In my teens I read and enjoyed the Regency novels of Georgette Heyer. I then decided I’d outgrown them and moved on to other novelists, and it was only in my mid-30s that I was persuaded by a friend to listen to them on unabridged audio versions.
I fell in love! With her wit, her spirited heroines and gorgeous heroes in their tight buckskin breeches, with her memorable use of Regency slang, and with her accuracy in depicting the world of Regency England. I passed my love of the novels to my daughter who named her little girl Arabella after a Georgette Heyer heroine. There are few novelists I go back to so frequently, almost always in the superb audio versions, for total reading pleasure and relaxation.
I am not alone in my passion for her books. Along with two good friends, I have organised two Georgette Heyer conferences. Due to popular demand, a third one – ‘Georgette Heyer: A Perpetual Delight’ – will be taking place next year on Saturday 2nd March, in Crows Nest, Sydney. There will be talks about the suppressed novels, about her mystery novels, about the dogs that feature so hilariously in her books, and about Georgette’s own favourite amongst her works, Friday’s Child. It only costs $65 (byo lunch) and will be a day of fun, prizes, learning and friendship. For a booking form for this exciting event, email Amanda Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org
I have also, with the same friends, produced a delightful book: Georgette Heyer: Complete to a Shade contains fascinating comments about Heyer and her influence from many fans, including Stephen Fry, Emma Darwin, and Heyer biographer Jennifer Kloester. You can order copies, signed or unsigned, from my shop, for $19 (postage included). Click here.
The March conference will see the launch of a new book, Heyer Society, to which I contributed an essay about the ways in which Heyer pays tribute to Jane Austen. This is out on e-version, but the physical book will be launched at the conference and there will be a panel discussion with some of the contributing writers.
If you, like me, mistakenly thought that Georgette was a writer for teenage girls, do give her books another try. I love Sylvester, Arabella, Frederica, Devil’s Cub, Friday’s Child and so many more.
Have you been to a previous Georgette Heyer conference? I do hope you’ll come along to the next one. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
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