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Which Heyers are funny?
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Which Heyers are funny? Reply with quote

I'm hoping for advice from someone who has read more of Georgette Heyer's backlist than I have. I'm looking for her more comic novels. My absolute favorite is The Talisman Ring, followed by The Reluctant Widow and The Grand Sophy. I also liked The Black Sheep and The Toll Gate, but wasn't all that chuffed about The Nonesuch or Venetia (I know, I know. Everybody - well, everybody else loves Venetia.)

I know her novels are never completely without humor, but I'm looking for the ones that would be labeled romantic comedies. Suggestions?

Thanks
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1246
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My #1 favorite is The Unknown Ajax; it has its serious moments, but the hero has an awesome sense of humor (humour?), which elevates parts of the story to true comedic genius. Much of the fun in this book results from the fully realized characters and their interactions.

False Colours has a twin scenario where the younger brother has to substitute for his elder twin, who has disappeared just after contracting a suitable betrothal.

Frederica also has many funny parts.

Kay
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1556

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count me as another who doesn't like Venetia! Other than that though, our tastes don't seem that similar, so I'm not sure my recommendations would help. I think The Nonesuch is hilarious, for example. But I would also recommend The Unknown Ajax. Cotillion and Friday's Child are both also very funny.
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 677

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

April Lady - very slight book - young wife gets into debt, and tries to repay the money without her husband finding out.
I agree with Willaful, Cotillion and Friday's Child are both funny. Cotillion has a set up a little like The Talisman Ring - an orphan being forced/encouraged to marry into the family by her guardian - she embarks on a fake engagement, and travels to London. Friday's Child is one of Heyer's dense heroes - he's turned down by the love of his life, marries an (equally dim) acquaintance - and the story is about them adapting to married life.
Sylvester? Has it's funny moments. Duke decides to marry perfect female, goes to inspect daughter of mother's friend. He decides she won't do, though later in the book they meet up again. By that time, however, she has anonymously published a book in which he is recognisably the villain. It has a slow start, but when everything starts to unravel, it is funny.
[Edited to add - writing this made me remember how long it is since I read Sylvester, so I'm rereading it now. I've got to page 125, and feel the need to apologise for the above summary. It gives the general idea, but I've all the details wrong...]

I agree that if you liked The Toll Gate, you should like The Unknown Ajax - they've a similar feel. And Lady of Quality is similar to Black Sheep.

Also The Foundling and Frederica, neither of which are romantic comedies, but they've very funny moments in them. The Foundling is the story of an unassertive Duke, who in a moment of escapism, goes to settle a family problem incognito. It gets complicated, and he gets entangled with a runaway schoolboy, the original dumb blonde and a confidence trickster. And Frederica is the story of a bossy elder sister who brings her much beloved and beautiful sister to London for the season, and manages to get their relative, the Marquis of Alverstoke to sponsor the family. It's not a romantic comedy - the humour doesn't come from the plot - but it is funny.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1382

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are all the Heyer books I have rated at 4 stars on my humor scale:
these old shades
devil's cub
arabella
black sheep
the convenient marriage
the corinthian
cotillion
frederica
friday's child
the grand sophy
the masqueraders
the reluctant widow
sprig muslin
sylvester (or, the wicked uncle)
the toll-gate
the unknown ajax
The amount of romance varies from very little to moderate. Romance is central in very few of her books. They are more comedies of manners with romantic threads than romantic comedies.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 697

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 10:25 pm    Post subject: Funny Heyer books Reply with quote

Apart from those already mentioned, I think The Corinthian is sweet and very funny in places - I always hoot with laughter at the owl story, and the reference to that Great Quaker. The heroine is only 18 (if I remember correctly) and refreshingly guileless.

Regency Buck is one of my favourite Heyers and although it has serious moments, there are some very funny parts.

The Masqueraders is very tongue-in-cheek humour in places - more smiles here than rolling on the floor kind of laughter.
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Terese



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion Georgette Heyer is one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. She was the one who helped launch the "Regency Romance" After finishing one of her books you feel like you know the characters and the time they lived in. Even tho her books took place in mostly the Regency era, and she used some "types" repeatedly I felt like her characters were individuals. I'm going to second everything that the other posters already said, but dwell a little bit more on three of my favorites.

The Unknown Ajax has a long scene near the end that had me rolling on the floor at times. What was so funny? The dialogue. All the more funny because it was delivered by characters acting in character. Does that make sense? The characters were acting in a way that fit the personality the author created.

