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Reader Challenge with Some Winnings — Your Input Required

The Riskies have decided to try something a little different for us. And you. A Regency Read Along.

What’s that, you ask?
Well, we’d all read the same book, something Regency set, and then we’d have the opportunity to discuss what we liked, disliked, adored, were bored or what have you, in re the selected book.
The peeps who stop by this blog are pretty awesome and I know I’d love to know what you guys thing about a book. I think we could have a pretty awesome discussion.
If I can manage it, I thought I’d see if I can talk an academic sort into providing some questions, background and/or literary thoughts to supplement the discussion. Nobody has to write an essay. No quizzes. Just discussion about a Regency Romance.
We’ll offer a prize or two to some of the people who join in our discussion, too.
The vague parameters are that we’d chose a book to read then start reading sometime in early March, (after various and sundry parties are done reading RITA books). The book would be by an author who is no longer living so no one has to feel they shouldn’t offer a criticism or complaint because he or she does not want to hurt any one’s feelings. After some period of reading we’d start talking about the book.
Pretty simple, I think.
Here’s where your help would be appreciated.
I thought we could start with a book by Georgette Heyer. There are two that occur to me right away because I haven’t read them yet:
  • These Old Shades
  • Devil’s Cub
But that is not a long list. What are your suggestions for a book to read? Any thoughts about the event itself?
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Courtney
12 years ago

If you go with one of those two Heyer novels, definitely go with “These Old Shades” first, as “Devil’s Cub” is its sequel. 🙂 I’d also recommend her “A Civil Contract.”

Jane Austen
12 years ago

These Old Shades is available on Kindle. I am a) totally in and b)totally in love with this idea!!!!!!

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Well, if These Old Shades is on Kindle….

It should be interesting because I really did not like These Old Shades which I read about six years ago, as compared to Heyer’s others. And, Courtney, I probably liked A Civil Contract even less!
But that should make for great discussion.

I’m so glad you came up with this idea, Carolyn! And, um, I am plowing my way through the RITA books. I’m just saying.

azteclady
12 years ago

Haven’t read either of these–and can’t find These Old Shades anywhere, I may have to see about a digital version.

mizwaller
12 years ago

I dont consider either one a Regency, they are Georgians. The “Infamous Army” would be a better choice I believe. It features the grandchildren of the duke in “These Old Shades”.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

That’s a good point, mizwaller!

azteclady, go to this site http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=These+Old+Shades&x=52&y=21
I order a lot from abebooks and have never had a problem.

Lexie
12 years ago

I do love how all of Heyer’s works seem to be lumped together as Regencies (I’m no exception, I had no idea they weren’t Regencies!).

I’m down for any Heyer book quite frankly, and down for Regency Read-A-Longs in general 😀

Caroline Storer
12 years ago

Count me in! GH sounds a good place to start. Caroline

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Definitely count me in! And it would make sense to read These Old Shades first and then move on to Devil’s Cub and THEN Infamous Army. Sorry my OCD is showing. These sounds like loads of fun!

Carolyn
12 years ago

Oh, yay! Some people want to do this! Later today I’ll sum up where we’re at and refine the idea and book offering as appropriate.

Keep suggesting!

cara elliott
12 years ago

Well, I’m on a Heyer kick, having just taught Regency Buck. What about “Sylvester”, which features a writer heroine? After reading some critical papers, I remembered how much I enjoyed the book way back when. It would be fun to re-read it now. (Another favorite is The Talisman Ring, which IMO is hilariously funny.)

lustyreader
12 years ago

sounds like fun! after reading romance for 15 years i read my first Heyer’s last year: The Black Moth and These Old Shades. I was so shocked to see all my favorite romance tropes show up in those, esp the heroine going disguised as a boy, one of my all time faves.

I would also suggest Edith Layton as a possible author, she has a great regency back list.

Jane Austen
12 years ago

I must concur with lustyreader about Edith Layton. I wish we could read Lord of Scoundrels. I would LOVE to talk about that with a group especially since it brings out strong emotions in people. But it doesn’t fit the criteria.

