn fic with GH characters is just too bizarre to contemplate grin.

Who's Ferdy's ditsy missus or am I missing something?

thewhistler Fri 23-Nov-12 14:32:23

Aubrey isn't gay or straight, he is a completely asexual aspergers character. Knows all about the theory from every angle intellectually, the Bacchae included but also the gay Greeks, Socrates and Plato, Sappho etc, and has no interest in practice. ( ok, inventing the Plato and Sappho and Socrates, but not taking it too far because he has explained incest to his older sister, who would in any case have come across it in the cottages.)

I think the comment about Gil and if I didn't know you better could be about Gil being gay but ought to be read at that time as being about his sense of honour.
And it may be that Gil just visits prostitutes or is celibate, isn't necessarily gay. He just doesn't want to give up his nice comfy bachelorhood for nappies and boring female conversation.

That is the alternative reading. We could be over reading.


thewhistler Fri 23-Nov-12 14:35:50

Ps, I love the moment when they are working out why the poor girl's baby could not have been fathered before waterloo and they have to do some agonizing counting which leaves Hero perplexed.

Yes the arithmetic is brilliant. As is the bit where Hero vaguely remembers something about Shakespeare and has to fend off accusations of being a bluestocking.

Not an intellectual book. Hence Jasper's stifled hilarity at the end.

Sorry, LadyD, I was hypothesising that Mrs (Lady?) Ferdy would be equally thick, but lovely and jolly.

thewhistler Fri 23-Nov-12 20:27:47

She'd have to be posh and thick, as stupid as that girl who wants a purple silk dress. Are there any young posh thick girls? Cecilia isn't the brightest and nor is Serena's mother in law, but really stupid to equal Ferdie?

MooncupGoddess Fri 23-Nov-12 20:36:08

Hmm. Charis in Frederica would do, but of course she marries Endymion.

thewhistler Fri 23-Nov-12 20:39:58

Of course, Moon. She's not exactly jolly, though. A watering pot, if I recall.

Fortunate, isn't it, that usually there is reversion to the norm because otherwise one would be very very worried about their progeny.

I like someone fun - Susan Marlow? Credulous and excitable, and easily impressed by a dashing young man. Sufficiently high born too.

LadyDamerel Sun 25-Nov-12 10:20:24

I've just seen a poster called LadyIsabellaWrotham. Is that Dilys in a GH frock or just someone with similar tastes?!

VikingLady Sun 25-Nov-12 10:44:46

Loong time lurker on these threads, but have to post now - a radio dramatisation of FC is on BBC iPlayer! In full, not a series. It isn't too bad, though the actors all sound too old.

VikingLady Sun 25-Nov-12 10:45:05

*Long, obv, not Loong

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 25-Nov-12 10:57:58

<Waves, twirls, remains incognito>

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.


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.


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.

Yes, finish it whilst doing something else like MN so it doesn't annoy you and you can just enjoy it.

I love Reluctant Widow! We are getting into the good ones now.

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 27-Nov-12 22:22:54

Ok, I finished the play - quite enjoyed it in the end but you can tell the writer doesn't really know GH, when the actors used her words it was fine but then he'd put phrases in their mouths that she hadn't used and it was wrong.

Right at the end, Mr Tarleton says the bit about his knees knocking together (which is a joke) and in the book Hero smiles a bit then goes on with 'It doesn't signify. What must he think when he finds no one in Camden Place . . .' and she's referring to whether they can hide what has happened from Sherry. In the play Tarleton says the knees knocking together bit and Hero bursts in with 'It don't signify' which implies that she doesnt care about Tarleton's feelings which both misses the joke and the meaning of the original and GH doesn't usually have the ladies using the deliberately wrong grammar - don't instead of doesn't- that's a young man's style. seriously over thinking this

I did like Ferdy though, he was brilliant; diffident, mumbling, funny. The only one though.

I really hope the BBC is reading this!

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 27-Nov-12 23:00:10

Julian Rhind-Tutt does loads of radio drama and is always brilliant also v fanciable. I'd happily cast him in pretty much any Heyer - I think he'd be a good Freddy in Cotillion.

LeonieDeSainteVire Wed 28-Nov-12 12:50:57

Oh yes he'd be a perfect Freddy. So do we know if they are doing any more GH plays?

I was just thinking that RA is a very good age for playing Justin now, Leonie ...

LeonieDeSainteVire Wed 28-Nov-12 14:01:05

The right age Horry, but not the right actor IMO, Justin is fairer I think, less obvious, more hidden steel. I see him as Damian Lewis but MrA can play any other of the older GH heroes.

Ah yes, ok. I think DL too bluff though. Justin is just so ... Justinish that nobody is him.

