The Charms of Georgette Heyer

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The following excerpt from her relatively early novel--a version of Pygmalion:

from Powder and Patch
Georgette Heyer

He even refused to buy a wig, but wore his own brown hair brushed back from his face and tied loosely at his neck with a piece of black ribbon. No powder, no curls, unpolished nails, and an unpainted face--guiltless, too, of even the smallest patch--it was, thought Cleone, enough to make one weep. Nevertheless, she did not weep, because, for one thing , it would have made her eyes red, and another, it would be of very little use. Philip must be reformed. since she--well, since she did not dislike him.

Gentle irony and subtle humor in prose that is not uncomely and sometimes rises to Austenian heights--Georgette Heyer a much underrated, underread master of the historical romance. It's a shame because there is much fun to be had with Ms. Heyer's magnificent novels.

Interestingly, the roles are reversed here and Philip wants to be loved for Philip

"Little Miss Cleone will have non of you an you fail to men your ways, my son. Do you not know it? What has that dainty piece to do with a raw clod-hopper like yourself?"

Philip answered low.

"If Mistress Cleone give me her love, it will be for me as I am. She is worthy a man, not a powdered, ruffled beau. "

I guess, as the saying goes, we shall see.

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I'm going to begin reading The Black Moth (on the podcast next week) which I think Powder and Patch immediately followed in her long list of writing. Glad to see that Heyer's style was always on target! I'll have to hunt down a copy of this one.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 14, 2007 6:56 AM.

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