Cara King
12 years ago

For Heyer, I’d vote for going with one of her Regencies rather than one of her Georgians…and (as several have pointed out) both Devil’s Cub and These Old Shades are Georgians. (And I agree that it’s best not to read Devil’s Cub first, as it’s not only a bit of a sequel, but has characters from the previous book showing up in it rather often.)

I think Friday’s Child or Cotillion would be very good discussion books. (I’ve been in book discussion groups for years, so have done a bit of thinking about what sort of book is not only fun to read, but yields good matter for discussion.) On the other hand, both Friday’s Child and Cotillion are books where Heyer somewhat challenged or broke her own mold, so they might not be the best books to start with.

Regency Buck isn’t my favorite, but it would lend itself to discussion, and also it sort of set all the standard Regency tropes that were featured in SO many later books by other authors….so that might be interesting to see. Oh, but wait — we already discussed that book a bit here:
Heyer Revisited

And The Spanish Bride here:
The Spanish Bride

Or, for an impassioned discussion, there’s always A Civil Contract. 🙂

Or, maybe as Heyer sort of started the whole thing, we should read one of her best-loved and most, well, archetypal. Venetia, perhaps?

Cara (who loves to talk about Heyer!)

Janet Mullany
12 years ago

Georgian Shmgeorgian… when we first discussed this in Riskyland we decided to stick with dead writers so our reputations wouldn’t be ruined. I don’t want another visit to the country to read sermons and wind wool under heavily-chaperoned conditions.

I think These Old Shades followed by Devils Cub is an ideal combination–two generations of a bizarrely dysfunctional family.

On the other hand I do like the sound of Sylvester which I can’t remember at all.

Beth Elliott
12 years ago

I believe ‘Regency Buck’ was Heyer’s first Regency [as opposed to her Georgians. But my mouth is watering at the prospect of any Heyer novel. Please count me in.

Cara King
12 years ago

Um, okay, Janet. If I sounded like I was sermonizing, I apologize… In my (our) defense, we were asked for suggestions…

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

I have to agree that ANYTHING Heyer will bring forth a lively discussion with this particular group !!

I have been reading her books since I was nine (over 40 years) and frankly I never tire of them. The funny thing is, each time I read them I come up with a different favorite !! My current favorite is The Quiet Gentleman, but ten years ago it was Sylvester. When I was much younger it was Devil’s Cub. In ten years who knows what it will be.

And I do agree about Edith Layton. Some really wonderful, wonderful books!

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

O Doggie One, maybe I’ll feel differently about These Old Shades, then! It would be interesting to find out.

Carolyn
12 years ago

Ack! Blogger ate my comment. Sigh.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I enjoyed all the insights. Tomorrow when I’m not depressed over the loss of my brilliant comment, I will re do it.

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

I just bought a hardback of “These Old Shades” at that book sale, and (gasp!) I have never read it before, so that would be fun 🙂

Jane Bigelow
Jane Bigelow
12 years ago

I have heard it claimed that the British War College actually used description of the Battle of Waterloo given in An Infamous Army in classes because of its completeness and accuracy! Maybe one of you will know if that’s true.

“Bad Babs” is one of the most fascinating bad girls ever.

Talisman Ring is hilarious.

Oh, honestly, I’ll re-read any of her historicals, be they Regency or Georgian.

Jane

M.
M.
12 years ago

hey, i just read and reviewed ‘devil’s cub’, i’d love to talk about it with you all if that’s what’s chosen!

reading ‘the masqueraders’ by heyer right now

SonomaLass
12 years ago

I’ve read a few Heyer books, most of them Georgian. I’ll read (or re-read, in the case of These Old Shades or Devils’s Cub) anything by Heyer, but I would vote for an actual Regency-set book myself.

Count me in, whatever you choose!

Barbara Monajem
12 years ago

I’ll discuss anything by Heyer… Other possibilities are The Foundling (which isn’t quite the usual romance, but very entertaining), The Reluctant Widow, or The Toll-Gate. Should be fun!

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