The inimitable Georgette Heyer…

It would seem I’ve been procrastinating…but that’s not actually the case.

What is the case is that I’ve got so much on my plate that any multi-tasking capabilities I may have possessed have run for the proverbial hills, leaving me with about three half-written blogs, piles of reading on Russian foreign policy circa 1812, half a sonnet frollicking about in my head, and too many characters from the next books standing in the wings, tapping their feet, waiting for their cue to come on.

[And the answer to “Ha ha, how do you sleep well at night?” is “Not very well really…I wake up at about four and…”]

Anyway.

Recently, I was reminded by a friend’s complaints about the cheesiness of much of today’s literary marketing of a letter I received from a literary agent, a female of the species.  Which actually, in retrospect, amused me.

blokeI had sent this individual the opening chapters for my novel, Of Honest Fame, you see, along with the usual charming, banterful letter and a synopsis.

Then, after the obligatory wait of several months, said agent had returned the sample chapters along with a rejection letter in which she compared the work to the novels of Georgette Heyer–novels for which, she assured me, there was no market.

From this fatuous comparison, I deduced she had either been drinking…and/or was terminally stupid…and most assuredly had never read any of Heyer’s work.  [Even since her death in 1974, Heyer’s works have NEVER been out of print.]

Hence after my incredulous, “What?” you will understand that my uppermost emotion was relief at the lucky save!

[Exactly what about a boy setting a corpse alight and later getting the basting of a lifetime could possibly remind anyone of a novel by Georgette Heyer still eludes me.  But then, I fear I am too literal in my understanding of these things.

What I’m guessing this creature was dim-wittedly trying to say was that the novel was set in the early 19th century, quite possibly the Regency, and therefore something or other…And I confess, one longed to meet the dotty female and say, “Yes, dear, the novel is set in the early 19th century.  And so is War and Peace.  Or can you not spell that?”]

But lately, you know, I’ve been seeing Miss Heyer’s name splashed about a fair bit–usually on the cover of some allegedly Regency novel  [just like Georgette Heyer, the endorsement gushes] a term which was coined to describe some, though not all of her work–and this has actually made me want to spit teeth.

1812_greatcoatFor this comparison can only be based on the crudest and most simple-minded assessment of Heyer’s work–although, interestingly enough, in Heyer’s lifetime, critics of her work dismissed it with the words, “another Georgette Heyer.”

And perhaps this is the problem.  And it’s an ongoing one.

Because both of those statements about Heyer reveal how little the author/reviewer knows or understands of Heyer’s work, whilst at the same time committing  the absolute bimbonic folly of fancying that a novel’s quality can be deduced from what the characters are wearing and where/when the thing is set..

To imagine that a novel is nothing more than a plotline, a time period and a few stock characters–thus anyone who writes a thing set in the early 19th century must of necessity be writing like Miss Heyer–is to wholly underestimate and undervalue the extra-ordinary talent, apparently effortless prose style, and wit of this quintessentially British author.  It’s like saying all bars of soap are the same.

Or put another way, it is to be criminally stupid and terminally, intellectually myopic.  Ehem.

(Just as when I see contemporary authors comparing their own works to hers, I mark them down as delusional.)

Because Georgette Heyer is inimitable.

There is no one like her.

Just as no one is like P.G. Wodehouse.

Heyer was a one-off, an original, a woman of tremendous talent who backed up every book with oodles of hard work and endless research, at a time when the historical novel–light, dark or in-between–hardly existed.

She was a pioneer.

Both Wodehouse and Heyer were authors of a certain era, who because of the tremendous ease with which they created their fictional worlds, their prodigeous talent for making prose flow like rippling, streams of wit, dominated the literary scene for more than five decades of the 20th century, without equal.

Like Wodehouse, her sentence and paragraph construction are peerless.

Highgate Tunnel Mail coachAnd like Wodehouse and the world of Blandings Castle, Heyer created a parallel Regency London and initially Sussex (where she grew up)–one without politics, the nastiness of war or assassination or Napoleon, one where the West End and Mayfair were clean and bright and rarely raining [we wish!] and most people rubbed along tolerably well.  And it is against this delicious confection of a backdrop that she set her tales, many of which were plays on the traditional favourite, the Cinderella story.

