The Anchoress Falls for His Grace, the Duke of Avon

Yay! The Anchoress has finally read These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer, one of my all time favorite books.

It’s a very good book on its own, but it’s also intriguing as a milestone in Heyer’s writing life. It isn’t everyone who has the guts to go back to the world of one of her first novels (The Black Moth), pluck out the villain, rewrite his world a bit, and then find a way to turn him into a romantic hero. (A way which works, is not cheap or easy, but also is not depressing or disgusting.) It also features one of Heyer’s best heroines and several of her most fun and dramatic characters and scenes of all time. And hey, it even ends with a Catholic wedding!

The sequel, Devil’s Cub, is kinda eh, but it definitely has its moments. (“Eh” for Heyer is still pretty good, you understand.) However, the story of the third generation of Avons, An Infamous Army, is a bittersweet masterpiece. (Without hugely noticeable infodumps, it also describes the Battle of Waterloo so that even we non-military types can understand the landscape and the strategy — an amazing bit of writing.)

3 Comments

Filed under fandom, Recommendations

3 responses to “The Anchoress Falls for His Grace, the Duke of Avon

  1. Neera Goitein

    I, too, love Georgette Heyer, and have read all her books, over and over. Her plots, language and characters are so rich, and her mastery of the Regency period is incredible. And she’s FUNNY! Her crime novels, too, are very good. My mother introduced me to “The Devil’s Cub” about fifty years ago, so it’s fabulous to discover that I have contemporaries today who also love her.

  2. Joy

    There is a sequel to “The Devil’s Cub” and you didn’t tell me! Obviously I need to see if I can get that from the library before the summer is over.

  3. Actually, An Infamous Army features characters from a couple of different Heyer books, IIRC. Not anything huge — just an Easter egg for the longtime fans or herself. Also, since the book’s so serious overall, it’s probably a needed touch of levity….

    Yes, it’s the Audleys and Taverners crowd from Regency Buck. That’s what I was forgetting.

    I don’t know if An Infamous Army’s been reprinted in the US since the 1960’s or early 70’s, though. Amazon shows a paperback from back then, which I’ve never personally laid eyes on. The only US edition I’ve seen is the library hardback. So I ordered my copy of the recent trade paperback from the UK.

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