by Jennifer Kloester
Sourcebooks - History/Reference
For those who have never read Georgette Heyer's fiction, Heyer was a prolific author who wrote books set in the Regency period. I'm not sure how many of them I've read -- maybe 5? I've got years and years of Heyer reading ahead of me. Her books are absolutely delightful. Those I've read have been light-hearted, romantic, adventurous reads with only one exception and that particular title leaned toward Gothic.
The problem with Georgette Heyer's books is that she was such a thorough researcher and worked so hard to maintain accuracy that if you don't know your Regency history her books can be a bit baffling, particularly the lingo. I've printed out a few lists of Regency cant and slang to help me with the reading. Like Shakespeare, eventually you will get the drift via context, even if you aren't able to define a word or two or fifty. But, I've wished for a lexicon for quite some time.
Georgette Heyer's Regency World is not a lexicon, although there are sections with definitions. The book, however, goes way beyond simple definitions and serves as an excellent history lesson on the Regency period. It includes such things as methods of transportation and entertainment, styles of both men's and women's clothing, marriage traditions, royalty and other real-life characters and lifestyles of the privileged. Within that text, Kloester uses examples from both real life and Heyer's fiction.
Truly, Georgette Heyer's Regency World is an amazing read. I learned so much about the Regency period that my admiration for Heyer has been multiplied ten-fold and I'm certain that, although I'll undoubtedly refer back to the book, I will go into future Heyer reads with an understanding of the time period that should make her books even more enjoyable.
The bottom line:
Highly, highly recommended for readers of Georgette Heyer's books, particularly those who know little about the Regency time period. My edition is an ARC and the index is not complete (the page numbers for the index portion had not yet been inserted) but the index looks very thorough and should make it an easy reference book. My only complaint -- and it's minor -- is that I would like to see a complete alphabetical lexicon section rather than one divided into topics like money, men's clothing, clubs, sport, etc.
In other news:
Little Isabel is sleeping behind my monitor. I can see her tail and a little bit of white fur body. How cute is that?
My high school is having a reunion, this weekend. It's a big-number reunion. It makes me cringe. I was on the list of "missing students" so I didn't hear about it till yesterday. That's fine. I'm still trying to plow through some books to try to catch up with myself, now that my summer slump appears to have ended and traveling would have nipped that in the bud.
It is still way hot in Mississippi but we've at least dropped from mid-to upper 90's to lower 90's. I'll party when it hits 78. We're also having quite a little drought here. If you know a good rain dance, please feel free to dance for rain for us. Does that work, doing a rain dance for someone else? Maybe I need to get up and dance. Just FYI, I am one awkward dancer. I'd probably end up getting Mother Nature to drop frogs or something.
One for the road: A photo of our little Isabel playing with a ball on her scratching post. When she arrived at our home, she had to climb the scratching post with all four legs to reach the ball. Now, you can see she just stands on her tippy-toes only three weeks after her arrival. She is growing ridiculously fast. I think Fiona wishes she'd hurry up and just turn into a boring old cat, but every day we seem to see a little improvement in their relationship, if that's what you call it.
What exciting things are happening in your world? Read anything fabulous, lately?
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