How I discovered Georgette Heyer and special Sourcebooks Happy 110th Birthday to the “Queen of Regency Romance,”Giveaway!
Georgette Heyer remains an enduring international bestseller, read and loved by four generations of readers and extolled by today’s bestselling authors. Despite her enormous popularity, she never gave an interview or appeared in public.
Georgette Heyer wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, when she was seventeen in order to amuse her convalescent brother. It was published in 1921 to instant success and ninety years later it has never been out of print. A phenomenon even in her own lifetime, to this day she is the undisputed queen of regency romance.
How did I discover Georgette Heyer? Like most things in life, I blame my mother.
It happened right after I devoured the complete works of Jane Austen. I needed something to prevent me from going down the road of literary despair – you know, when you read a book from cover to cover or a series from book 1 right through to the final installement and are left bereft because now you have nothing to read? – my mom handed me Regency Buck and said “try this.” The rest as they say, is history.
But really, discovering Georgette Heyer was just the beginning. These were the days before Amazon, Barnes & Noble and e-readers; my mother amassed her Heyer collection from second hand book stores and lucky finds. By the time I came into the picture, the collection was seriously depleted thanks to many relocations and book borrowers who fail to understand the meaning of the word ‘borrow.’
That is where our joint quest began – to find every last one of the Georgette Heyer books be they romance, historicals or mysteries. From second hand book stores in Tel Aviv (Black Moth, The Masqueraders) to Hatchards in London (The Unknown Ajax, A Quiet Gentleman) and Sam’s Club(!) in Florida where we found Sylvester, Or: The Wicked Unlce (love!), through boxes and boxes of old things long forgotten ( My Lord John, Why Shoot a Butler, Beauvallet, Simon the Coldheart, A Royal Escape) slowly slowly we recovered each and every book. My mother rediscovered old favorites (Venetia) and I discovered a love for Heyer’s witty heroines, detailed historicals and intriguing mysteries.
I still remember the day I found Frederica (my favorite) as I was walking down the rickety stairs of a bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London. I almost missed it – and nearly fell down the stairs when I realized what I had found.
Then there was the time I found a hard to find Heyer book online – Spring Muslin and a Spanish Bride from Abe Books.
Yes, we also spent days discussing the more serious aspects of her books – her characters often use derogative terms when discussing minorities – including some classical anti-Semitic themes – which at the time the stories were written, were culturally acceptable but which often made some books hard to read…Yet we also talked about her heroines – classic beauties versus handsome women with expressive grey eyes who always had the perfect comeback and knew just how to handle the heroes.
It almost seems like I’m talking about ancient history but really, this was all just 15 years ago. Today, thanks to the reissuing of all the Heyer books – they can easily be found on a bookshelf – virtual or real – near you.
These days my baby sister is sharing our copies, and soon my nieces will be introduced to their first Georgette Heyer books.
Still, my quest isn’t over. There is one final book I have not been able to find – The Great Roxhythe… I guess the search continues!!!!
Happy Birthday Georgette Heyer!!!
And a big thank you to Sourcebooks for offering this incredible giveaway!
All Available Georgette Heyer eBooks on sale for $2.99 from
Tuesday August 14th – Monday August 20th! Only at SourceBooks!
Get 30% off any Heyer print book during the whole month of August at the Sourcebooks
store by using the coupon code HEYER at checkout! Only at SourceBooks!
Also, check out our Georgette Heyer Facebook page where we will be having
discussions, parties and giveaways!
One lucky US/Canada commenter will win a surprise grab-bag prize pack of 3 different
Georgette Heyer novels: 1 Romance, 1 Mystery, 1 Historical Fiction!