ON-DITS

AFTER GEORGETTE: Weatherland (2016) by Alexandra Harris

In most of Heyer’s novels the weather is fine and characters are rarely stopped from driving in the park or doing some shopping. But in Sylvester the weather at the start is cold and miserable, Keighley gets a bad cold and Sylvester has to do more than he bargained for. Alexandra Harris’s excellent book Weatherland: Writers and Artists under English Skies is a fabulous look at changing English attitudes to the weather and how it is reflected in books, poems and paintings.

Susannah Fullerton

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AFTER GEORGETTE: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (2009) by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows

If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend you set aside and afternoon and curl up with Juliet Ashton and her letters to the people of Guernsey. The characters come to life and it will make you want to go to this Channel Island. A surprising novel, but such a compelling one. Delightful!

Jennifer Kloester

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AFTER GEORGETTE: The Diary of a Provincial Lady (1930) by E. M. Delafield

From her often difficult neighbours to her always unsympathetic husband, her rambunctious children, and the household staff she in no way rules, this anonymous diarist shares the minutia of her life in an often wry and witty, but charmingly, adorably self-effacing, manner that is sure to delight any Heyer fan. The series continues as our lady leaves the provinces, and all are delightful, but the first is the best.

Rachel Hyland

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AFTER GEORGETTE: Persuasion (1817) by Jane Austen

Many Heyer readers will know and love Jane Austen’s novels and Persuasion is a favourite reread. Anne Elliot reminds me of several Heyeroines and there are elements of Austen’s novel in several Heyer stories. Anne’s journey to love and freedom from her awful family is compelling and the romance is perfection.

Jennifer Kloester

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AFTER GEORGETTE: The Crossing Places (2009) by Elly Griffiths

Crime writer Elly Griffiths is clearly a big Heyer fan, for her fabulous series featuring forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway and police officer Harry Nelson is dotted with references to Heyer. Start with The Crossing Places and you you will be transported to the Norfolk Coast, enjoy great dialogue, intriguing crimes, and fabulous romantic tension. Twelve books to give you satisfaction and reading pleasure for some time to come. I adore this series!

Susannah Fullerton

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AFTER GEORGETTE: Catherine, Called Birdy (1995) by Karen Cushman

Set in late-13th century England, this journals the trials and tribulations (and occasional joys) of Birdy, the teen daughter of an uncouth minor noble of the time. Whether discussing the parasites that plague her, the maidenly occupations that annoy her, or the forthcoming marriage that disgusts her, she is a feisty, hopeful yet strangely pragmatic soul. The book does not shy away from some of the less pleasant aspects of Medieval life, nor does it romanticize the period. Funny, immersive, upsetting and thought-provoking, it is YA, but so much more.

Rachel Hyland

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AFTER GEORGETTE: Vanity Fair (1848) by William Makepeace Thackeray

A hugely entertaining classic, Vanity Fair is full of marvellous characters. Clever, cunning Becky Sharp lives by her wits while her sweet, amiable friend Amelia Sedley falls in love with a ne’er-do-well. Having read Heyer you’ll enjoy an easy familiarity with much that is in the novel.

Jennifer Kloester

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AFTER GEORGETTE: A Countess Below Stairs (1981) by Eva Ibbotson

Also known as The Secret Countess, this sparkling novel tells of the aristocratic Anna, who flees to England with her family following the Russian Revolution and must find a way to help keep them afloat. Taking a job as a chambermaid to the Earl of Westerholme, it is not long before her beauty, goodness and innate grace catch his eye, as well as endear her to his staff. But he is, of course, engaged! To a white supremacist! Whatever will happen? Eva Ibbotson may be best-known for her inventive children’s works, but she also wrote several lyrical and intriguing romance novels, all of which are clever, immersive and enchanting, and very much worthy of the Heyer reader’s time. This one especially.

Rachel Hyland

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AFTER GEORGETTE: A Girl of the Limberlost (1909) by Gene Stratton-Porter

The enchanting story of Elnora Comstock, a marvellous and very unique heroine. Her refuge is the Limberlost, an ancient swamp that once covered 13,000 acres of eastern Indiana. It is there that Elnora finds hope and love and a way to achieve her dreams.

N.B. This is technically the sequel to 1904’s Freckles, but the earlier novel is not necessary to the enjoyment of this one.

Jennifer Kloester

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