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Charity Girl

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  2,836 ratings  ·  177 reviews
"My aunt said in future I should be called Charity," said Cherry Steane pathetically, "to keep me in mind of the fact that that is what I am - a charity girl."

Lord Desford's chivalrous instincts are instantly aroused, and, in spite of support from Miss Henrietta Silverdale, his childhood playmate and best of friends, and from his irrepressible younger brother Simon, he fi
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Hardcover, 253 pages
Published January 1st 1972 by Book Club Associates & The Bodley Head Ltd. (first published January 1st 1970)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kelly
Wow. The first Heyer I geniunely, completely disliked. The plot has been done much better before. By Heyer. Many times. There were no hijinx. Just an annoying search for equally annoying, selfish, awful people who weren't even amusing to hear about. The characters were barely people, and when they were, they were terrible or irritating, with the possible exception of the hero, and that's only because he's off-stage or being perfect the whole book. I didn't want to spend time with any of these pe ...more
Jamie
Not one of Heyer's best, but an enjoyable read. This one is mostly a comedy of manners, and while it's never laugh-out-loud funny, I read it with a smile on my face.

The romance is quite weak, although I was glad that the story didn't go in the direction I first expected. These are not modern romances so you must be prepared to enjoy the spectacle of wealthy gentlemen coming to the rescue of hapless females, but Heyer usually comes through with a balanced match.

The prose does bog down a little wh
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Miranda Davis
Oct 22, 2013 Miranda Davis rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: die-hard GH fans
Like Sprigged Muslin, which has GH's wit and carefully crafted characters but little romance, this story involved the hero, a viscount and heir to a title, becoming entangled with a secondary character, the charity girl of the title, who is not his love interest. He spends much of his time apart from the one with whom he belongs in his effort to help the young girl who was cursed with a louse of a father who's absconded to the continent years ago and is presumed dead. He feels honor bound to hel ...more
Nikki
Charity Girl definitely isn't the best Heyer novel I've read. It's rather along the lines of Sprig Muslin, just with slightly different detail. That rather reduces its charms for me, having already read Sprig Muslin, and given that the heroines are either not particularly engaging, or we don't see enough of them.

I think I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't already read Sprig Muslin, but it's a mild one really by Heyer's standards. There're some amusing characters, but nothing laugh-out-loud, and
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Michelle
Apparently I have this little problem when it comes to choosing books from a genre. I find myself choosing the one book that is not representative of the group. Like that time I picked up an Orson Scott Card novel with the intention of giving science fiction a try. I've NEVER read science fiction, and guess what? I still haven't ever read science fiction because I just happened to choose the one Orson Scott Card book that is NOT science fiction.

And I've done it again! My mother is a huge fan of
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Becky
Charity Girl is an enjoyable Regency Romance by Georgette Heyer. It is one of her later novels, and it perhaps loses a little of the charm that made her books sparkle in previous years. But it is an enjoyable read nonetheless. Charity Girl is similar in plotting-but-not-pacing to an earlier novel, Sprig Muslin which Heyer wrote in 1956. Both books feature gentleman rescuing damsels-in-distresses. Both women, I believe, were running away. Both, I believe, were heading from the country to the city ...more
Kate
In more weird mid-century marketing news (did they think women only read books about women, or could Heyer not come up with a cute double meaning title?), the real protagonist of Charity Girl is not the C.G. Cherry, who clearly annoyed Ms. Heyer before she'd been writing about her for thirty seconds, but instead the sensible but not un-dashing Viscount Desford.

Large quantities of silly Regency slang ("Turkish treatment" "mifty" and more!) make this a fun read, even though the conclusion is appa
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Kelli
The copy that I have is so classic and 50's. I absolutely love it. I love Heyer any way, but for some reason this book cover is the best. I won't say I love the storyline. Heyer's older heroines being sisterly with the younger heroines are never my favorite.

