Georgette Heyer’s Regency World: Regency Fiction from a 20th Century Author

Spend a little time in the romance section of Barnes & Noble, Borders or any bookstore, and you are likely to come across novels by Georgette Heyer.  A prolific writer, Heyer is known for her works set in the Georgian and Regency periods, and she is considered to have contributed greatly to the development of historical romance as a genre.  Her works are similar to Jane Austen’s with the most important difference being that Georgette Heyer lived in the 20th century. 

I must confess that I have not read a Georgette Heyer book.  When I used to venture into the romance section, let’s just say that a Jane Austen-like book was not the type of romance in which I was interested LOL.  Perhaps Heyer’s works are done a disservice by shelving them there because until I read more about her, I never realized how similar her writing was to Austen’s. 

I read Jennifer Kloester’s Georgette Heyer’s Regency World because I hoped it would provide me with even more information on the customs, dress, manners and places of the Regency era, and I was not disappointed.  It was an incredibly thorough book, and I learned details I did not know (e.g. why driving a certain type of carriage indicated your prowess with horses and driving).  I finally can visualize some of the carriages I’ve read about (phaeton, etc.).   The only chapter I thought was a little weak was the first chapter, the chapter on the nobility (always a favorite topic of mine).  It seemed a little muddled and not as well-written as subsequent chapters. 

Like the books on the Regency that use Austen’s novels, Kloester explains Regency customs and places using examples from Heyer’s books.  This was obviously a bit difficult at first since I haven’t read any of her books, but I got used to it, and honestly, the examples intrigued me enough to make me want to read her books.

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