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Charity Girl

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  4,153 Ratings  ·  270 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
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published January 1st 1972 by Book Club Associates & The Bodley Head Ltd. (first published 1970)
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Is this even a Heyer novel?!?! What is this??

Okay, alright, I know I'm being harsh. The quality is there. The gorgeous writing is there. The delightful slang, elegant turn of phrases and general Heyer-feels are there. BUT. Who on earth are those flat, boring, two-dimensional characters??! What the heck is that plot? Where is all the fun? The humour, the sparkle, the wit???? After having read such masterpieces as These Old Shades, Devil's Cub, Frederica, Cotillion, Friday's Child, and basically e
Jamie Collins
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
Sep 15, 2008 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
I'll just leave this as an explanation for myself. I cannot believe the same person wrote The Grand Sophy wrote this.
You never get the feeling of who should be together. One of the positive things in this story is the hero himself. He is rarely with the heroine since he is trying to solve Cherry's problem so that could be the reason.
The rest of them are as annoying as they can get. I neither liked snobbish Henrietta, nor Cherry (one of the dumbest characters I've come across in fiction). Ev
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
After rereading The Foundling & Cousin Kate & having an improved opinion of both, I did hope my assessment of Charity Girl would improve. I didn't expect to like this novel, mind, but hoped to find it an average read. Wrong. Charity Girl is still terrible & owes a lot to The Foundling & Sprig Muslim - both far better books. Reading Koestler's biography it sounds like GH wasn't well when she wrote this & genuinely thought she had written a good book. To be honest I had hoped o ...more
Miranda Davis
Oct 22, 2013 Miranda Davis rated it liked it  ·  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
Aug 14, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
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
Ana Rînceanu
My 30th Georgette Heyer

When Viscount Ashley Desford finds Cherry Steane running away from a life of drudgery with her uncaring relatives, he is determined to escort her to her grandfather in London. But upon arriving to an empty house, Desford places the girl in the care of Henrietta Silverdale, his neighbour and childhood friend.

The book had a promising start. I liked both Desford and Henrietta, but the search for Cherry's grandfather and the appearance of her father were dull events. Cherry an
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
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
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
A nice romance from Georgette Heyer, with what some might consider as rather nondescript characters and a rather bland plot. For sure, the plot is rather simple with few twists and turns. And the characters are not completely extraordinary or outrageous. But that's part of the charm of that specific book. A story and characters to which everyone can easily relate
I enjoyed the read which felt shorter than other of her books and didn't deserve more pages. There were a few times when I deeply smile
Not one of the more successful Heyers, this starts out with the introduction of a billion characters we never meet again, and then involves a lot of travelling in hunt of people, a too-large late appearance of a Falstaff, and very little chance to see the main couple even in the same room. There's not even a powerful trigger for the change of heart, since the couple appear to see each other regularly, and aren't at any real emotional extremis during the story.
Jaz (Cloud Child )
Read this a few years ago, it was hard to get through from what I remember. The romance was a bit confusing and the jargon too. I think it was funny though. Seeing reviews for Heyers other books, I see this wasnt her best so Ill have to give her a chance.
Cathie Stumpenhaus
Delightful as ever!
Aug 08, 2014 Darla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
Dec 11, 2008 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 06, 2014 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 11, 2013 Kelli rated it liked it
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
Emilia 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.
This reminded me of The Foundling, though I didn't find it quite as hilarious. Dippy girl with no connections gets into scrape and chivalrous man jumps in to save her. Chivalrous man doesn't end up with dippy girl (no of course not!) He ends up with who you want him to end up with and dippy girl gets another appropriate offer. Hijinks ensue, of course. What I enjoyed most about this book was the family relationships. The conversations between Des and his parents and his brother Simon were some o ...more
Re-read. May be unfair to call this a romance, since it's really a mild comedy of manners, but, hey. It has been more than thirty years since I originally read this, and I had no remembrance of the plot or characters. My memory was that it was ok, but not one of my favorites. I would have to say that that is still my opinion. It's an enjoyable read, but won't stay with you, probably.
Cherry, as she prefers to be called, is in the care of her aunt, who treats her very unkindly, even though she is
I enjoyed the beginning, but I'd forgotten how much regency slang Heyer uses. Some of it was impossible to understand so I had to skip over it but I was able to follow the story. The middle was rather boring but the end was great fun and made up for it. Not really much of romance since the hero and heroine spent most of the book apart. More like a romp - very funny at the end and as always Heyer has a way with quirky characters and dialog.

B-/3 stars
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.
Nov 19, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book in snippets via audio. One thing I enjoy is the quirky humour of this author.
The story was quite simple but with a good ending. I know that this is not one of Heyer's more popular books but I still found it entertaining to listen to. I'm looking forward to discovering more of her work.
BJ Rose
Aug 28, 2009 BJ Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sherwood Smith
This a late novel, featuring one of Heyer's plain but kind heroines who has long been in love with the hero, as a younger woman comes along. It reads to me like it was phoned in.

Really only for completists, or for the Heyer fan who loves everything she did, without reserve.
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.
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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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“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.”
“The thought of his high and imposing father’s regal progress to Harrowgate, and his very brief stay there, made Desford begin to chuckle again. He must remember, he told himself, to ask Poor Dear Papa, at a suitable moment, for his opinion of Harrowgate.” 1 likes
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