SPOILER -- My favourite moments are when Desford meets Cherry on the stairs and on the road when she tries to run away. Heyer's writing was so good there. Maybe I just really loved her earlier novels (Regency Buck, The Corinthian, These old
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Daniel
Highly entertaining, Heyer endears you to the characters in the first chapter, and it takes off from there. It has elements of Austen to it, certainly spoofs some of Austen's scenes and characters throughout, with Wodehouse-like humor interlaced.
Andrea
I must say, I am a bit disappointed. I pick out Georgette Heyer’s books at random, trying to read them all. Some I LOVE (Venetia, The Unknown Ajax, Arabella), some I absolutely hate (Sprig Muslin, Regency Buck), and some are somewhere in the middle. Those don’t feature characters I loathe and would love to slap some sense into, but they also don’t make me care in the least about the characters’ fates. This is one of these books for me.
The story is almost exactly the same as that of Sprig Muslin
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Darla
(Genre:Regency Romance) An okay Georgette Heyer book, but not one of her best, in my opinion. I liked it (especially the ending, for multiple reasons), but found it incredibly easy to put down. So this would be a low three stars for me or maybe even a 2.5 star book.
The story centers on the handsome & very eligible Viscount Desford who comes across "Cherry" (real name Charity) who is living on her aunt's charity because she has no other family member willing to take responsibility for her. He
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Katie
This is the first Heyer novel that I've read quickly not because I loved it, but because I kept thinking, "this can't be it, there has to be more."

Part of the reason it was simply no good was that too much was grabbed from other Heyer novels - novels that did it better.

A young girl runs away from home! And is rescued on the road by a noble lord who promptly regrets his decision to rescue her!

In Sprig Muslim this set up is so hilariously put together that everything seems perfect. The girl runni
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Siria
Charity Girl is not one of Heyer's worst efforts, but still far from being her best. There was little evident chemistry between the main pairing, and as they spent very little time together over the course of the book, Heyer's best attribute—her dialogue—wasn't allowed to shine. Very low on Awful Aunts and other horrible relations, too; very much a Heyer-by-numbers.
BJ Rose
I love a hero who thinks he's not a hero, and quietly stumbles along doing all sorts of heroic things! Charity certainly got lucky when Desford was the one who saw her walking alongside the road - trying to walk to London, the silly twit!

This book gets 4.5* from me - not quite a 5* read.
Emily Barnes
Not Georgette Heyer's best effort, but by no means poor. I liked the friendship into romance aspect of it, and I genuinely liked the hero. As usual, there was humour, clothes and some further exploration of Heyer's regency world. It is to Sprig Muslin what Lady Of Quality is to Black Sheep, I suppose, but that doesn't stop it being an enjoyable sort of romp.
Emily
This could be described as a rather silly version of Emma written from Mr. Knightley's point of view, only with slightly less good sense on his side and (fortunately) fewer machinations from the resident reigning single young lady in the neighborhood.

One of her later offerings, originally published in 1970, Heyer seems to have been tempted to write this simply to show off all of her enormous stock of Regency "cant" (slang). There seemed to be whole passages full of vaguely insulting banter writ
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Spazfungus
okay, i admit, i had to read the last page first before i could event get a third of the way through the book. If the hero didn't end up with who i thought he should, i probably would have burnt the book. title is slightly misleading. Couldn't stand Cherry, yes she is to be pitied, but reading about her made me almost break out in hives. Overall i felt really tired, like i was with the hero running all around the island but not really accomplishing his objective. It was a really well written boo ...more
Jeffrey
A delightful and comic romance with a surprise ending.
Bettielee
Another excellent Heyer. This one was a bit long winded - I felt it needed editing - too many speaches go on for too long, and she gets carries away with slang - she forgets we don't know what those crazy words mean - the characters may as well be speaking Russian to each other (even the original novels, of the 1800's didn't use a lot of common slang), but still really good. I loved the relationships between the main characters - especially Des and Hetta, as well as the relationship between Des ...more
Nancy
One of the later books by Heyer, Charity Girl traverses some familiar territory covered in earlier books: Spring Muslin and The Foundling. And like these two earlier books, the heroine has a name that starts with H (Hester, Harriet and now Henrietta - although, given that the hero's un-met sister is Griselda, one should be thankful to never having had a Heyer heroine with that name).

Mr. Steane has some similarities to Mr. Liversedge, Charity is not quite a silly as Belinda, young Simon has a les
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Flourish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine
I gave this Heyer novel a 3.5 rating as there wasn't as much interaction between the 2 characters that realize how much they love each other in the final chapter. Viscount Desford helps a runaway Cherry to London and when her grandfather's home is boarded up and she has no where to go, the Viscount takes to his best friends home - Henrietta and her mother. The Earl had hoped that Desford would have married many many years ago to Henrietta but there was no mutual desire for either to marry and ye ...more
Bitsy
While this book may start off slow and shaky, by the end Heyer has her footing again and the plot and characters sparkle. In Charity Girl a Viscount named Desford meets a young woman named Charity, “Cherry” for short, hiding away upstairs at a ball. She was foisted off on these relatives by an absent father and is treated more like glorified help then a poor relation in need. Naturally she ends up running away to London in a search for her grandfather. Desford finds her on the road to London and ...more
The UHQ Nasanta
2.5 stars

The descriptions about this book strongly reminded me of another Georgette Heyer book, The Foundling, and I had a strong feeling that I would know how things would turn out. I was right.

