Monday, September 08, 2008

A Heyer Standard

I've been on kind of a used-bookstore crawl lately. There is an Alice Starmore book out there somewhere, with "$12.95" pencilled on the inside cover, waiting for me to find it - I just know it. So, I check when I can, and usually I browse around in case there are any Georgette Heyers in need of a new home.

Georgette Heyer, for the uninitiated, was a funny, shrewd, and dignified author who published between 1921 and 1973. She created the genre of Regency Romance, and her work both inspires and defies imitation. It's getting harder to find her novels, unless you count the new(ish), abhorrently-covered Harlequin printings. I won't have them in the house.

Obviously I am not the only person decluttering, because this tidy pile was sitting, pretty as you please, on the shelf at a local dingy, smoky booksellers.



Isn't that something?

They all came home with me, to join their adoptive family:



and so far I think they are adjusting well.

9 comments:

clumsy ox said...

Great find! I've been looking for The Grand Sophy, but have been unable to find it.

Heyer's novels are some of the few I permit myself (along with Harry Potter now and then, Lord of the Rings every year or so, and various other sundries). It's not that I dislike reading, but I read so much for work, I don't find myself reading for pleasure any more.

And without meaning to cast aspersion on those who do, I rarely read "serious" fiction. My life is too dramatic for me to introduce any further drama. I prefer my reading to have tidy plot resolutions and get my attention in the first 50 pages.

And I hold authors to a high ethical standard: they need to respect the readers. If they stretch a plot to get another book out of the story, they're on shaky footings with my loyalty. My interest in Wheel of Time waned when the seventh and eighth volumes introduced only negligible plot development, and Rowling was almost black-listed in the Order of the Phoenix debacle.

Not that you wanted to know all that...

stephanie said...

Oh, I think used book stores are just a little taste of heaven. Yesterday I noticed a little used book store in an old, charming little building down the road from my new place. I'm planning on going to check it out this afternoon. I'll keep an eye open for this "Alice Starmore" you speak of.

kate said...

Your collection looks very much at home on your shelf. What a lovely find for you.

I like finding gardening books.

Tabatha said...

Oooo, Heyer! I was in a Heyer jag this summer. I finished rereading The Convenient Marriage & Foundling while we were camping. So hilarious! So good!

Annalea said...

I'm in clumsy ox's camp . . . while I don't read for work, per se, my real life has been sufficiently dramatic that I'm not up to anything truly gripping.

I love Heyer, as well. Haven't read more than Venetia (which was excellent--my dream romance, really), but I haven't bee looking through used book stores, either. Something about five tag-alongs. lol Maybe I'll start watching eBay for a mixed lot of Heyer titles.

Okay, I should really go do some laundry . . .

Ames said...

What a sacrifice. . .opening your home and loving the unwanted and discarded. . .

Gwen said...

"Pure reading and undefiled is this: to visit bookshops and the Sally Ann in your affliction, and to keep your new Heyer novels unsullied by the crappy knock-offs on other shelves."

I have "April Lady" from the same publisher's as your "Powder and Patch." I look religiously (see above) on every "discard" shelf and in every thrift shop, but I've never been as lucky as you were! Great find!

Jodi said...

What a marvelous discovery! I actually have a couple of Heyer's novels on my bookshelf, but haven't read them yet. I'll have to dig them out.

Juno said...

I adore Heyer