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False Colours

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  4,327 Ratings  ·  342 Reviews

"Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen."
-Publishers Weekly

A missing twin Something is very wrong, and the Honourable Christopher "Kit" Fancot can sense it. Kit returns to London on leave from the diplomatic service to find that his twin brother Evelyn has disappeared and his extravagant mother's debts have mounted alarmingly.

A quick-minded

Mass Market Paperback, 314 pages
Published November 9th 1973 by Pan Books Ltd (first published 1963)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This book is about a cute set of identical twins:

. . . no, wait. Cute and marriageable identical twins:

Yeah, something like this, but in Regency costume. *fans self vigorously*

Anyway. The younger and more sensible twin, Christopher (Kit), senses Something is Wrong with his twin and returns to London from foreign parts, only to find that his brother Evelyn has disappeared without a trace, and it's imperative that Evelyn show up at a dinner to meet his wealthy fiancée's family. Unfortunately for K
Oct 28, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely light easy read just like all Georgette Heyer's romances. This one stars one of her best male leads in Kit who is half of a pair of identical twins. Identical that is in appearance but not apparently in character and charm. Her books are still the best Regency romances out there and they are certainly standing the test of time. To me they are the literary equivalent of comfort food:)
Love, love, love!!

This novel was so cute! Ah, I just want to give it and everyone in it a big hug! <3

False Colours seems to be one of those less popular Heyers, because I had rarely heard of it, knew nothing of what was going to happen, and generally did not know what to expect beyond twins switching places and family shenanigans. But it was all so much fun!! What a wonderful ride!

I just loved the feels of this book: so sweet, soothing, heart-warming and gentle, all interlaced with Heyer's si
 Carol ♛ Type, Oh Queen! ♛

I'm gratified to say that Georgette Heyer's books hold up so well for me (I never liked Charity Girl & hadn't read Why Shoot a Butler before) as I work through my goal of rereading all of them on Good Reads. (well maybe not My Lord John & Helen – a reader can only suffer so much)

This is one that has improved with time & I have now given it a rating of 4.5*

GH shows her trademark careful plotting & tying up of loose ends. Kit is one of my favourite GH heros – kindly, witty, han
Seema Khan
Well, according to"The Georgette Heyer Theory of Regency Romance" assuming a very many constants in people's beliefs and perceptions and assumptions based on absurd coincidences and the unfailing and obviously expected conclusion of a happily ever after, False Colours is truly Georgette Heyer personified!
Though this one is not my favourite of the lot, it has a few things I much admire. Kit, for instance, with his ingenuity and tact is a superb character. Secondly, The Fancot Twins together do ca

Omigod this book was SO FUN. It was just pure delight and put a smile on my face more than once. Which felt a bit silly because I was listening to an audiobook, usually on public transport, and sitting there grinning like a fool to myself. But I didn't care because it was awesome. What could be more fun than twins switch places?

Oh right, hot twins switching places. In Regency England. And having to pretend to be engaged. And actually falling in love. And all the many complications such a s
Abigail Bok
Sep 04, 2015 Abigail Bok rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are many things I love about False Colours—the hero, Kit, is one of my favorite among Georgette Heyer’s men; his mother, Lady Denham, is one of her most perfect wigeons; and the Dowager and Sir Bonamy are delightful secondary characters. But the novel makes its way only into my second rank of Georgette Heyer favorites because of the plotting.

Kit Fancot, the younger of a pair of identical twins, comes home to London from his diplomatic post in Vienna because he has sensed that something is
Sep 07, 2016 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads, fiction
How can False Colours possibly be considered a romance novel when the main character spends eighty percent of his time with his mother, fifteen percent with his valet, servants, and friends, and a pitiful five percent with his beloved?

I actually enjoyed the first eighty or so pages of this novel, but by the time it became abundantly clear that the novel would consist of Kit spending his days with his mother, the novel quickly too one a nails-on-chalkboard feeling. It’s extremely slow and lacking
May 19, 2008 Daisiemae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Regency Romance Lovers
Recommended to Daisiemae by:
When I picked up False Colours by Georgette Heyer, I knew to expect a well-written, regency romance filled with laugh out loud humor and well developed characters. This is a fast-paced book of misunderstandings and mistaken identities that kept my interest until the last page.

Christopher “Kit” Fancot has a nagging feeling that something is very wrong. While on leave from the Army, he decides to surprise his family with a visit. When he discovers that his twin brother, Evelyn has disappeared and
The Honorable Christopher Fancot takes leave from his diplomatic post to return to London because he has a feeling something is wrong with his twin Evelyn, Lord Denville. Their mother reveals Evelyn hasn't been home in over a week and she is very worried. Evelyn is due to visit his potential bride's family soon and if he isn't home in time then Kit will have to take his place. Kit and his twin used to change places frequently as children for a lark but this is different. Kit agrees believing the ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 15, 2015 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, favorite
It's always hard for me to review a Georgette Heyer book. She's one of my favorite authors and I've read most of her books many times. Which makes it difficult to feign objectivity or even to avoid gushing like a little girl.

