1 July 2020 Susannah

The Inimitable Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer

I have a special birthday this month (the whole of the French nation celebrates my birthday) and one way in which I feel I am celebrating this ‘Big 0’ is by becoming a Lady Patroness of the newly formed International Heyer Society. The society is being launched on 1st July, 2020 (the day you receive this newsletter) and it will bring together Georgette Heyer fans from around the world. The society will publish a regular circular Nonpareil, it plans to hold a conference in Melbourne next year (to mark the centenary of Heyer’s first published novel, The Black Moth, and it will keep you informed of new books about this fabulous historical writer. To join, see https://heyersociety.com/

I first came across Georgette Heyer’s novels in my teens. As an adult reader, I have delighted in audio versions of her books, have helped organised three conferences in Sydney on her works, and also collected the diverse opinions on Heyer in the booklet Georgette Heyer: Complete to a Shade which can be purchased for $19, including postage.

Her novels are my comfort-read, they make me laugh, I adore her historical detail, and I love the romances. I am in good company when it comes to her fans – William Golding, A.S. Byatt, Margaret Drabble, Emma Darwin, Stephen Fry and the Queen are amongst her adoring readers.

To celebrate the ‘birth’ of this fabulous new literary society, I have created a virtual talk on this wonderful writer. My new, beautifully illustrated talk is Georgette Heyer – A Tour Through the World of her Regency Novels.

My 56 minute talk will take you to Bath and Brighton, to the Gentlemen’s Clubs of St James’s, to gorgeous shops and into ballrooms, with the many of the memorable characters that Heyer created. I do hope you’ll join me to learn more about this wonderful writer.

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Comments (4)

  1. Lois Cubbin

    Have read most of GH Regency books, but find it difficult to buy many from her prolific range. Why? They are indeed fun. And I guess your grand-daughter was called Arabella because you love these books also, Susannah.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Georgette’s novels are snapped up from second-hand bookstores, so it does make them hard to find in old copies. But they are often reprinted – in fact, most of her novels have never been out of print, so a new bookshop would have them.

  2. Susannah Fullerton

    Oh Chris, we need to get together again and have a long discussion about fabulous Georgette. An Infamous Army is one of my least favourites though I do love the ball scene – I just don’t like Babs much. I adore Venetia, Arabella and Sylvester, and so many others. I am so thrilled you have joined the new society!! They would welcome contributions so do think of writing something about editions of GH, or some other topic??

  3. Hi Susannah

    Congratulations to you and the other patronesses for starting the International Georgette Heyer Society. I share your enthusiasm for her writing, both the Regency novels for which she is rightly famous, but also for the less well known detective stories, which are also well worth reading and have stood the test of time in my view.

    I often wonder how her reputation as a crime novelist alone would have stood, if she had not turned to the Regency novels, and effectively overshadowed herself as a writer of detective fiction! We will never know of course. My favourite is probably “Penhallow”, with its rather dark and threatening atmosphere.

    In terms of favourite Regency novels, mine is “An Infamous Army”, partly for the wonderful description of the ball scene, as well as the clear and meticulous way the battle is described. You will be delighted to hear that Vivien (my wife for those other than Susannah) favours “Arabella”, although she also is a big fan of “The Grand Sophy”, “An Infamous Army” and “Venetia.”

    I have paid my hard-earned and joined the IGH society and encourage all of your readers who are Heyer fans to join up and to support your conference in Melbourne in 2021, Covid-19 and Mr Andrews permitting.
    Don’t worry, all of you non-Victorians, there are quite a few of us here who are still Covid negative!

    Best wishes

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