You know the drill, poor female requires handsome rich prince to see through the tatters of her shyness and the ashes of her genteel poverty, her lower position in society, and recognising her true merit, her lovely laughter and wit, sweep her off to a happy, rich, life…Yadda yadda yadda…

And certainly given that during the early 19th century and indeed looking honestly at the career opportunities for women in the early 20th century, the Cinderella story is a fitting one–without a man, particularly a rich one to provide, life didn’t offer many choices, and even fewer bonuses.

Equally, unlike in real life, in Heyer’s world, the aristocracy and gentry were plentiful; the male of the species were witty, urbane, amused, well-dressed and loaded–all alpha males with a sublime sense of humour, great shoulders and a starched cravat.

But this, my friends and companions, is where Heyer gets interesting.  Because she is not writing the standard Cinderella story in as many permutations as she can manage.  Rather she is subverting the genre even as she is creating it.

Georgette Heyer was born in 1902, in Wimbledon.  She lived through and remembered all her life that period of turmoil when women got the vote, when at last they were allowed into universities like Oxford and Cambridge, when a certain equality with males appeared possible.  For women, the world in which Heyer grew up was one of new, untried and unexplored horizons.  And Heyer, rather than writing the same old same old took that standard formulaic romance, broke the mold and turned it upside down, bless her.

If, as the Arab saying has it, “stories teach people how to live”, then Heyer was writing the template for the new millenia’s women.

Indeed, from the outset, Heyer’s females were not the simpering, swooning simpletons beloved by her fellow pioneers of historical fiction, Baroness D’Orzy and Raphael Sabatini.  [Recall, Heyer’s first published work, The Black Moth, came out in 1921.]  Instead, she started as she meant to go on and in her works, it was all to play for.

tea on the lawn-sandbyThe Masqueraders, published in 1928, gave the female protagonist the lead male’s role and gave to her brother the role of pantomime princess, beautifully dressed and undetected in female garb.  And whilst this may have been a play on the history of the Scottish uprising of 1745 and the fact that Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped from Scotland dressed as a servant woman, and equally, the British stage has a long tradition of males in female roles, I cannot begin to imagine how this played in 1950’s America.  If it played at all.

The Corinthian, published in 1940, took the Cinderella lead and gave it to the rich hero.  Sir Richard Wyndham is rescued (he says it himself) from the onerous duties and ties of family and financial expectation by the young rebel, Pen Creed–the ashes of his wealth and the tatters of his fine clothes seen through by this rebel-child of a girl with decided opinions, a wicked sense of humour and wearing boy’s clothing, thus ensuring Richard’s future happiness.

The Grand Sophy (1950) takes matters even further.  Sophy isn’t just masterful, she masters the whole family–who admittedly need it.  But there is nothing shrinking or feeble or swooning about her.  She’s about as far from the Victorian virgin-ideal as one could hope to get.  And reading her, I have no doubt, empowered a whole generation of young women, engendering in them the belief that they could surmount any and all obstacles, even as it encouraged them to be amusing, wise and formidable, and still be lovable.

(Since girls of the 1950s were still being encouraged to laugh at a bloke’s jokes, even when they weren’t funny, to shut up and listen and hide their own intelligence, this is probably a great deal more subversive than we might today think.)

tomkinsVenetia (1958), Frederica (1965), A Lady of Quality [Annis Wychwood] (1972), all provide further proof of her talent for upending convention.  None of these main female characters are blushing debutantes.  They are all older, wiser, savvier, pragmatic, with good, sound heads on their shoulders, shouldering burdens that the men in their lives have shied from.  They are vibrant, confident, self-assured, the intellectual equal if not superior of their male counterparts, with a self-knowledge to rival that of a seasoned philosopher.

And none of them want rescuing.  Indeed, often it is they who are more likely to mount the white charger and ride to the aid of their men…

But while Heyer may be mounting a subterfuge of a campaign on behalf of capable women everywhere, she does so with such finesse, such charming irony and delicious wit, that what might be a provocative storyline of female empowerment is couched in a flow of easily digested, apparently innocuous delight.

And yet, what an ironic wit she had.  Her authorial voice was unique.  Delicate, graceful, laced with genial good-humour, and without the cruelty of some of Austen’s observations, Heyer poked fun without poking anyone in the eye.

Listen to this:  “Fashion was not kind to George…”  Or she will write of a lady “enjoying ill-health”–how much more tolerant than Austen’s descriptions of Lady Bertram?  That lightness of touch has more in common with Wodehouse, surely.