In False Colours, like other of her adventure-flavored romances (The Unknown Ajax, The Toll-Gate, or The Talisman Ring for example), the central romance is resolved between half and three-quarters through the book (60% in this case, I checked). Unlike those others, however,
Apr 09, 2015 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kit Fancot returns home from his diplomatic job in Europe because he feels his twin brother, Evelyn is in trouble. His feeling turns out to be correct as Evelyn has disappeared just after he proposed to Cressy Stavely. He has been invited to meet her relations on the day after Kit's return and his mother persuades Kit to take his brother's place as they are almost identical. What follows is an amusing story of mistaken identities and a mysterious disappearance which turns out to be much more pro ...more
Apr 04, 2009 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers with twin boys?
Shelves: georgette-heyer
I read all of Georgette Heyer's books in my teens and enjoyed most of them thoroughly. Now, twenty years later, I've decided to re-read them since they've been enjoying an upsurge in popularity and have been re-released in such an attractive format. I could not remember if I'd read this one or not, and now I realize why I found False Colours so forgettable. The main character, Kit, spends most of the novel, not in witty banter with his lady-love, but with his mother. I’m 110 pages into the book ...more
BJ Rose
Feb 28, 2011 BJ Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-regency, keepers
What a delightful romp!! Kit Fancot comes home unexpectedly from Vienna because he ‘has a feeling’ that his twin in his trouble – and he’s right; Evelyn has not been seen or heard from for almost 2 weeks, and no one knows where he is. To make matters worse, he’s supposed to attend a family dinner the very next night – the family of the woman he recently proposed to! The twins’ Mama decides that Kit should masquerade as his brother ‘just for the night’, and Kit has the devil of a time trying to p ...more
The couple in this, Kit and Cressy, were likeable enough, but this was definitely not one of Heyer's better efforts. I didn't find her humour as sharp or as well-paced as in other works, and in its absence, the gender politics just became too strong for me to ignore.

It wasn't so much the depiction of the constraints and roles which were forced on women in Regency England--it would be hard to read historical fiction at all if you couldn't put that to one side a little--it was the depiction of Ki
I quite enjoyed this! As I always do Heyer. I breezed through it in about two days. The plot was even thinner than usual this time, but it really didn't matter. The characters were so charming that the plot was really just an excuse to show them off. It's a twin masquerade plot- one doesn't show up to be presented to his potential fiancee's family, the other one has to take his place.. wacky hijinx and romance ensues. The usual cast of great supporting characters and dialogue is present and spar ...more
Sherwood Smith
Mistaken identity is one of the best engines for comedies of manners.

This novel is at its best when the masquerade happens, but beforehand and afterward, there are conversations that go on for upwards of thirty pages and more--as if Heyer had lost her sense of timing that is so tight in her earlier books, and got complacent. Many love this one, but I can't reread it without heavy skimming; the heroes are more like the younger brothers of some of the other novels, and the heroine one of the plain
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2015 Adrianna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those Heyer novels I remember being disappointed in, my first run through. I just finished reading it again, and I see now why it didn't rate high amongst the list of glittering Heyer works- it was boring! Way too much dialogue (and I LIKE dialogue)- most of it between mother and son, and while the mother is a delightful disaster, the discourse between them isn't nearly as interesting as the verbal exchanges between Kit and his brother's fiancée, or even between Dowager Fancot and ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Christopher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sigmund Freud
If "Cyrano de Bergerac" and "Oedipus Rex" had a literary offspring, it would be Heyer's "False Colours." The former because the romance - the very little of it that exists in the book - largely consists of the hero courting his brother's betrothed while pretending to be him. He's one of Heyer's kinder heroes, and I felt bad for him. And the latter because the book is not so much about a hero or a heroine as it is about a mother. A mother who is one of Heyer's more absurd creatures (which is sayi ...more
Olga Godim
Oct 11, 2012 Olga Godim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: georgette-heyer
This is a quiet book: no romping and no hilarity, although the premise might’ve supported such excesses. In this tale of two identical twins, all the preconceptions are turned on their heads.
Kit, a diplomatic secretary in Vienna, is the rational younger twin to Evelyn, the impulsive and rakish Earl of Denville. Sensing through the twins’ bond that Evelyn is in trouble, Kit hurries home to England, but when he arrives in the middle of the night, he discovers that Evelyn has disappeared.
What is
After a disquieting feeling that his twin brother is in trouble, Kit Fancome rushes back to London. There, he finds that his brother Evelyn has disappeared, and no one has seen him for a week. Even worse, Evelyn has arranged to meet his fiancee's family the very next day--and if he doesn't show, the wedding will almost certainly be cancelled. Kit agrees to stand in for his flighty brother for a single night...but in fact, must continue the pretence for weeks. And as he spends more time as Evelyn ...more
The critic quote in the blurb nails it again by saying that with Heyer you don't just choose a book, you choose a world, and most stay there. Maybe that's why I keep re-reading her now - I think it's different to eg. Dodd where either I kept wanting more erotic romance or to find her redeeming herself or me scratching my wounds. While I keep saying how every single thing is pale and small upon re-reading my most important favourite author, I never don't want to pick up the book again.

