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Cotillion by Georgette Heyer: Full of Awesome - Rants of a Fanfic Addict [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
insaneneko

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Cotillion by Georgette Heyer: Full of Awesome [Nov. 27th, 2010|09:13 pm]
insaneneko
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ah_chan recommended the regency romance novelist Georgette Heyer's novels in a comment to one of my Jane Austen posts, so I requested a bunch of books from the library (they don't have all of them by far, sadly). I picked several up this week, and I read Cotillion last night. Oh my. It is awesome. So, so awesome. Funny and sweet, and so satisfying!

The book is about an orphan who's guardian is a grumpy, miserly, but very rich old man. He will leave her everything if she marries one of his grand-nephews. Unfortunately, the guy she wouldn't mind marrying (and the guy the old man would like her to marry) doesn't show up to ask her. She comes up with the great idea of having a pretend engagement with the only (?) nice grand-nephew so that a) she has some reason to go to London and catch the guy she does want and b) make him jealous. Naturally, things don't work out the way she'd "planned" (if you could call her ideas plans). Oh...I can't say much more without spoiling things, but I love the way the story goes! It's mostly silly, but with serious undercurrents that bubble up at times.

The dialogue threw me for a loop, especially Freddy with his slang and bizarre sentences. Some things cleared up when I stumbled across a little Regency Glossary.

I have two more Heyer books from the library, These Old Shades and Friday's Child, and I hope I like them even half as much as Cotillion.



OMG HOW ADORABLE IS FREDDY. At first I was like ???, but then I liked him when he got the horrified look on his face when Kitty tells him why he'd been summoned. And the second horrified look on his face when Kitty proposes to the fake engagement. As it went on, I came to like him more and more, and I had to flip to the end and see who Kitty ended up with because I didn't want to become even more attached to Freddy only to find Kitty with Jack at the end. I'm sooo glad Freddy got the girl. I love that he knows full well that he's not that bright, but tries to think up plans when forced to...and does! And how he knows his propriety but tries to make things work in spite of his innate conservativeness. And how he has awesome taste and is such a dandy. And how his sister totally doesn't have the taste he shares with their mother.

Though I haven't read much in the way of het romance novels in general, let alone Regency romances, I've read so much BL that I figured Jack was totally THE HERO type pretty quickly. What is up with hero types who are actually total bastards? In any case, I'm sick and tired of bastard type heroes so it made me happy that the truly nice guy ended up the true hero.

Kitty did not make go OMG LOVE nearly as much as Freddy, but I think she's more of a conventional heroine? I liked that she was a good girl but definitely had spunk. And I loved how as she learned more about the world she came to understand what was right with her. And that Freddy is awesome. XD;

As for the other characters...I was SO happy Freddy punched Jack. Jack totally deserved it for being such a self-serving shit. Olivia and Camille rather annoyed me. I felt sorry for Olivia's situation, but the way the two mooned over each other (uselessly) got to me after a while. In contrast, I liked Dolph and Hannah. Dolph himself could be a bit tiresome, but as he's dim-witted and has an awful mother it's hard to blame him. I liked how Hannah is so sensible and calculating but so patient and nice to Dolph. Freddy's family seem really nice. I love how Freddy's father is a smart, sardonic type, but not an ass who is mean to people who aren't quite as smart as him. Even Meg. She's silly and has no taste, but in the end she's just nice. Kitty will probably be really happy marrying into that family.

Last but not least, Freddy's unique way of confessing his love to Kitty just made me laugh and squee at the same time. "What I mean is, like you to have everything you want. Wish it was me, and not Jack, that's all." So sweet, if so oddly phrased!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: keelieinblack
2010-11-28 08:39 am (UTC)
OMG, Cotillion!! One of my most favorite Heyers ever; I totally wrecked the spine of my copy by rereading certain scenes over and over, like Kitty and Freddy going sightseeing or the two of them in the Egyptian Hall. Freddy really is the most darling thing. ♥

Wow, I wish I still had most of Heyer's oeuvre stretched out unread before me. I read my first of her books back when I still thought het romance novels were all trash, and it obviously required a revision of that viewpoint. XD I can't promise that all of her romances are as awesome as Cotillion, but "funny and sweet" is the default mode for the majority, so I really hope you enjoy working your way through them.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-12-04 05:43 pm (UTC)
So far so good with her books. Some have been better than others, but for the most part all have been fun. I hope it keeps being that way.

