Thursday, August 18, 2011

'Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle' by Georgette Heyer

Fiction/Historical Romance
First published in 1957,
Re-issued by Sourcebooks in 2011
trade pb, 400 p.
Source: Publisher - Sourcebooks
From the back cover:
Rank, wealth, and elegance are no match for a young lady who writes novels … Sylvester, Duke of Salford, has exacting requirements for a bride. Then he encounters Phoebe Marlow, a young lady with literary aspirations, and suddenly life becomes very complicated. She meets none of his criteria, and even worse, she has written a novel that is sweeping through the ton and causing all kinds of gossip … and he’s the main character!

I’ve long been hearing how wonderful Georgette Heyer’s books are but somehow hadn’t yet got round to reading any myself. However, thanks to Sourcebooks, and their celebration of Georgette Heyer this month to coincide with her birthday (on August 16th, she would have been 109!), I finally read my first one. And what a joy to read it was too!

Sylvester, a rather arrogant, entitled Duke, decides that it’s time to take a wife. And not just any wife will do. She must meet certain criteria he considers essential to marry a man of his position. Phoebe is all wrong for him, and has, in fact, written a rather scathing novel with him as the villain. But then they are brought together, and we all know that love doesn’t obey the rules.

Just like with Jane Austen’s books, which inspired Georgette Heyer to write her own, or any good love story, you know how it will all end. These are stories with happy endings, no spoilers here. Instead, the pleasure lies in the journey to get there, and Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle was a pleasure from beginning to end. Once I’d started reading, I became completely caught up in the characters and their intrigues. And I really loved the Regency-era vocabulary and turns of phrase, and all the details of Regency England, which brought the story wonderfully to life.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. I don’t understand what took me so long to pick up one of Georgette Heyer’s books, but now that I have, I can’t wait to read more. Thank goodness she wrote so many. I have a long list of titles to look forward to.

Which is your favourite Heyer novel?

For more information on the author and her books, visit Sourcebooks, the Georgette Heyer Wikipedia page, and Georgette Heyer Novels.

To celebrate Georgette Heyer's birthday, Sourcebooks are having a sale on her ebooks. 46 titles for $1.99 each! Check out Happy Birthday, Ms Heyer! for more information.

Note: You must hurry, as the ebook sale ends on Sunday, August 21st.
In addition to buying direct from Sourcebooks, the sale is also available through the Sony Reader Store, and Barnes and Noble. Unfortunately, since I don't live in the US I can't purchase from any of them, but maybe you can!

Or, Buy Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle at: |

The small print: This book was received free of charge from the publisher for review purposes. Links in this post to Amazon (including book cover) 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. I can't buy any of the sourcebook titles since it is open to US only and only in US based ebook stores :\ But I am excited to try a Heyer, I now own 2 :). I am very glad to hear you enjoyed this one.

  2. I read my first Heyer - The Grand Sophy - last year and *loved* it. Next, I think I'd like to read and then listen to one of the Heyer audiobooks narrated by Richard Armitage (Sylvester, Venetia, and The Convenient Marriage).


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