This is delightful collection of eleven stories by Georgette Heyer. The Regency period with all its vagaries of style, exigencies of fashion, singular notions of propriety, follies and foibles have been portrayed with Heyer’s customary wit and sensitivity.
One reads about duels fought at the crack of dawn by Tom and jack, friends turned adversaries, of romance revived between Miss Tresilian and Lord Iver, both past the first blush of youth, a maiden won on the turn of card and many such others. Each story is fresh and entertaining, like none other you have ever read before.Great country houses, balls and masquerades, seasons in London are made vivid by the writer. There are gowns and bonnets, waltzes and minuets, phaetons and curricles, belonging to a graceful, elegant past and are described in such exquisite detail that one is transported back to that time in history.
This collection has a variety of themes- scandalous elopements to Gretna Green, sprightly schoolroom misses and languid men of fashion, pretty widows and charming rakes grace the pages of this. Interwoven is the theme of love conquering all- marriages of convenience, reformed rakes and hardened hearts. Though it is difficult to choose, my two personal favourites in this book are Snowdrift and To Have the Honour. In snowdrift, we follow the travails of sprightly Miss Trent and her hapless cousin Joseph, both bound for Bath, in the hope of winning a fortune. However their hopes are dashed for their grandfather, the Miser of Bath has remarried. But all is not lost. On the way, Miss Trent meets Sir Julian Arden, rich and bored with life. His life is soon thrown into disorder by the energetic young lady but he enjoys every minute of their adventure. To have the Honour is a story of love and sacrifice. Lord Allerton refuses to offer for Henrietta, as he is penniless and she, a rich heiress. She loves him but is unable to say so. Their plight is brought to an end by the mischievous connivance of Allerton’s sister.
The sparkling, refreshing style of Georgette Heyer’s novels, makes this book a pleasure to read.