The entire sightseeing trip was hilarious. I love Freddy all upset about the Elgin marbles missing heads and all. And the recounting of the trip to Freddy''s father...

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[User Picture]From: ficcentricity
2010-11-28 12:03 pm (UTC)
I LOVE COTILLION!♥♥♥ Freddy is such a sweetheart, and I especially loved the hilarious (and adorable!) relationship he had with his father. I totally get what you mean @ the obscure dialogue, I think Freddy in particular uses a lot of slang that I didn't quite get at first?

For the other novels you have lines up, I liked Friday's Child a lot, but only near the middle-- in the beginning I found the main couple a little boring. If you like really quirky, plucky heroines, you'd probably enjoy The Grand Sophy!
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[User Picture]From: zehavit_lamasu
2010-11-28 12:48 pm (UTC)
I ADORE Georgette Heyer. It is true that her characters tend to slip too often into period slang but you get used to it and just go along with the stories.

What I like about her is how unashamed she is to just go with entertaining her readers. She wrote her firt book (Black Moth I think) at the age of 15. I vaguely remember she did it to entertain her brother who broke his leg. The essence of that remains - sheer frivolous regency fun. She writes other period romances but her regencies are the best in my opinion.

I am quite fond of THESE OLD SHADES but mostly because it dances with the cliche romance trope of a girl dressed as a boy - I can never have enough of that XD.
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[User Picture]From: sara_tanaquil
2010-11-28 03:33 pm (UTC)
I can't believe you've never read Georgette Heyer! I look forward to your reviews, because I've read a lot of her books, but can never keep the titles straight, and I have a bunch I've never got around to reading (I tend to max out on her after two or three at a time). I got a literal bagful at a used bookstore once, so I have almost all her books, both romance and mystery (which I think are generally not as good as the romance).

There is one that never fails to send me into fits of laughter, but I can never remember the title! It's the one with the woman who keeps maxing out her credit and goes through the most ridiculous shenanigans to keep her husband from finding out. And that doesn't sound romantic at all, but it actually is (there's more to the background, of course) -- very sweet as well as hilarious.
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[User Picture]From: sara_tanaquil
2010-11-28 03:37 pm (UTC)
Google reveals that the title I was thinking of is April Lady. Why can't I find the book on my shelves right now? The one you want to read is always the one that hides itself away.
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[User Picture]From: zedta
2010-12-03 03:09 am (UTC)
I borrowed the book from the library after I read your post. I have to agree with you totally. Freddy is so cool XDD. The whole scence at Hugh's manor was extremely entertaining. I laughed so hard at the whole process of Freddy carefully removing the fluff on his coat to him punching Jack and get a very approving praise from Hugh XDDD
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-12-04 09:37 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it too! I laughed when Hugh can't help but approve of Freddy punching Jack. I think everyone wants to punch Jack at least once. XD;
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[User Picture]From: zedta
2010-12-04 02:31 pm (UTC)
I believe the highest count belongs to kitty, with two times
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-12-04 05:41 pm (UTC)
*laughs* That we know of. The others must've wanted to punch him out numerous times over the years...Well, maybe not Freddy. He's too good-natured.
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[User Picture]From: hpstrangelove
2010-12-03 02:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the rec and the link to the glossary. I have a few audiobooks because actor Richard Armitage narrates them, but I haven't had time to listen yet.
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-12-04 09:38 am (UTC)
Ooh, let me know if the audiobooks are any good. I hope you like the books.
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[User Picture]From: hpstrangelove
2010-12-04 03:36 pm (UTC)
I will - the only problem with the RA narrations is that they're abridged; I normally don't bother with abridgments, but I love Richard Armitage's voice so that's really why I have them.

But there are other of her books that are unabridged so I will have to hunt them up. You make them sound so good...so much to read, so little time!
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[User Picture]From: insaneneko
2010-12-04 05:40 pm (UTC)
Damn, abridged? That sucks! I can understand wanting them despite that for the voice. XD;
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