I love Georgette Heyer unabashedly. I've already written multiple posts where I mention my love for her. But when I was stacking up my Heyer novels to take a pic for today's #31bookpics prompt, and I realized just how many I have... (!) I decided that clearly, if I love her enough to own 67 copies of her various novels, it's about time to write a post on why YOU should love her too!
- Jane Austen didn't write enough books. Sure, I love Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion as much as the next girl - but c'mon, there are only 5 good Austen novels (giving you major side-eye Mansfield Park), and you can only reread them so many times. Georgette Heyer's books are the next best thing to Austen - they're witty, romantic, and superbly written.
- You'll learn a lot. I'm not kidding. I took a British history class in college, and totally aced it, even though I skipped that class a lot. I thank Georgette Heyer for that -- we did a whole Napoleon segment, and I already knew all about the Peninsular War, and the Battle of Waterloo thanks to An Infamous Army. All the 19th century slang and archaic words in her books were also super helpful in terms of SAT studying.
- You'll laugh out loud. I promise. Start with The Grand Sophy or The Reluctant Widow or Frederica, and see if you're not giggling to yourself in no time. Some of my other favorites include The Masqueraders, Venetia, and The Talisman Ring. Heyer has a knack for writing her heroines into hilarious predicaments, and she does annoying side characters fantastically well. Think Mrs. Bennett or Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride & Prejudice, and then you'll totally understand Abigail's older sister in Black Sheep or Kit's mother in False Colours.
- They're not sexy. I don't know about you, but I really get tired of overly explicit romance novels. When I worked in a bookstore we used to read bits of them out loud to each other, and try to decide which were worse: the ones that had almost clinical love scenes, or the the ones with ridiculous euphemisms. (In case you're curious, I think "love sword" and "love sheath" as euphemisms for genitalia won...) The great thing about Heyer's books is that they were written 40-90 years ago, so there's no hanky-panky. Just nice, funny romance.
- She wrote a LOT of books. Did you notice how I said "40-90 years ago"? Because yes, she published books for 50 years! She wrote almost sixty in all, across multiple genres. A few were contemporary (for her) fiction, My Lord John is nonfiction about John of Gaunt, and about a dozen of them are mysteries set in the 1930s. A handful - including Simon the Coldheart and The Conquerer - are medieval fiction. A few are set in Jacobean times - These Old Shades, Powder and Patch, and The Black Moth among them, but the large part of them are the regency romances she's known for. In fact, a lot of people credit her with creating the genre, which is pretty crazy when you look at how many 19th century romances get published these days!
Have I convinced you to try Heyer? Or are you already a fan?
This is Day 29 of my 31 Days of Book Pics series for 2015. I'd love it if you'd play along on Instagram and Twitter by posting a bookish picture each day of October. Don't forget to hashtag your photos with #31bookpics so that I can find them! Click the image below to find the whole series!