A wonderful post from Sue Vincent that shares her love of books including the books of Georgette Heyer, a prolific and versatile author of detective stories, general fiction but also of outstanding Regency romance. Sue explores the amount of research that went into recreating the era, culture and environment of the period and looks at our own need to research our work. Please follow the link to read the complete post.
Once upon a time…and all the very best stories start that way… there was a little girl who read her way through every book in her mother’s library. It wasn’t a proper library, with mahogany shelves and great leather chairs… but once she was curled up with a book, the space under the stairs was the best library in the world, because it was hers.
The little girl grew up loving books and learning from them in all sorts of ways, some of which she would not even begin to realise until her blonde curls had deepened to caramel and thence to grey. Her library had grown over the years, but many of her mother’s books still had a home in the bookcases and, every so often, she would pick one up to read. The familiarity of the stories made them ideal reading at bedtime, when only a few pages would be turned before her eyes began to close and the associated memories were comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that the realisation of one thing she had learned from them was quite startling…
The value of research.
Amongst my mother’s favourite books were the novels written by Georgette Heyer. Although she wrote detective stories and novels covering many periods of history, she is best known for her Georgian and Regency romances. I have read her books so many times over the decades that I know them pretty much by heart and hers are the only romances I will voluntarily read, mainly because the romantic element is delicately and discretely done and takes second place to the detailed drawing of a portrait of time and place.
Heyer was a good writer. Her use of language and her portrayal of characters both historical and fictional is masterly, she handles humour with intelligence and wit and although her plots may appear light they are incredibly detailed. But, above all, her knowledge of the era is phenomenal.
Please head over to enjoy the rest of this excellent post.