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.