That nice chap Tom someone who was Hal/Henry in the recent Shakespeare history series and is also in War Horse would be a good screen Sherry.

LadyDamerel Wed 28-Nov-12 17:54:48

I thought Justin was dark, he has very black brows in my head, I think because 'Satanas' evokes someone dark and forbidding. Damien Lewis is too much of a pretty boy to be Justin, imho.

I thought Leonie was the one with dark brows? distinctive de S. Vire trait?

That said, 90% of GH's heroines have grey eyes and strong brows. Wonder if GH possessed tweezers...?!

LadyDamerel Wed 28-Nov-12 18:51:17

Duh, just been to check and he does, of course, wear a wig most of the time. Maybe it is Leonie's eyebrows i am thinking of. It's her red hair and dark eyebrows that mark her out as DSV's daughter, isn't it?

Right, a quick peruse says his eyes are hazel, rather unusually for a GH hero.

thewhistler Wed 28-Nov-12 19:23:54

GH and tweezers, surely a reaction to the very plucked eyebrows of the 20s?

How I love this thread..

I love that this book club will discuss historicism and misogynist hegemony and eyebrows and sexy heroes in the same sentence post thread.

LeonieDeSainteVire Wed 28-Nov-12 20:06:26

Eyebrows feature quite often in GH, I've just checked her own out and they appear quite distinctive although I think she was indeed familiar with a pair of tweezers.

In my head Justin is fair but since we know Vidal is very dark maybe I'm dreaming. But as he was heavily powdered the effect would have been pale (and rouged).

He is wearing a powdered wig on the cover of my copy ok the library's, mine is a leather Kindle .

sarahtigh Thu 29-Nov-12 10:11:18

Sherry must be 23 because his inheritance is tied up until he is 25 unless he marries ( he says he can't wait 2 years so he must be roughly 23 ) Hero is 17 so if sherry played with Isabella and hero I would think Isabella is a maximum of 20-21, more likely 19

I totally agree.

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 04-Dec-12 18:07:16

Yes and I also think that age gap is a little unrealistic. They were meant to be childhood friends but a 14yr old (say) playing with an 8yr old?? confused

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 04-Dec-12 18:08:45

Sorry I should be clearer, I agree he is 23 and I think GH should have made him younger.

MooncupGoddess Tue 04-Dec-12 18:10:05

To be fair I got the impression that Hero ran around after him offering to pick up his cricket balls, etc, which is realistic enough.

LeonieDeSainteVire Tue 04-Dec-12 22:36:38

Yes I suppose so but the way Sherry refers to the time they glued the pew and going birds nesting together makes them sound more the same age. But I suppose then childhood was a longer less defined period? I mean lasting all the way from leaving the nursery (at what 7, 8?) until entering society at 17+ (richer children only obvs) so maybe all ages mixed more freely. (and thinking about it I watched a group of children on scout camp recently all playing forts happily together ranging from 15 to 9 or so!)

Ok I withdraw my objection. I wish I didn't get hung up on these little details. I've got one bugging me now from April Lady and it's ages till we get there.

HoratiaLovesBabyJesus Wed 05-Dec-12 12:11:23

These annoyances do spoil things, I agree.

New thread here.

OhMerGerd Sat 08-Dec-12 23:36:01

Just casually flicking thru MN looking for any advice, reading, respite from today's teenage angst and found the GH threads! So excited at the discussion and opinion about my favourite characters ( outside Austen ) I don't know where to start. Since this is a FC thread ( my first GH ) and I am slightly inebriated having sought solace in the bottle after a day dealing with DD's first heartbreak (mothers of DS's today I cursed u all. I am sorry and I know IABU) my contribution for now shall be short on intellectual refinement .
'The Incomparable'........ I will probably go to my grave wishing to hear some non pareil (sp) describe me as such.
Oh I don't care for gorgeous, stunning or sexy.... To be Incomparable beats being a Kitten any day!
Back when I'm sober and found my ormolu clock and canary ....

HoratiaLovesBabyJesus Mon 10-Dec-12 13:53:13

OhMer we do love a drunken comment...

Brush off your Reluctant Widow and join us on 14.

Frawli Wed 19-Dec-12 21:18:03

Well I just love FC, it's in my top 3 Heyers (with The Grand Sophy and Frederica). Hero is such a sweet heroine, and there is some wonderful dialogue, mostly featuring Ferdy. I love that drunken note that he leaves when he decides to accompany Sherry to Bath.

I quite like the Incomparable too, love a girl who follows her heart.

It had never occurred to me that Sherry hit Hero, I thought the 'that' that he was referring to was the comment he had just made rather than a wallop :-(

HumphreyCobbler Wed 19-Dec-12 22:11:01

I have just spent a very agreeable hour reading all of your threads. Thank you so much!

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