Sunday, March 24, 2019

A classic comic novel...

I chose to read a Georgette Heyer for this year's Back to the Classics Reading Challenge classic comic novel category because Heyer's books always make me laugh. And Sprig Muslin is no exception. Here's just one example of Heyer's wit and humor:
"Sometimes one is forced to take desperate measures. And it is of no use to tease oneself about propriety, because it seems to me that if you never do anything that is not quite proper and decorous you will have the wretchedest life, without any adventures, or romance, or anything!"
 So says 17-year-old Amanda, a young lady who's run away from home as part of her "campaign" to force her grandfather to give her permission to wed Captain Neil Kendal (who is completely unaware of what she's done).

Sir Gareth Ludlow is on his way to Brancaster to make an offer of marriage to Lady Hester Theale when he happens upon Amanda at a public inn. His conscience won't let him leave her there unprotected; so, against her wishes, he determines that the only thing he can do is to take her along to Brancaster where he knows she'll be safe.
"If Sir Gareth meant to arrive at Brancaster Park with this dazzling young beauty on his arm, he was unquestionably out of his senses. But it was not the business of his groom to point out to him the unwisdom of introducing his chance-met bit of muslin to Lady Hester."
 Lady Hester, unassuming and shy, does indeed reject Sir Gareth's proposal. (Despite his claim of affection and esteem for her, she wishes for love.) And that's when things really start to get interesting. Amanda runs off. More lies are told. And many other humorous complications ensue as Sir Gareth tries to wrangle the headstrong runaway and return her safely home. Even Lady Hester manages to have a small adventure. Sprig Muslin is a charming and delightful Regency romance with captivating characters and happy endings for all. I loved it. In fact, it's now my favorite Heyer novel. (With The Quiet Gentleman a close second.)

Happy Reading!



28 comments:

  1. I only tend to read historical novels from the Tudor and Plantagenet period or maybe about the plague or historical events that interest me. I have heard of the author and know she is popular so I'm glad you liked this one!

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    1. It was a light, fun read. I do enjoy reading books set in the Regency time period, but I like the Tudor period a lot, too. I'm not sure I've read any books set during the reign of the Plantagenets, though. :)

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  2. I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed this! It was my first Heyer ever - I was a teen, and my aunt had decluttered her shelves & brought me a big bag of books... This was the first I picked up... I was hooked rightaway. I've been a devoted fan for several decades now, and 'Sprig Muslin' will always be special to me :-) If you enjoyed this, you might also like 'The Talisman Ring' (in case you haven't read this already).

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    1. I have not read The Talisman Ring. Thanks the recommendation! I've been working my way through Heyer's novels and really enjoying them. :)

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  3. This isn't one I re-read often, though I do love Hester. I've just finished re-reading Cotillion, because someone posted a quote from it, and when I went to check the quote, I ended up sitting down with it! The Quiet Gentleman is my top favorite, though. Drusilla is so practically perfect, and the Dowager Countess the best Lady Catherine de Bourgh outside of Jane Austen.

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    1. Cotillion is still on my list of Heyer novels I need to read. And you're right about Drusilla! She's a favorite.

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    2. You are in for a treat with 'Cotillion' :-)

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    3. Freddy is a poppet, as Heyer herself said :)

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  4. Hi Lark, Georgette Heyer is one of those writers I have heard great things about and so I must read her. Many writers have tried to come close to Jane Austen's regency world but as I understand Heyer has really put he effort in getting everything right, the scenery, the characters, the time period. That's so 8mportant in historical fiction.

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    1. I think she does a great job of capturing the time period. And she has some very fun characters, too. :)

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  5. I've heard of Georgette Heyer of course but I had no idea there was such an undercurrent of humor in her books? Or at least it sounds like there is in this one? I'm really curious now to try some of her stuff!

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    1. It's not only an undercurrent :-) Heyer definitely has a sense for the ridiculous. Two of my personal favourites are 'Black Sheep' and 'Frederica' - they're both full of great dialogues. Oh, and 'The Grand Sophy', 'Friday's Child' and 'Cotillion' are hilarious, too. Also: Great secondary / side characters in all of these!

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    2. Heyer's books always make me laugh. She writes with definite wit and humor, and sometimes even seems to poke fun at her characters and the time they live in.

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  6. This will be the next Heyer I read, so I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed it so much!

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    1. It was great. I hope you like it, too. :)

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  7. This sounds like a lot of fun and something I'd enjoy. I'm checking this out. :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! Have you ever read Georgette Heyer before?

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  8. I've never cottened to Heyer, but maybe I've not read the right one yet? You make this sound delightful and now I want to try it!

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    1. She definitely has her own unique style of writing. If this plot sounds like a story you'd like, then give it a try. I loved Gareth. And Amanda is so funny; she totally made me laugh.

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  9. I like the Regency Heyer books, and this one sounds like fun!

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    1. It is! It's definitely one of my favorites.

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  10. I really need to read a Heyer book. They sound like so much fun. :)

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    1. You should give her a try sometime just to see what her books are like. :) And she certainly has a lot of novels to choose from.

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  11. It's been so long since I've read a Heyer book. Her regency romances are delightful aren't they? Glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much.

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  12. This book sounds wonderful and I hope to read it soon. I like the time period and romances with happy endings.

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    1. This novel is a lot of fun. Have you ever read Georgette Heyer before?

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