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Heyer, Georgette

popular marriage historical romances

(British, 1902–74)

A prolific and popular writer of historical romances set in the Regency period of the early nineteenth century. The background is carefully researched; the narrative lively and good humoured. It is a world of rakes, dandies, lace, and ruffles, in which life is a game and the making of a good marriage the biggest prize. However, her main protagonists are given more substance. The heroine may well be poor, and often the daughter of some feckless adventurer, but makes up for this with an abundance of spirit, wit, and beauty. The hero is tall, dark, handsome, and rich, but weary of the frivolity and artifice of society life and ladies, and thus readily amused and engaged by the escapades he will inevitably be drawn into by the headstrong girl who wins his heart. She in her turn can rest her head on his bosom after that heady kiss that will seal their fate, confident that marriage to such a man will never descend into the mundanity of washing his socks. Heyer also wrote contemporary detective stories with a similar lighthearted tone. Among her most popular romances are The Masqueraders (1928), Cousin Kate (1948), The Grand Sophie (1950), and Frederica (1965).

Daphne du Maurier, Jean Plaidy, Charlotte Brontë. See HISTORICAL, ROMANCE  KB

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