Subtitled “Georgette Heyer called her novels ‘nonsense’—but sometimes trifles make perfection”, Alexandra Mullen’s considered Wall Street Journal review of Jennifer Kloester’s definitive work, Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller, also delves into the life and work of Heyer herself, with enormous enthusiasm.
“Of making many books there is no end, said Ecclesiastes, quite some time ago now, so inventing a subspecies of storytelling is very rare.” she writes. “In the 20th century, one woman can certainly lay claim to that honor: Georgette Heyer, mother of the Regency Romance.
“Am I hearing some sniggers out there? Hold your high horses! I’m not talking about the saccharine inanities of Barbara Cartland or the more recent sexed-up dramas. Those are the sorts of books Heyer herself dubbed “breast-sellers.” Her own historical novels are well researched, from street plans and shops, military matters and gentlemen’s neckwear, to popular entertainments and slang. The comedies mix swashbuckle and screwball. Out of the frothy melee, characters emerge satisfactorily fated. If you have a taste for such fare, Heyer (1902-74) serves it forth with rational glee: ‘My style is really a mixture of Johnson & Austen — & what I rely on is a certain gift for the farcical.'”
Going on to exhult not only in Heyer’s life and work, but in our Jennifer Kloester’s, this is a thoughtful and respectful piece sure to please even the most ardent of Heyer fans.