I really liked Desford although he seemed a little too perfect. I enjoyed his exchanges with his crotchety father, and how could one hate a guy who was so gallant towards his mother? The interactions between Desford and Henrietta clearly showed their closeness but like everyone else, it seemed one of ju
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Mandolin
Ashley Carrington, Viscount Desford, is in dire straits, all due to his chivalrous nature. Having recently been raked over the coals by his father, the Earl of Wroxton, for refusing to propose to his lifelong friend, Henrietta, Desford escapes to the home of his more understanding aunt. While there, he meets a young girl named Cherry hiding upstairs during a ball. He is charmed by her innocence but thinks little more of her until he encounters her on the road to London. When he stops to question ...more
Kathryn
I’m a huge Heyer fan – I think I have at least half of her Regency books, and am always looking for the rest on sale for the Nook or in paper. Unfortunately, not all of her books are as fun as Frederica, my favorite. Charity Girl is one of these.

The hero of the book is one of Heyer’s decidedly non-rakish characters, though he is still high ton (fashionable clothing, lives a life of dissipation in London). When he spots young Charity, or Cherry as she prefers to be called, Steane hiding in the ba
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Carsten Thomsen
The naive and simpleminded 16-year old Charity is living with her wicked aunt and one day have had enough of being treated as a slave - so she runs away - but on her way to London, she meets Ashley Carrington, Viscount Desford, and he pities her destitute situation and decides to help her find a place to stay - and he turns to his old and dear friend Hetta for help - so Charity can stay with Hetta and her family. That decision leads to one misunderstanding after another and numerous family entan ...more
Pauline Montagna
I've always loved Georgette Heyer and I picked up this book from the library recently on a day I just needed something light and sweet, though I think this might be the only Georgette Heyer my library has, since I'm sure I've read this twice before. But not to worry. One reads a Georgette Heyer for the experince rather than the story.

In this case, while at a country ball, our hero meets the hostess's poor and put upon young cousin. The next day he finds her attempting to walk to London. In a mo
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Sue
Georgette Heyer's historical fiction is my 'comfort reading'. This is one of my all-time favourites. The story is about a nice, unassuming Viscount who befriends a young girl in all innocence when he sees her peeping through the bannisters at a dance.

Before long he's involved in a chase around the country, suspected of having abducted her, when all he wants is to find her paternal grandfather.

Desford, the Viscount, is a likeable hero; I was also very taken with his close friend Henrietta - Hett
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Tricia
Viscount Desford is an unmarried gentleman who finds Charity Steane running away from her aunt's household on the way to London. Rescuing her puts Desford in a social pickle and he turns to his best friend, Lady Hetta Silverdale, for help. Bound by honor, Desford goes on a search to find Charity's missing grandfather.

I liked Charity Girl, but it was missing something I found more readily in Regency Buck. Perhaps it was that little element of intrigue that kept me turning pages in Regency Buck. I
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18067
Georgette Heyer was an amazingly prolific writer who created the Regency England genre of romance novels.

Georgette Heyer was an intensely private person. A best-seller all her life without the aid of publicity, she made no appearances, never gave an interview, and only answered fan letters herself if they made an interesting historical point. Heyer wrote very well-researched historical fiction, fu
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“Desford said abruptly: "How old are you, my child? Sixteen? Seventeen?"

"Oh, no, I am much older than that!" she replied. "I'm as old as Lucasta - all but a few weeks!"

"Then why are you not downstairs dancing with the rest of them?" he demanded. "You must surely be out!"

"No, I'm not," she said. "I don't suppose I ever shall be, either. Unless my papa turns out not to be dead, and comes home to take care of me himself. But I don't think that at all likely, and even if he did come home it wouldn't be of the least use, because he seems never to have sixpence to scratch with. I am afraid he is not a very respectable person. My aunt says he was obliged to go abroad on account of being monstrously in debt." She sighed, and said wistfully: "I know that one ought not to criticize one's father, but I can't help feeling that it was just a little thoughtless of him to abandon me.”
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