Same thing with Friday's Child. (One of my very favorite Heyers. I went just now to my bookshelf and freaked out that I can't find it.) It is the characters that make the book so funny. Fiery, romantic George, in love with a lady who spurns him. Ferdy, with his perpetual surprised look. Gil's soberness. Hero's naviete that lands her in continuous trouble, and which forces Sherry's entrance into responsibility. Yet he doesn't completely lose his free spirit. If you've read this book maybe you'll remember a line of Sherry's when he catches up with Hero and her erstwhile beau: "Oh, are you the fellow who ran off with my wife? Never mind, old boy, did the same myself."

And the Talisman Ring. wow. I enjoyed the romance between Sarah Fane and Sir Tristram even more than the one between Eustacie and Ludovic. Sally's dry sense of humor tickled me. I thought that Tristram didn't have much of a sense of humor or of romance, but he shows flashes, like when he promises that his willingness to ride to her rescue "ventre-a-terre" would be included in the wedding vows always makes me smile.

Gosh, I'd love to be reading all of these again for the first time.
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yourmaugham



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count me as another who didn't care much for Venetia.

Though I'm glad to hear that The Unknown Ajax is hilarious, Terese. It's the next book in my recent library haul, hooray!

I only discovered Heyer last fall and I've been trying to pace myself as I make my way through her works. Every novel must be savored!
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Jane A



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 767
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little OT, does anyone know if any of Heyer's books have been released as ebooks? I've looked for them in such a format unsuccessfully, I'm hoping I've overlooked them somewhere.
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Elaine S



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 667
Location: Rural England

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always had a soft spot for The Black Sheep because the hero, Miles Calverleigh, is exactly the sort of man, when I was 16 and first read this, I was desperate to find one day. Yes, and then keep him all to myself. Georgette Heyer does the Rake better than anyone who has ever tried to do it. Although Damerel in Venetia is my all time favourite Rake, Miles Calverleigh, with his sense of humour, his relaxed attitude towards life and his acute insight into human foibles is amusing, admirable and utterly fanciable. The ruthless way he sets up his despicable nephew, Stacy, is hilarious.
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RichMissTallant



Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elaine S wrote:
Damerel in Venetia is my all time favourite Rake


Ooo he's so... *sigh* I always forget how much I love Venetia. I tend to gravitate toward the funnier Heyers (I mean, look at my username!), but that's a good one.
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Yuri



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 291

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RichMissTallant wrote:
Elaine S wrote:
Damerel in Venetia is my all time favourite Rake


Ooo he's so... *sigh* I always forget how much I love Venetia. I tend to gravitate toward the funnier Heyers (I mean, look at my username!), but that's a good one.


See and I thought Venetia was one of the funny Heyers! I love it too, but I also love The Grand Sophy, so I will second the reccommendations for Frederica, which I think is absolutely hilarious and The Unknown Ajax. You might also want to take a look at Arabella, she's a little too prone to getting herself into embaressing situations for my taste but its my mother's favorite funny.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1080
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You might also want to take a look at Arabella, she's a little too prone to getting herself into embaressing situations for my taste but its my mother's favorite funny.


Ah, yes - Leaky Peg. How could I forget?
Miles Calverleigh and Damerel are probably my favourite Heyer heroes. Funny, intelligent, don't take themselves at all seriously yet they take the heroine's seriously. I also have a very soft spot for Hugo in The Unknown Ajax, which also keeps me reading with a grin on my face. The moment when Lord Darracott realises that his unwelcome heir is the Regency equivalent of a squillionaire does my heart good.

Elizabeth
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1666

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:25 pm    Post subject: The Talisman Ring Reply with quote

Terese wrote:

And the Talisman Ring. wow. I enjoyed the romance between Sarah Fane and Sir Tristram even more than the one between Eustacie and Ludovic. Sally's dry sense of humor tickled me. I thought that Tristram didn't have much of a sense of humor or of romance, but he shows flashes, like when he promises that his willingness to ride to her rescue "ventre-a-terre" would be included in the wedding vows always makes me smile.


I love Sally and Sir Tristram but don't care for Eustacie. Ludovic is fine, but since whenever he appears you also get Eustacie, I tend to skip over those sections. Eustacie tends to go on and on and was just a boring adolescent as far as I could tell. But Sally's sense of humor and bravery more than make up for my dislike of Eustacie, and this is one of my favorite Heyer's.
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RichMissTallant



Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This entire thread makes me want to go on a giant Heyer spree. I feel like I haven't read one of her books in years, and now I want to re-read them all!
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