Cressida, l
Aug 27, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In spite of (or because of?) the slow moving nature of the storyline and the absolutely unconscionable financial attitude of the mother character, I enjoyed this Heyer very much indeed.

Not as perfect as Arabella or Beauvallet, but certainly not anywhere near as drecky as Powder and Patch either!

Buddy-Read with Jeannette and Tadiana


I'm sorry, this book was legit boring. This is the first Heyer book I actively gave up on and it pains my heart... I just felt like the story dragged on and on, and the characters that were propelling the story weren't doing much for it.

Maybe someone else will enjoy it more than I did? That being said, every author has their book that doesn't quite cut it in terms of some readers. I'm also coming to the part where I've read all her 'hits' and her 'sleeper hits'. It was only time until I foun
Mon avis en Français

My English review

Sally MacKenzie m’avait dit que Georgette Heyer était une de ses auteures préférées et c’est vrai que quand j’ai su la sortie de celui-ci, j’ai tout de suite été intriguée. Je n’ai lu qu’un roman d’elle, que j’avais bien aimé sans avoir un réel coup de cœur et j’étais curieuse de voir ce qu’il en serait de celui-ci. Pourtant encore une fois, j’ai le même sentiment pour ce livre. Ce n’est pas qu’il n’est pas bon, parce que l’histoire est très agréable à lire,
Jan 12, 2009 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love the male characters that Heyer creates. However, this book was much slower and less witty than her other books. I had a really hard time getting into this book and only finished it out of sheer will-power.
Feb 03, 2009 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read everything Georgette Heyer when I was young and I adored her. This time around I just wished everyone shut up and get on with the story. I hope it is me, not her.
Gwyneth Stewart
Jan 29, 2016 Gwyneth Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Georgette Heyer regency stories. It features the Fancot twins, the elder of whom stands to inherit and earldom and what is left of the family fortune, while the younger twin is destined for a career in the foreign service. When the elder twin goes missing on the night he is supposed to meet his fiancee's family (the marriage being necessary to recoup the family fortune), the younger twin reluctantly steps in to take his place. This story features the usual Heyer plot twists, e ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec Les Fourberies de l'Amour?
"C'est grâce à Jane Austen que j'en étais venue à m'intéresser à Georgette Heyer et grâce à Milady que je peux en découvrir un nouveau régulièrement. Celui-ci n'a pas fait exception."

Dites-nous en un peu plus sur son histoire...
"Kit Fancot fait la surprise d'une visite à sa mère mais la trouve bouleversée. En effet, il apprend que son frère jumeau a disparu alors même qu'il devait assister le lendemain à un dî
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Georgette Heyer was a prolific historical romance and detective fiction novelist. Her writing career began in 1921, when she turned a story for her younger brother into the novel The Black Moth.

In 1925 she married George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance novel and one thriller each year.

More about Georgette Heyer...

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“You absurd boy! Oh, Evelyn, I'm so thankful you've come, but what in the world has detained you? I've been sick with apprehension!"

There was a quizzical gleam in the gentleman's eyes, but he said in accents of deep reproach: "Come, come, Mama - !"

"It may be very well for you to say Come, come, Mama," she retorted, "but when you faithfully promised to return not a day later than -" She broke off, staring down at him in sudden doubt.

Abandoning the portmanteau, the gentleman shrugged the greatcoat from his shoulder, pulled off his hat, and mounted the remaining stairs two at a time, saying still more reproachfully: "No, really, Mama! How can you be so unnatural a parent?"

"Kit!" uttered his unnatural parent, in a smothered shriek. "Oh, my darling, my dearest son!”
“He shut the door, and stood looking across the room at her. 'Cressy, what did you mean when you told that harridan that your affections were engaged?'

The colour deepened a little in her cheeks, but she replied lightly: 'Well, she talked so much like someone in a bad play that I became carried away myself! Besides, I had to say something to convince her! I could see she didn't quite believe me when I said I wasn't going to marry your brother.'

He let his breath go in a long sigh, and walked forward, setting his hands on her shoulders, and saying: 'You don't know how much I have wanted to tell you the truth! Cressy, my dear one, forgive me! I've treated you abominably, and I love you so much!'

Miss Stavely, who had developed an interest in the top button of his coat, looked shyly up at this. 'Do you, Kit?' she asked. 'Truly?'

Mr Fancot, preferring actions to words, said nothing whatsoever in answer to this, but took her in his arms and kissed her. Miss Stavely, who had previously thought him unfailingly gentle and courteous, perceived, in the light of this novel experience, that she had been mistaken: there was nothing gentle about Mr Fancot's crushing embrace; and his behaviour in paying no heed at all to her faint protest could only be described as extremely uncivil. She was wholly unused to such treatment, and she had a strong suspicion that her grandmother would condemn her conduct in submitting to it, but as Mr Fancot seemed to be dead to all sense and propriety it was clearly useless to argue with him.”
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