And she is, I will be honest, quite possibly greatest though when she writes of sisters, aunts and mothers.  She captured these relationships with all their  invisible, manipulative, endearing and powerful strings attached as no one before her or since.  She writes them all honestly, graciously, humorously, with her tongue firmly fixed in her right cheek…

Her prose is as smooth and effortlessly elegant as the unfurling of silk pennants in the breeze–like “drowning in honey, stingless”–and is unmatchable and unrivalled.

And behind of and in back of all this was the strength of her unending research, her notebooks filled with slang, with details of dress, of society, family, invention and history.

Interestingly too, unlike the current craze for implausible aristocratic titles that one may encounter between the pages of contemporary historical romances, as she grew older, Heyer came more and more to favour stories of the gentry and professional classes.  

Almacks CruikshankBlack Sheep, A Lady of Quality, Frederica, Charity Girl, The Nonesuch, Cotillion, Arabella, The Toll-gate…whether she was playing to the new ideal of meritocracy and equality in the 20th century or whether she was sidestepping the Labour-inspired class warfare issues, I cannot tell you.  But these novels are most assuredly not filled with scenes at Almack’s, tales of the ton, or tired witticisms allegedly spoken by George Brummell–the cliche-ridden world of so-called Regency romances.

If Heyer has a failing at all, it is in her male protagonists–too many of them read exactly the same and might be carbon copies of one another:  bored, well-dressed, sporty, self-indulgent.  And they become invariably soppy at the end–which I personally find sick-making.  But that’s just me.

Still…when I recounted the sorry tale of my rejection to a friend, an Oxford don (male), his reaction was as far from mine as could be.  “She compared you to Georgette Heyer?” he said.  “No one has ever paid me a compliment like that.  If they had, it would have been the greatest compliment of my life!  I would give anything to be compared to her…Wow!”

Which also makes me laugh.  For truth is, I know how hard she worked and I respect her too much to even dream of aspiring to be her equal…

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42 comments on “The inimitable Georgette Heyer…

  1. Who else could term coffee ‘pigwash’? I loved Heyer’s biography by Kloesters, having been an obsessive and lifelong Heyer fan, but was stumped by her massive, ongoing problems with the taxman … until this year when my own bill left me in the same position, having to write simply in order to pay my taxes! I wish I could feel like Heyer for a better reason – such as being inimitable – but at least we’d have had one small thing in common if we’d ever sat down to cakes and pigwash in that imaginary conversation we all wish we could have with favourite authors from the past.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Yes, pigwash is one of those outstanding descriptions, isn’t it? Since I loathe coffee, it’s all pigwash to me and I’m afraid that’s how I tend to think of it–so Heyer is that much a part of the psyche and literary landscape, isn’t she? Also, in my estimation, one of the hardest things to write is ‘fun’ and yet she always manages it–and with such aplomb.

      That new biog of her is on my To Read list…but until I finish the research for my next two books, I daren’t even look in that direction.

  2. Excellent post. I have read Heyer for years. She was out of print in the US for a while and I scoured used bookstores for her stories. When I lived in England I bought new copies of all her books. Now I’m downloading them to my Kindle.

  3. Thank you for your fine description of a favorite author. I have laughed so frequently over favorite passages from Georgette Heyer’s books. One wonderful farce develops when a particular mongrel dog causes dismay amongst the cows in Green Park and a fabulously hilarious parade of the disgruntled march to the home of the Marquis of Alverstoke for resolution (book: Frederica). Heyer had such a wonderful sense of the ridiculous.

    I’m not sure she truly knew how much joy she gave to her readers and only wish she could have read your blog.

    With regard to anyone foolish enough to have rejected Of Honest Fame, let’s go with “terminally stupid”!

    It is now a practice to lift Heyer’s slang expressions she so carefully researched, along with mode of dress and all the activities that revolved around the “season” during that period and liberally sprinkle them throughout the simplest of books — and advertise as “like Georgette Heyer”. Perhaps the publishers and marketing geniuses believe the public to be “terminally stupid”? I find it despicable.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Thank you for that!

      I remember reading in Jane Aiken Hodge’s biography of Heyer many years ago that she had only ever kept one letter from a fan, and that was from a woman who’d been 12 years a political prisoner in Romania and had kept herself and her cell-mates sane by telling and retelling the story of Friday’s Child through the long years of confinement.

