19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite Heyers
Frederica is one of my favourite Georgette Heyers. The love that develops between Alverstoke and Frederica is very moving partly because it seems so unlikely at the outset. He starts out bored and cynical and the description of his increasing involvement with Frederica's delightful but unpredictable family is wonderful, funny and realistic. There is lots of humour and...
Published on 7 Oct 2004
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I love GH but not this
I found Frederica way over the top. GH characters are generally louder than life but some of the antics in this book were repetitive and tiresome. I also didn't appreciate how the hero, Lord Alverstoke was considered this huge perfect, rich, tall, dark and handsome society catch that NO WOMAN has managed to capture ***ooohhh swoon*** UNTIL **ding ding ding* Freddie comes...
Published 12 months ago by Goddess of Blah Book Reviews
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite Heyers,
By A Customer
Frederica is one of my favourite Georgette Heyers. The love that develops between Alverstoke and Frederica is very moving partly because it seems so unlikely at the outset. He starts out bored and cynical and the description of his increasing involvement with Frederica's delightful but unpredictable family is wonderful, funny and realistic. There is lots of humour and wit, loads of brilliant detail of the sights of London, new fangled inventions such as hot air balloons, steam engines, bicycles. All the characters are believable, very individual and fantastically well described. My favourite funny bit is the Baluchistan Hound bit - read it!
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect read,
Frederica is without doubt my favourite Georgette Heyer novel – and I like her novels very much! What makes Frederica so good? Simply that she has populated this book with wonderful characters, amusing dialogue, interesting historical setting and a love story which is gentle and fulfilling.
The basic plot is that Frederica, a rather managing girl with three brothers and one sister, all younger than her, is attempting to launch her beautiful sister Charis into society so that she can make a good marriage. Frederica enlists the assistance of her sort-of cousin, the Marquis of Alverstoke, in this – and he agrees to spite his sisters. Alverstoke is an uncaring, flighty rake who doesn’t do anything for anyone else and is hugely selfish. Through his interaction with Frederica and her two youngest brothers, Jessamy and Felix, Alverstoke is brought out of his state of almost continual boredom and takes real responsibility for his adopted cousins.
The power in this story is the exquisite way in which Heyer portrays her characters. We are shown Alverstoke with all his faults, yet we also get glimpses into what makes him in some ways a good man – for example the honourable and fair way in which he treats his secretary, Charles, and in the way that he takes on responsibilities to his adopted wards in order to lessen some of the load on Frederica’s shoulders. Although Frederica initially comes across as a woman without fault, as the story progresses we see her occasional blindness in dealings with her sister and her eldest brother Harry; Frederica wants Charis to make a good match but Charis doesn’t want that for herself. As the story progresses Alverstoke becomes more responsible, more aware of the needs of others and more aware of the effect he has on them. He takes care to hide his interest in Frederica from society so that she is not teased about it. As for Frederica’s feelings for him, we do not hear much of the story from her point of view but it becomes clear by things that she says that she considers him very important to her… until of course the end of the book when they become engaged and she discovers what it is to be truly in love.
There are many other sub-plots running along in the main story – the romance between Alverstoke’s secretary Charles Trevor and Alverstoke’s cousin Chloë Dauntry is one. The various men who offer marriage to Frederica because they see her qualities and the different way in which they are portrayed is great fun. But the central part of the book – the conversations between Frederica and Alverstoke – are a delight.
This is one of those books that you can read again and again and enjoy even more each time. Heyer has masterfully described the way that a bored rake, Alverstoke, can change his whole nature when he finally finds the right person, the woman who is a conversational match for him; I also think that her ability to gradually unveil the faults in her heroine, small that they may be, is also good – it’s annoying to read books with ‘perfect’ people as they are so unlike us.
Like all Heyer books, the historical setting, dialogue and description of places is perfect. This book is just a fantastic read in so many different ways – buy it!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Heyer - The author at her best,
The Marquis of Alverstoke has seen it all, and he was "without exception," one of "the most selfish, disobliging creatures alive", - then he meets Frederica Merriville.
