Frederica: Georgette Heyer Book Club #30(11 Posts)
I've got some time to spare, so I'm going to liveblog Frederica. How hard can it be.
I'll be starting in a couple of hours - feel free to grab that tattered old Pan paperback from the loft and join in.
To whet your appetite, here's the front cover of my tattered paperback.
The balloon! The wholly unsuitable dresses for the period!
See you later?
This is my favourite Heyer - and my DD, 16, loves them and this is her fave too! I have read it so many time I know it by heart - and this was my original edition. The contemporary events - the balloon ascension, milch cows in the park and bicycles are all accurate I understand. Enjoy!
Two chapters in. We have been introduced to Alverstock, and if he is anyone's favourite Heyer hero I will be highly surprised. Heyer used to talk about "Heyer Hero Type 1" and Alverstock is definitely the standard catalogue model. He's used a snuff box and a quizzing glass, his coat fits him like a glove and is "clearly cut by a master", his riding coat has dozens of capes, he "moves with the grace of the born athlete" and of course he's filthy rich. Page 15 and I've already got Heyer Hero (type I) Bingo. It's a good job he improves.
Chapter 4. In which we are introduced to the Merrivale brood. DS (who has HFA) is now almost Felix's age and for the first time in my many readings I find Felix reminding me forcibly of DS's more charmingly enthusiastic moments. And it leads to Alverstock getting dragged around every foundry in London which is terribly good for him.The boys are the USP of this book for me, but the ridiculous effect that Charis has on every passing man is also a source of delight.
Time for sleep - I'll see how much I can manage tomorrow.
Chapter 3. The concubines/prostitutes/high flyers. It's very upfront in this one isn't it? I guess we're meant to feel the same as Charles Trevor "As a moralist, he could only deplore his employer's way of life; as one deeply imbued with chivalrous ideals, he pitied the fair Fanny; but as one who was fully aware of the extent of his lordship's generosity towards the lady, he was obliged to own that she had no cause for complaint."
Jane Aiken Hodge sees this as increasing frankness (and by this time it is 1965, so even middlebrow books are allowed to deal with <<shh>> sex outside marriage <<shh>>). Is it more open than the earlier books? There's been a lot of extramarital activity by our heroes in the past, but I think what's perhaps new about Alverstoke's high flyers is that it's flat out prostitution, with no pretence of affection on either side.
I have this edition too and it's a favourite. I even bought it for my kindle so I could reread when I wanted. I'm very fond of Alverstoke - love a bit of world weariness! And who isn't intrigued by calves foot jelly?
I remember reading this when I was a teenager.
Calves foot jelly is made by boiling up a calves foot for several hours. I saw it on one of those programmes about medicine in olden times. Apparently the boiling smelt disgusting.
This is definitely my favourite GH book. I like Frederica herself. She has such common sense, isn't a beautiful nitwit (I have very little sympathy with those!) and is perfectly able to take on an Alverstoke!
Calves foot jelly is basically gelatine - the equivalent of a modern protein shake, but gross!
Chapters 5 and 6
In which Lufra and Frederica get into scrapes.
The Baluchistan Hound (aka Barcelona Collie) incident is one of the highlights of the book for me. It is, I grant you, completely implausible that Frederica would do something so outrageous as telling lies and claiming Alverstock's help in such a way. Frankly it's pretty implausible that she'd have asked for his guardianship in the first place, because although her upbringing is eccentric, it's not that eccentric. But Alverstock straight-facedly correcting Frederica on having got the breed wrong is so perfect that I will forgive this book anything.
I do agree that it's all wildly improbable, but I find it totally carries me along. I love the boys, and Alverstoke getting dragged all over London. Definitely one of my favourites, and I think Charles is a great sidekick (though he should clearly have married Frederica, to my mind).
I love this one. Frederica is a wonderful character, so are the boys. I am entertained by Charis and Endymion being beautiful but stupid and the Balloon ascent is a good bit of drama.
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