      And you’re right about her sense of the ridiculous–and some of it wouldn’t have felt out of place in Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle! Ha ha.

  4. To be likened to Heyer is praise indeed. No contemporary writers are anything like her, because for one, we are writing in a far different world to a very different audience. I read her books when I was young at a time when her career was winding down, but the world was a different place then too. I do enjoy your prose, though, M.M. so maybe that’s what the agent meant.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Who knows what that agent meant! Life’s too short and so am I, so I don’t worry about such things.

      I first read her books when I was meant to be doing my homework, age 14. Then I read them for the plot. But over the years, I have returned and returned again to them, and each time I find something new, something more to appreciate. I read them slowly now, lingering with pleasure over her turns of phrase, the subtlety of her character development, her precise language, her pointed irony. And as I say, her aunts and sisters are my favourite!

      • I do so agree with what you say about returning to Heyer time and again, and always finding some new to appreciate. I, too, read them slowly now, so as not to miss any little nuance in her writing. Most of all I love her sense of the ridiculous, her wit, her subtlety. I have about eight favourites, starting with Venetia & A Civil Contract. All my copies of her books are extremely tattered now, but should I ever find myself on that famous Desert Island, I should insist on taking every one of them with me!

      • M M Bennetts says:

        As I say, we require multiple copies in the house now…as someone who shall remain nameless became so engrossed in Frederica that said nameless individual walked down the High Street reading and laughing and failed to notice that it was raining! Then there were the depredations committed upon The Masqueraders which was read to death. And I believe The Grand Sophy fell into the bath…

        You see what I’m up against?

  5. prue batten says:

    Brilliant post on Heyer. I’ve only recently come to Heyer in the last few years and my favourites to date are Venetia and A Convenient Marriage. I wasn’t overly fond of Frederica, I have to say.

    Of everything about her, it is her acidly sharp wit and her sparcity of sub-plots, her refinement and dimension of charactersation, and her ability not to waffle (which of course may be due to an excellent editor, although somehow I doubt it), nor have a whole population of characters fogging the landscape and contributing nothing that matters to me.

    I remember listening to Richard Armitage talking about recording her books for audio and he commented how wonderful her language was to read, but how the length of sentences presented a real challenge. The fact that Heyer got away with long sentences is balm to my own writerly soul.

    I think there are contemporary writers who verge, and remember I said ‘verge’, on GH, but that they might be able to be her successors, writing about a similar timeframe or in what could be considered a vaguely similar style, is unlikely. Her beauty is her unique nature and copy as they might they will never quite ‘get’ it. One either has the wit and the authorial acuity or one doesn’t and I prefer to think at this point that writers like her were ‘one-offs’.

    All that said, I wonder if your ‘agent’ meant you wrote with Heyer’s freshness, visual power and strong characterisation… whatever, M.m., I’d pocket that one and bring it out occasionally to have a laugh about over a G&T or a Pimms and to use for a discussion like this…it’s terrific.
    Thanks so much for this post.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Well, you know I think we err when we try to write like someone else. Surely we wish to write like ourselves. Or are we not interesting or witty or whatever enough? I find the whole thing vaguely dispiriting.

      But she was, just as you say, tremendous. Over the years, I have come to appreciate Black Sheep, Venetia and A Lady of Quality more and more…there’s something very restful about her vision of England in these books and they are balm for the techno-wearied soul I find.

      • prue batten says:

        ‘…balm for the techno-weary soul.’ I shall have to pinch that saying and file it along with the Dowager’s one-liners and other bon mots! It’s perfection.

        And I think you’re right: we should definitely seek our own style, I think it probably comes to writers – good writers – with maturity. It’s something that manifests quietly and without fanfare at a certain point in a writer’s development; a point when we can say, ‘Oh, that’s M.m Bennetts’ style’ or ‘That’s Prue Batten’s style.’ What do you feel?

      • M M Bennetts says:

        Well, style is a funny thing, isn’t it? It was used to be a necessity, and certainly it was discussed as such in any literature class or book review of merit. Now, it seems to have fallen off the pier and it’s rare to find a book review that discusses an author’s literary style, and then, it’s only in reference to ‘literary’ fiction like Booker winners. And this, I believe, is a sad loss. (And perhaps it’s a sign of our dumbing down as a civilisation, I don’t know.)