I loved Frederica as the matriarch of her wonderful family, she struggles, with very little money from her fathers estate, to launch her beautiful younger sister Charis into the full glare of the marriage mart. Along for the ride are her two younger brothers Jessamy and Felix and the rusticated head of the family - Harry. When you mix Baluchistan Hounds with the treachery of the "Pocket Guide" that did not mention the small herd of cows in Green Park with a Pedestrian Curricle, followed by a dash across-country chasing a hot air balloon you can see this has all the ingredients of a true Heyer classic. Even Alverstoke's interfering sisters and brood of nephew's and niece's does not put a damper on the wit, amusement and truly satisfying ending.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written and enchanting book,
By A Customer
In the nearing sixty books she has written Georgette Heyer has made the Regency period her own. She writes with such detail and acuracy that one could almost believe that she was there herself. All of her books are witty, enchanting and impossible to put down and Frederica is no exception. From the momment we meet Frederica, and her delightful, though somewhat persistant, brothers, we are captivated by them and truly anxious over their fate. This is one of Heyers best works and one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully written witty tale of the downfall of a cynic,
By A Customer
Rich and handsome, the Marquis of Alverstoke won't put himself out for anyone. But then a distant connexion (very distant...in fact no connexion at all) asks for his help, and against his will he is plunged into chaos by the Merriville family. Alverstoke is surprised to find himself far from bored. The lovely Charis may be beautiful, but her strong-willed sister, Frederica, seems more concerned with her family than his own distinguished attentions. Meeting Frederica, Harry, Charis, Jessamy and Felix for the first time I was charmed...over the years this has not diminished. Heyer brings regency England to life in all her regency books and in my opinion her prose has never been surpassed. In Frederica, she creates a heroine who is not a wimp by any description and the attraction between her and Alverstoke is understandable and rings true. An extremely well-written book with plenty of witty dialogue, a dog, a hot-air balloon and royal pork jelly to entertain. A definite keeper.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining novel,
This book combines humour, compassion, crisis and romance with development of character, especially that of the hero. The Marquis of Alverstoke comes across as a complex person: selfish where his family are concerned yet generous to his friends; indulging in numerous amorous relationships yet kind to his secretary. His main characteristic is that he easily gets bored.
Enter Frederica Merriville, the eldest of a family of five. She applies to Alverstoke, a connection of her late father's, to help her launch her sister into society. He agrees and from then on his life is not the same, as he gets increasingly involved with the Merriville family. Not only does he offer Frederica advice and support, but also rescues from scrapes her youngest two brothers, the one studious and the other obsessed by scientific developments. This leads him to re-evaluate his own life.
The story is well-paced and has some very funny moments, as well as the usual romance. I've read the book twice and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. If you have never read a Georgette Heyer novel this would be a good place to start. If you're an avid GH reader:- this has some of the activity and humour of The Grand Sophy, but with the kindness and sensitivity found in Venetia (although the romance is much less developed). I recommend it.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath-taking, incredibly romantic and I adore it,
Frederica was the first Heyer book I read and I fell in love with it. It has the same effect on me as Pride & Prejudice- the typical, agonising question will they or won't they? U become involved with all the characters, although I do get annoyed sometimes with Charis, the beautiful airhead ( I'm sorry but that's the only way to describe her!) Frederica is as every herione should be: smart, beautiful, witty and charismatic. Lord Alverstoke simply tears your heart to pieces when he does all in his power to help Frederica, believing that he is only doing so because it relieves his boredom and that in no possible way could she feel the same way. It is simply beautiful!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Georgette Heyer rules!,
By A Customer
Georgette Heyer has been one of my favourite writers for a long time, and Frederica only confirms this. The relationships between Alverstoke and his family and Frederica's are lovely to read, and his realisation that he loves Frederica is so sweet. (It must also be noted that his secretary is very nice.) Anyone who likes humourous, romantic writing should love Georgette Heyer's novels.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eccentrics are all the rage!,
Lord Alverstoke is bored. Bored with mother's parading their daughters in front of him, hoping he'll bite and bored with the constant demands of his sisters to assist with his neice's coming out ball. Being a wealthy bachelor is not only a blessing, it can be a curse.
Enter Frederica. Frederica and her siblings travel to London with the hopes of applying to Lord Alverstoke, their father's cousin, for help to introduce her sister to the ton. Charis, is a natural beauty and Frederica is sure she could make a much better match in London than the country. Lord Alverstoke is not sure what to think at first - he's never met these people and although their father is his cousin, it's a distant relation. But, he is very amused by Frederica and sees an excellent opportunity to royally piss off his sisters, so he agrees and let the drama begin!
"Eccentrics are all the rage"
~ Lord Alverstoke
One of the reasons I like Heyer is that she writes such fantastic characters! Frederica and Lord Alverstoke were very funny, but the younger brothers, Jessamy & Felix, stole the show for me. They were adorable with all of their crazy antics!
This one starts off a bit slow, but don't worry you'll be hooked soon. It's a nice paced read and if you're like me, you'll have a silly grin on your face the whole time!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best Georgette Heyers,
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I would definitely put this in my top 3 Georgette Heyers - and as I love almost all of them, this is high praise. Alverstoke has all the "cool" required of a Heyer hero, but is somehow very touching in the way that he is so isolated from feelings that he does not realise that he is falling in love and learning to care for people until (thank heavens) it is too late. Frederica is also one of the best heroines - distressingly good, distressingly managing, but with an ungovernable sense of humour which charms the reader and Alverstoke about equally. Another great feature of the book is the delightful Felix, a scientific brainbox with melting eyes, and a talent for emotional manipulation that makes speculation about his glittering future (he is ten!) inevitable.
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Frederica by Georgette Heyer