Tuesday, August 30, 2011

'The Quiet Gentleman' by Georgette Heyer

Fiction/Regency Romance
First published in 1951
(re-issued by Sourcebooks in 2011)
trade pb, 334 p.
Source: Publisher/Sourcebooks
From the back cover:
Returning to his family seat from Waterloo, Gervase Frant, seventh Earl of St Erth, could have expected more enthusiasm for his homecoming. His quiet cousin, stepmother, and young half-brother seem openly disappointed that he survived the wars. And when he begins to fall for his half-brother’s sweetheart, his chilly reception goes from unfriendly to positively murderous.

One of Heyer’s most suspenseful Regency romances, The Quiet Gentleman combines an ingenious mystery plot with her signature witty style and effervescently engaging characters.

After enjoying my first ever Heyer novel, Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle, earlier this month, I was very much looking forward to reading The Quiet Gentleman, the second of the Heyer books that I received from Sourcebooks to celebrate the birthday of Georgette Heyer this month. It seemed the perfect book to take along with me on our recent summer holiday to Hokkaido, and I can tell you it made for a great holiday read.

Gervase Frant has inherited his title and the family estate after the death of his father, but it seems the other members of his family wish he’d died in the wars. He puts up with their insinuations and fancies until things take a dangerous turn. These are no longer harmless comments. Someone seems out to kill him!

This story was quite different from Sylvester, with less focus on the romance, and more on the mystery subplot. The romance is still there, but it’s very subtle. I admit it took me a little longer to get into The Quiet Gentleman, and to warm up to the characters, but once I did the characters come alive on the page, and became completely memorable. The Earl’s spoiled step-brother, Martin. The ridiculous stepmother and proud matriarch. The clever and sensible houseguest, Miss Morville. And of course the Earl himself, who with his quiet confidence, and charming ways, is a very likeable hero.

Like with Sylvester, what I loved most about The Quiet Gentleman were all the rich details of Regency life. The day-to-day goings-on at Stanyon Castle. The niceties to be observed. The Regency way of life. Perhaps it’s the English teacher in me but I also love the vocabulary of the period. I really think we should bring back the usage of “funning” as a verb!

The Quiet Gentleman has all the right ingredients for an enjoyable summer, or anytime, read. A little bit of suspense, attempted murder, with a dash of romance. All in all, it was another delightful journey to Regency England. I know I’ll definitely be reading more of Heyer’s novels! Thanks again to Sourcebooks for the chance to finally experience this well-known, well-loved author for myself.

For more information, visit the Sourcebooks website.

Buy The Quiet Gentleman at: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | BookDepository.com | BookDepository.co.uk

Other thoughts:
Dolce Bellezza
books i done read
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The small print: This book was received free of charge from the publisher for review. Links in this post to Amazon or The Book Depository contain my Associates or Affiliates ID respectively. Purchases made via these links earn me a very small commission. For more information please visit my About Page.

1 comment:

  1. It was a 'delightful journey to Regency England', one I had to be in the mood for to be sure. If you're feeling in the mood for a shocking thriller, perhaps Heyer isn't quite the ticket. ;)

    I want to talk about Thousand Cranes with you. I really enjoyed it, but as so often happens with me, I finished the book and feel a little unclear. So, I'm looking forward to your post on Kawabata's work, and hoping we can discuss the significance of the tea ceremony with his two loves...


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