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Georgette Heyer - an overview,
This review is from: These Old Shades (Paperback)
Like many other reviewers, I too came to Heyer in my teens, when I was ill and my neighbour loaned me her original hardback copies, and I have re-read them many times. And I ask myself, why? Essentially these are sub-Austen, the stories are improbable - or perhaps Shakespearean with all these girls impersonating boys, and in The Masqueraders, a boy impersonating a girl - and the characters privileged beyond belief in a society where most of us would have been agricultural labourers.
However, we are in good company. Antonia Fraser once wrote she knew she could have tamed the Duke of Avon, Stephen Fry reads them. I think it is because the history is good (although sometimes her timelines are a bit askew, as anyone who has worked out how Lady Barbara Childe can be in her late 20's in 1815 will have realised)and the language impeccable.
These Old Shades and Devil's Cub are the great sweeping stories; Venetia may be better, An Infamous Army more heartbreaking, but the Alastair family are the people she came back to, and seemingly so do her many readers.