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These Old Shades Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Apr 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, 1 Apr 2002
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books; Large Print edition edition (April 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0753167379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753167373
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,057,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"My favourite historical novelist, stylish, romantic, sharp, and witty. Her sense of period is superb, her heroines are enterprising, and her heroes dashing. I owe her many happy hours" (Margaret Drabble)

"Sparkling" (The Independent) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A classic tale of intrigue, adventure and love from the 'Grande Dame' of romantic historical novels set in Georgian and Regency England. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
...My grandmother has nearly all of Heyer's novels, and although I've read her whole collection, These Old Shades remains my favourite. Who could not fall for both Avon and Rupert, chuckle at Avon's sarcastic humour, or admire Leonie's adorable courage and outspokeness? The climax is dramatic, the ending is romantic, and there are some great descriptions of life for the nobility at the time. I come back to this book when I'm sick, depressed, or just want to lose myself in its world. Romantic fluff, yes, but fun fluff! Pull up a comfy armchair, open a box of chocolates, and enjoy! Oh, and does anyone else wonder what Avon did to earn the name 'Satanas'?
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Format: Hardcover
There are many books I've loved to read once, some I've enjoyed reading two or three times but few I've read more times than I can, or care to remember. These Old Shades is in that last category.
Georgette Heyer absolutely convinces you of every scene and what's more you love every character, even those you hate. It's the perfect mixture of adventure, intrigue, romance, splendour and villany.
With a heroine you can honestly imagine as a real person and whom you love before you even realise who she is, the mystery is dealt with masterfully. There are bitter-sweet moments and the book positively revels in tradgedy at points.
It's rare to find characters who're portrayed as flawed yet still romantic and believable as well as heroic, yet that's exactly what holds this story together.. you know they're bad but you love them!
Everytime I read it I want to be there, at that time, with all the hardshipd and all the glory, because these are the elements Ms Heyer expresses so well and I can say no more than I love her for it.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike most of Georgette Heyer's novels, this is not a 'Regency romance', being set in pre-revolutionary France (and England), but it is incomparably enchanting. Readers of The Black Moth (Heyer's first novel) will recognise elements of a 'sequel' in this, which has itself a sequel in Devil's Cub. The English Duke of Avon is Mr Darcy with knobs-on, and the heroine is adorably fiery. For me, none of Heyer's other heroes or heroines come close to the perfection of this pair. I first read These Old Shades when I was 10 (my mother was a fan), and must have re-read it at least 50 times since then, always enjoying it and finding something new in its twists and turns.
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By Paul Magnussen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Firstly, I should say that I concur with most of the other reviewers: Georgette Heyer is one of my all-time favourite authors, and "These Old Shades" — published when she was only 24 — is her masterpiece, in the original sense of the word.

However, for the picky, I should like to add a warning about the (American) Harlequin edition. Although UK spelling is (very properly) preserved, some clown has decided to "correct" Miss Heyer's beautiful Georgian English, substituting:

p.45 — "You may lose it as you will" for "You may lose it an you will"
p.78 — "A clumsy, thick-set yoke." for "A clumsy, thick-set yokel."
pp.90 & 223 — "It is my intention." for "It is mine intention."
p.113 — "...the forward ways of the younger generation" for "...the froward ways"
p.213 — "I'm silence." for "I'm silenced."
pp.223 & 236 — "Fonteroy" for "Fontenoy", and
p. 262 — "gracefully" for "gracelessly"

But by far the biggest blunder is on p.127 where Miss Heyer wrote: "She saw the sword of the last Duke, that same that he had used in tragic '15, for King James III, and heard a small part of Justin's own adventures, ten years ago, For King Charles III."

The James referred to is of course the Old Pretender, and Charles (as the next sentence makes even clearer) Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, i.e. Bonnie Prince Charlie. But the editor (presumably after consulting a list of British monarchs) has changed these to James II and Charles II, pushing the narrative back 70 years or more!

This is of course nothing like the wholesale disembowelment that has been inflicted on American editions of Harry Potter; but if you're fussy about such things, you might want to get another (British) edition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of my favourite Georgette Heyer Books. The very proud and self opinionated Duke of Avon, taking command in all things, take responsibility for Leon, a delightful urchin from the streets of Paris. Gradually the Duke changes and puts others before himself,whilst still controlling the plot as a whole. Its an easy read, with lovable characters and takes you from France to England and back to Paris with delightful ease given they didn't have cars, trains and high speed boats in those days.
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Format: Paperback
In the Duke of Avon, Georgette Heyer creates a man who strikes fear into the hearts of all those who know of his reputation; he is a very dangerous individual. The red-haired Leonie is as fiery by nature as her hair suggests, a charming and completely unsophisticated girl with a heart of gold. When the Duke plucks her from the backstreets of Paris, he sees her as a means of revenge; to Leonie he is her "monseigneur" and saviour. Yet this chance encounter changes the course of both their lives. "These Old Shades" is a classic love-story, but neither the hero nor the heroine are the traditional characters you would expect. With daylight abductions, pistols, balls and some of the most memorable characters that Heyer has ever created not only is "These Old Shades" a must for all fans but a book that you can read again and again!
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