Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Georgette Heyer Links

This is a compilation of links about Georgette Heyer, sparked by the Smart Bitches' latest contest. As they observe,
This week marks the 107th anniversary of her birth (16 August), and to celebrate, we’re hosting a giveaway of rather epic proportions.
Even if you don't win the books they're giving away, there are a few works by Heyer available free online:

The Black Moth
"Pursuit" - a short story.
"A Proposal to Cicely" - another short story, currently being serialised via Twitter, with the tweets then being archived at the site I've linked to.

A short biography of Heyer can be found in The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English. And for anyone who might be able to be in the Cambridge area in November there's:

  • Jennifer Kloester: ‘The Life of Georgette Heyer’
  • Jay Dixon: ‘Heyer and Place’
  • Laura Vivanco: ‘”So educational!”, she said. “And quite unexceptionable.” The Nonesuch as Didactic Love Fiction.’
  • Mary Joannou: ‘Heyer and Austen’
  • Sam Rayner: ‘Publishing Heyer: Representing the Regency in Historical Romance’
  • Kerstin Frank: ‘The Thermodynamics of Georgette Heyer: Variations on the Quest for Revitalisation’
  • Catherine Johns: ‘Class and Breeding’
  • Sarah Annes Brown: ‘Lady of Quality and Homosexual Panic’
  • K. Elizabeth Spillman: ‘Cross Dressing and Disguise in Heyer’s Historical Romances’


  1. I'm really intrigued by the proposed Brown presentation. Will these presentations be available online somewhere?

  2. Well, I'll be there, so I suppose I could try to write up short summaries of them for TMT, but I don't know of any plans to put them online in their entirety.

  3. Would I be drummed out of the romance club if I admit that I've tried two Heyers and don't believe I finished either one? ;)

    No seriously, I picked up Frederica and Sylvester several years ago when Harlequin was doing their repackaging/reprinting thing and gave them a try. I think I only got about half-way through each but I'll have to scan them to make sure. Since I'm only hit and miss on Regencies to begin with I may not have picked the best ones to try.

  4. If you're not that keen on Regencies then perhaps none of them would really appeal to you, but in any case "best" is very subjective because it depends a lot on what your preferences are. Some people prefer her more rakish heroes, or her more assertive heroines, or the more humorous situations, or the cross-dressing heroines, or older heroines or friends-to-lovers plots, etc.

  5. Hmm, well, I've always been rather partial to best friend romances whatever the setting, so which one(s) would that be? Maybe I can get it or them on ebook if nothing else.

    And of course, I love secret identity or identity mishaps in general. In many ways, I tend to think some best friend stories almost play out like secret identity plots in the way their relationships evolve so it will be interesting seeing how she does it.

  6. Charity Girl is a best friends one, but the romance takes a very, very long time to develop. I prefer Sprig Muslin. Given what you say about how "some best friend stories almost play out like secret identity plots in the way their relationships evolve", I feel I should warn you that in these two novels the romances between the hero and heroine develop in a rather subtle way, and if you're looking for a big change in the relationship to occur, and for it to shift into intense passion, you'd be disappointed.

    If you like secret identities, then her heroines in disguise might be good. These Old Shades and The Masqueraders are also more intensely romantic, too. They're also Georgian, rather than Regency.

    The Toll Gate has a hero in disguise, and a romantic suspense element. TOS and TM have adventure elements.

    But if you didn't like her style of writing, then perhaps none of them would appeal much?

  7. Thanks, Laura. It would be great to get some idea what the presentations are all about. I really like 'Lady of Quality' and 'homosexual' - panic or otherwise - is not something I'd have associated with it.

    I went so far as to see what kind of airfares are available but unfortunately, prices are worse than when I flew to Germany in the height of summer. Go figure.

  8. Bev, I love Heyer, but neither 'Frederica' nor 'Sylvester' are among my favorites.

    You may enjoy 'A Civil Contract'. It's very different from her other romances. Quite a bit more realistic.

    I also love 'These Old Shades', 'Devil's Cub', 'The Convenient Marriage', 'Venetia'.

    But, even though I hate admitting to the possibility ;), Heyer may not be for everybody.

  9. Hello - I'm writing to let you know that you have been nominated for a Book Blogger Appreciation Week award for Best Collaborative Blog. Please email me ASAP at elischulenburg@gmail.com for more information about your nomination. (FYI - the deadline is Friday, August 21.) Congratulations!

  10. I'm reading the Corinthian at present and enjoying the hell out of it. I first learned of Heyer fairly recently when Stephen Fry mentioned her as one of his guilty pleasures on his 50th birthday. I adore everything I've read so far and the Heyer group's list of cant and slang has been invaluable for my own comic gothic serial. Wonderful stuff! Subtle humour, but quite intelligent and clever.

  11. By the by, do any of you present at the Popular Culture Association's national conference? Next year's is in St. Louis (not the most glamorous site) and I know there's a big romance area (I run the medieval area). Just wondering as you don't list it among the academic links.

  12. "I really like 'Lady of Quality' and 'homosexual' - panic or otherwise - is not something I'd have associated with it."

    On Sarah Annes Brown's personal blog she wrote that "I’m planning a short presentation on Lady of Quality, inspired by the writings of the late Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick ..." I'll do my best to report back accurately.

    "do any of you present at the Popular Culture Association's national conference"

    Oh yes! Eric Selinger was one of the area chairs for romance for the 2009 PCA conference, and Eric, Sarah Frantz, Glen Thomas and An Goris all gave papers. We put up the Call for Papers here when it went out and Sarah sent out twitters from the conference as it was taking place.