Last week’s Heyer Society Poll asked me to choose my “Favorite Heyer Novel Location” and it ended up being much harder to give an answer to that question than I would have thought possible. At first I thought: Well London, obviously. But then as my eye drifted down the list of potentials, I began to see that there was a lot to be said for places other than London in Heyer’s works.
The choices given us by the Heyer Society Powers That Be were (and are; voting is still open, forever, I think) London, Bath, a Country Manor, a Country Inn and The Continent, and honestly, I can make a solid argument for all five.
LONDON: It’s home to Frederica and The Grand Sophy and The Masqueraders and much of Arabella and Sylvester and Cotillion and Regency Buck. So of course, London!
BATH: It’s home to Black Sheep and Lady of Quality and the funniest part of Friday’s Child and the part where we begin to like Diana in The Black Moth, and Bath Tangle, obvs. So of course, Bath!
A COUNTRY MANOR: It’s (literally) home to The Unknown Ajax, Venetia, The Quiet Gentleman and The Reluctant Widow. And let’s not forget False Colours, the most underestimated Heyer novel of all time. So of course, a Country Manor!
A COUNTRY INN: It’s home to The Talisman Ring, The Corinthian and Sprig Muslin, as well as the bit where Alverstoke realizes just how much he adores Frederica. That last bit is enough to make this locale a fave. So of course, a Country Inn!
THE CONTINENT: Paris sees Avon’s deep games in These Old Shades and Philip Jettan’s terrible poetry in Powder and Patch. Elsewhere in France, Devil’s Cub Vidal plots to rid himself of Mary Challoner and Simon Beauvallet captures and courts the Lady Margaret–while his descendant, the piratical Nick, spends at least as much time in Spain as does Major Harry Smith as he captures The Spanish Bride. So of course, the Continent!
Looking at this list, I had to ask myself the question, do I even HAVE a favorite Heyer Novel Location? I’m not sure it is possible to pick. Because yes, of course it is London! But it is also, of course, the other four. (As well as a toll-gate.)
Which is all a very long way of explaining why I didn’t vote. But unlike the reasons people often give for not voting in very important elections what do you mean you didn’t vote you live in Florida and that’s a swing state people die for the right to vote Grandma! (sorry, personal stuff there), it was not because the choices were equally bad but because they were, and are, equally good.
And I am totally going to go and read The Toll-Gate now. Best. Heyer. Novel. Location. Ever. (Except for all the other ones.)
Clara Shipman is a voracious reader of all kinds of Romance, Mystery and Women’s Fiction (whatever that is). She lives on the outskirts of Boston, where she spends her days writing algorithms and her nights writing reviews for Romantic Intentions Quarterly, when not on long walks with her dog, Lufra.