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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

More Georgette Heyer

I am currently re-reading Georgette Heyer's A Civil Contract - which was always one of my favourites. Adam Lynton returns from a successful career in Wellington's army when his father dies. He finds to his horror that his father has left him nothing but debts. His hope of marrying the beautiful Julia Overseley are dashed and he decides - on advice - to look for a bride with a fortune. He finds her in Jenny Chawleigh - daughter of rich businessman Jonathan Chawleigh. Jenny is one of Heyer's most down to earth heroines and she soon finds her metier in bringing Adam's houses back to their original standard.

Full of humour and delightful characters as well as an excellent portrayal of how two people who hardly know each other can make a success of marriage. I love it and I'm finding lots of aspects of the story which did not strike me when I first read it years ago. Jonathan Chawleigh - a glorious comic character - who may be deficient in taste in some respects but who has a heart of gold. Jenny who knows ultimately a man will be happy if he has a comfortable home and good food and is allowed to follow his own interests. Julia - who plays the tragic heroine to perfection. The ebullient Lydia - Adam's sister - who ends up loving Jenny as she would her own sister. A great read - not one of her more romantic novels but in some ways the better for it.

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