        I have certainly been told by the literary set that I have a definite style, one manifestations of which they refer to as the Bennetts’ negative: “Sir Charles looked up from the book he had not been reading.” Also, I consciously write in iambics and work a great deal with the poetic cadences of words and phrases–I read a lot of poetry when I’m writing–everything from Shakespeare to Hopkins to H.D. so that influences my work a great deal. But I don’t know, for all the work I put into it, that any but a few notice, I’m sorry to say.

  6. Excellent post! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

  7. Jane Godman says:

    Thank you for an excellent post on my favourite author. I would take the comparison as a compliment and move swiftly on!

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Bless you. I would take it as a compliment if I were certain that the speaker had even the vaguest clue what she was talking about. As the work in question is a rather seamy spy thriller set during the Napoleonic wars, violent and terrible (as wars tended to be), I know she was talking piffle…

      And Heyer is a absolute gem, is she not? And I, I can assure you, am not. *wink*

  8. Your Heyer copies have certainly suffered! The worst thing that happened to mine, was that my husband used “The Quiet Gentleman” to kill a wasp. I was torn between being horrified at it being used in such a way, and my delight that there was one less wasp in the world!

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Ha ha ha! Suffering for their art! I also believe there may be three or even four copies of Devil’s Cub extant in the house–they kept being pinched, and read, and left tucked under a bed…so another was needed…and then another…

      I did try the “Remove this at your peril” sign, but no one paid the slightest attention…

      The Beloved’s affection for his [my] books may be rendered as Tough Love, I believe.

      • I didn’t have that sort of trouble with the family, not until I acquired a son-in-law. He loves Heyer, and when they visit, my books mysteriously disappear. Sign, or no sign!

      • M M Bennetts says:

        Sings: “Past the point of no return, the final threshold…No going back now…”

      • Rappleyea says:

        Gracious! I knew I loved you, but never tell me that you’re a phan?!?

      • M M Bennetts says:

        And now my head is firmly turned. Ha ha ha. Bless you. (What’s a phan? Is that the same thing as fan only spelt oddly to confuse a stupid person?)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Ha ha… no confusion intended. It’s a fan of Phantom of the Opera.

      • M M Bennetts says:

        Ah! No, I wouldn’t consider myself one of those. Although I did see it on the second night of the London opening. A rather amazing experience. No one had seen anything or knew anything about it, the buzz in London had been quite sneery, and then, there it was. No one knew how the theatre had been altered to allow for the Phantom to get about–everything was jaw-dropping. Subsequent audiences, I’m sorry to say, have not had that experience as it’s become so well-known.

      • Rappleyea says:

        I AM a big phan, and am so jealous of your experience. Because you’re right – it was still magic and mystery when you saw it. Unlike anything that had ever been done before. I’ve seen it twice on stage and by then, the mechanics were very well known. I loved it anyway and was still gobsmacked.

      • M M Bennetts says:

        It was quite unlike anything that had been done before, even the costume changes were choreographed to astonish. Also, a thing I think that’s been lost sight of now–when I saw it, there was a clear sense that Lloyd Webber was playing off the phantom iconography of Lon Chaney. Those films were a lot closer to audiences then. So here was this chap singing this amazing, seductive music, drawing one in, while at the same time, in one’s mind was the image of Lon Chaney as the phantom driving that carriage like a madman. So ALW achieved that almost unachievable magic–at the same time the audience was being drawn in, they were being repelled–it’s amazing to be able to create tension like that in one’s audience. Simply amazing.

  9. J.P. Lane says:

    I LOVE Georgette Heyer – as would anyone who ever attempted writing real historical fiction and would therefore recognize the brilliance of her work. Her attention to period details is incomparable. I was astonished to see a reader give The Grand Sophy a 4-star ranking in a review on Goodreads. The reviewer must be closely related to the literary agent of whom you speak.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      ‘”There is no accounting for taste,” said the old lady as she kissed the cow.’ I once blurted that out to a dear friend who had a dairy herd. Ehem.

