Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer
Copyright 2009 - Originally published in 1948
Sourcebooks - Fiction/Historical
439 pages

Almost every time I read a book by Georgette Heyer, I find myself saying, "Ooooh, this is my new favorite!" and it's happened, again.

The Foundling tells the story of the cosseted Duke of Sale, who is tired of having loads of people attend to his needs and decides to sneak off to help his cousin out of a fix, in part so he can see what it's like to be "Mr. Dash, of Nowhere in Particular". First, though, he asks his childhood friend Harriet for her hand in marriage because it's expected of him. He doesn't think it will be the most exciting marriage, but he likes her and has been told marriage isn't supposed to be thrilling . . . and that he can always find himself a mistress.

The Duke calls himself "Mr. Rufford" (one of his titles is Baron Ware of Rufford) when he goes off to extract cousin Matthew from a breach of promise claim and then ends up with Matthew's former crush -- a stunningly beautiful airhead named Belinda (a "foundling", or orphan) -- and a teenage boy, who plans to sneak off to London for similar reasons to the Duke's, tagging along. The Duke gets into all sorts of tangles and has to eventually ask Harriet to help him deal with Belinda. In the process, the Duke realizes his own inner strength and resources are not lacking and discovers there's more to Harriet than meets the eye.

5/5 - A wonderful book. It's funny, adventurous and, toward the end, romantic in a tender and touching way that falls short of being gushy.

My thanks to Danielle at Sourcebooks for the review copy.


  1. For someone that has yet to read Georgette Heyer, where do you recommend starting? This sounds delightful.


  2. CherryBlossom,

    To be honest, I don't think it matters. I'm a fan of her Regency novels but didn't care for the one gothic I read (she also wrote about a dozen mysteries).

    The Regency lingo is, however, mind-boggling, at first. I've printed out little lexicons of Regency-speak used by Georgette Heyer off the internet and kept them beside me, at times. After reading 5 or 6 titles, I've learned enough that I don't feel like I'm reading a foreign language, anymore.

    I just looked up reviews of other Heyer books and The Nonesuch was, I quote myself, "fairly tame" when it came to Regency-speak. So that may be a good starting point.

  3. I've been indulging in mysteries lately, but maybe it is time to return to the fun of Heyer's Regency period. I love the escape offered by her amusingly romantic characters and plots!

  4. I'm still sooo out o'the loop on Heyer. I really should try some of her stuff, but for some reason I keep resisting. Give me bravery and a decent attention span, Nancyroo!!!!

  5. Jenclair,

    That's exactly why I'm so fond of Heyer's Regency novels -- they're pure escapism and there's always something to make you laugh. Her heroes and heroines also tend to be kind people with strong morals, which is awfully refreshing. I was in love with the duke by page 30. He's a terrific character. :)


    I hereby endow you with the bravery necessary to conquer a Regency adventure by Georgette Heyer. Go forth and read. You won't regret it, I promise. If you're new to the Regency lingo, though, look online for a little help. One of my reviews has a couple of links to some excellent sites that'll help you translate all that crazy Regency speak. You do get used to it, eventually.

  6. Aren't most of her books utterly delightful? I love Georgette Heyer. The only one I didn't care for was The Arranged Marriage (or something like that because it didn't end up all happily ever after).

  7. Carrie,

    They certainly are. I hope it's not The Convenient Marriage that you're referring to because I like happily-ever-after endings and that title's sitting right in front of me.

  8. I know I love her writing style and I am sure I would love to try out her Regency novels!

  9. Veens,

    If you like her writing style, I'm sure you'd love her Regency novels. They're upbeat, adventurous and romantic. Go for it!! Love your new profile image. :)


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