      Still the sentiment holds true. I mean, some people prefer Dial Soap to Roger&Galet’s Jean Marie Farina, so what can one do but the obvious–stock up on rose creams from Fortnum’s, tuck oneself under the duvet and reread the divine Miss Heyer… *wink*

  10. Louise Allen says:

    Lovely post on Heyer, thank you. I always enjoy researching in the eccentric world of the London Library stacks where I seem to feel her presence in the History section

    • M M Bennetts says:

      I’ve loved relooking at the pages of her notebooks that are shewn in the biogs of her, I can tell you. It’s been a pleasure to be just that much in her company…

  11. Rappleyea says:

    You are right not to take the comparison to Heyer as a compliment. The intellectually challenged person (used with the 19th c. meaning) didn’t mean it as one, and only showed that she hadn’t read either you or Heyer.

    I love Heyer and her wit and originality, but it is her historical fictions that I have re-read the most, my favorites being An Infamous Army and The Spanish Bride. My Lord John is wonderful too and I only wish she could have finished it.

    And finally, as far as writing styles, I find your writing to be beautifully lyrical and poetic, even in the depths of the war and killing. You truly are a master.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Dear me, I do believe you are trying to turn my head, ma’am.

      The Spanish Bride was my first encounter with the Peninsular War, so I daresay I should blame Miss Heyer for the shelves in the Growlery which groan under the weight of the books there on Wellington, the Peninsular War, the Battle of Badajoz, and also my absolute determination–before I write the book I mean to write on the last year of the war there–to ride the battlefields…

      I’ve already done one trip to Spain, and everywhere I went, the people were so keen to tell me of their love for the English soldiers and for Mambro–they couldn’t pronounce Wellington, so they called him after that other great English general, Marlborough, which they pronounced Mambro. Still, I really am keen to ride those battlefields…

      Don’t know if you ever encountered it Stateside, but she also wrote a mediaeval one called Simon Coldheart.

      And thank you for that immense compliment. I will aim to earn it. *wink*

      • Rappleyea says:

        Oh, yes! Definitely ride those battlefields. But stop and absorb the energy, too. Let the land talk to you, inspire you.

        A small woo-woo moment – your talking about going to Spain – as I just watched a piece on 60 Minutes about the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and am longing to go see it!

        Have definitely read Simon. There is only one Heyer that I don’t own (and therefore haven’t read) – The Great Roxhythe.

        And the compliment has already been well-earned.

      • M M Bennetts says:

        I don’t know anyone who’s read The Great Roxhythe. Hmn.

        And battlefield-wise, I’m getting quite itchy feet (itchy jodphurs?) to ride the battlefields of 1813-1814 too in southern Germany…

      • Rappleyea says:

        I can see a whole Napoleonic Wars battlefield tour! Map out your battlefields across Europe and ride your way over them (trailering your horse between them, obviously). What about Russia?

      • M M Bennetts says:

        Ha ha ha! For one reason or another, I don’t really want to do the Russian experience. The sno-cone diet wasn’t that fun, I hear.

        One of the problems with the German sites is that so much of Germany was bombed in the war, and those places that were under Communist rule until the 90’s suffered as well. Historic places taken down, Soviet block houses put up instead. So usually, I have to rely on period drawings, etchings, aquatints, and engravings. And if I can get enough of those, as well as early 19th century topical maps, I’m in an okay position.

        And there were battlefields all the way from Leipzig to Paris between 1813-1814. But they don’t appeal as much as do the Spanish ones. Don’t know why.

  12. D G Rampton says:

    Dear MM Bennetts
    This is the first time I have stumbled across your blog and I have to say you have your own inimitable Heyer-like style! I have searched in vain for an author of ‘fairy-tales for women’, as I call them, to match Heyer’s brilliance…but, as you know, they don’t exist. I even wrote my own to try and carry on her tradition (though I fully admit I can only aspire to her heights)…and how I wish someone will one day compare me to her! You are truly lucky!

    Have you ever thought of writing a historical romance? I could happily read your phrasing and never once get bored (as happens too often with the simplistic language used by today’s romance novelists).

    • M M Bennetts says:

      You are very kind, thank you. I have recently been reading some of Heyer’s works aloud and I am more appreciative of her ready wit with each page…She keeps my teenage daughters laughing like drains. We are currently enjoying references to “pig-persons”…

      You may enjoy my novel, May 1812… Certainly, I would hope you would and much of the world spoken of in that novel is one a Heyer-lover would recognise and feel comfortable with…I think…

  13. I would very much like to read May 1812! I am going through another phase of immersing myself in the Regency period before starting to write my second novel. I shall report back when I’ve read it but I’m certain I’ll love it!

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