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The Black Moth

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,596 Ratings  ·  415 Reviews
When the insolent Duke of Andover falls in love with the beautiful Diana, she unfortunately does not return his love.

There follows a kidnapping which, happily, is brought to nought by a highwayman whom it amuses to play Robin Hood - taking from the rich to give to the poor - and who is in reality the noble Earl of Wyncham. The provocative Lady Lavinia, who feels she must e
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Hardcover, 311 pages
Published 1952 by William Heinemann Ltd. (first published January 1st 1921)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sherwood Smith
This is Georgette Heyer's first pancake. She wrote it as a teen. It's a cliche later silver fork novel with an adventure overlay, showing heavy influence of Orczy and Jeffrey Farnol in particular--but she seems to have discovered that she really liked writing the rakish villain. Because, though this one has the proper ending, the villain is the best character, and she knows it . . . so she rewrote it with the very same sort of villain, but makes him the hero, in These Old Shades. She had also di ...more
Jenny
Nov 19, 2009 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-romance
Oh novel, how do I object to thee? Let me count the ways...

1. The title is a phrase that refers to the villian that is mentioned ONLY ONCE over the course of the novel. And it has something to do with the way he dresses. Really, guys? Can't we come up with something more, you know, related to the story?
2. The villian is a jerk who tries to kidnap and ravish our poor heroine twice... and receives absolutely no punishment at the end, unless you count the fact that the hero gets the girl and not hi
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Lori
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kitty (I solemnly swear that I am up to no good)
This book is hard to review! On one hand, I want to lay into it and point out all the obvious flaws, but on the other hand I am reminded that this was Heyer's first novel at a very young age...so I'm going to argue both points!

First hand:
This book is rambling and ridiculous, the characters are all lords and ladies...or more like caricatures of lords and ladies, over exaggerated, unconvincing and a little embarrassing.
There was no clear cut drive for the novel, it swapped between plots in a way
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Aslaug Gørbitz
Jan 12, 2013 Aslaug Gørbitz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wishes they could travel back in time.
Shelves: favorite
My rating system:
*Hate it.
**Nothing there to like.
***Not a favorite, but readable and others might like it and usually do.
****I really like it, but it is not to be confused with a true genius.
*****True Genius.


Unlike other Georgette Heyer fans, this is one of my favorite novels.
I first read it many years ago when I was 13 years old. I recently re-read it and found that I liked it just as much now. The first chapter is hard to read as it brandies about so many names, I had to read it twice. I rem
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Michelle
I gather this was the first novel Heyer published, but I only got to it after having read some of her later novels. What was interesting was the way this book seemed to lay out the prototype for These Old Shades -- the titular "Black Moth" or Tracy "Devil" Belmanoir, is clearly the blueprint for The Duke of Avon, Justin "Satanas" Alistair, including the abduction referred to in Avon's past in These Old Shades, carried out by Belmanoir in The Black Moth.

I liked The Black Moth, but it was not as
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Choko
Sep 19, 2015 Choko rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love this author, I am ADDICTED to this genre, and am the biggest fan of the language used in the melodramas of the 18th and 19th century, so well done here. But I barely got through this book...
I disliked it tremendously! Than, why am I giving it 2 stars? One is for the stylistics of the prose, and one is for giving her kudos for a first novel. But there was much wrong with this entry, I am very sad to say. I will only point to the most glaring one - every character was as flat and shallow as
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Caz
I've given this a B for content, and an A- for narration at AudioGals, so I'm calling it 4.5 stars all together.

Although I’m a long-term reader and fan of Georgette Heyer’s romances, there are a couple that, for reasons I can’t fathom, passed me by, and The Black Moth is one of them. So I’ve come to the audio completely fresh, as it were, not having read the book previously. I don’t know if that’s made a difference to my perception of it: looking at the number of poor-to-middling reviews on Good
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Jewels ♥ My Devastating Reads
I had a hard time making sense of this book. It's the first book I've read by this author, and I understand it was the first novel she wrote, at a rather young age. I couldn't even really decide what sort of a rating to give this read. I think it's more of a two and half star read.

Heyer spins an entertaining tale, I'll say that much for this novel. But at times the entertainment value wans as you have to wonder what the hell this is about. Is it a love story? Yes and no. It's not really about D
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Wealhtheow
When he was young, Jack Carstares took the blame when his younger brother was caught cheating at cards. He was ostracized from society and fled to the Continent, where he eventually made his fortune gambling and teaching fencing. Now he has returned to England, where he plays at being a highwayman (but in fact, gives all his ill-gotten gains to the poor). When his younger brother realizes that Jack is back, he is wracked with guilt, but as before his love for the spoiled Lavinia keeps him from r ...more
Jenna
3.5 stars.

The fact that Georgette Heyer wrote this at 17 is pretty astonishing. It's such a delightful book which, while perhaps not as polished as her later works, firmly establishes the charm and humour she would display throughout her career.

Heyer apparently first invented the story to tell to her sick younger brother, and it contains all the classic elements you'd expect from such an origin - an engaging hero who flirts with danger but actually has a heart of gold, a beautiful heroine who ca
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Olga Godim
May 16, 2015 Olga Godim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: georgette-heyer
This was the first novel by Heyer, and also it had its share of problems, it read very well, showing the hand of the future master of the romance genre.
The novel is set not during Regency – that period will be introduced into Heyer’s fiction later – but vaguely in the middle of the 18th century. Traveling to the continent is still sort-of a fashion for British aristocracy, and no one heard of Napoleon yet. Life is peaceful, except for our hero, Jack.
Seven years ago, Jack and his younger brother
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Res
Oct 10, 2009 Res rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
The one where Jack takes the blame when his brother cheats at cards, runs away to be a highwayman, and doesn't care much until he falls in love.

Eh. It's a first book, and it shows. The relationships are all very tell-y, and the various conflicts don't hold up to serious scrutiny. The women are all children (the only difference among them being their spoiled-to-charming ratio). And what a very strange world where cheating at cards is enough to make you unfit for polite society forever, while kidn
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Erika
Mar 10, 2015 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was hard to get into at first. But about halfway through it picks up and gets interesting. I loved Jack and cheered for him. My favorite character was Molly O'Hara. I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the author's other books.
Jemidar
This is a fun romp with Dukes, Earls, Ladies, damsels in distress, card cheats, highwaymen, duels, sword fights and true love. It also has wonderful characters, wit, humour, adventures aplenty and is thoroughly enjoyable.
Aphie
Apr 06, 2010 Aphie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: period-novel
As all the other reviews on this site can't wait to tell you, The Black Moth was Georgette Heyer's first novel, and it really does show. The character descriptions read like a gifted teenager wrote them (oddly enough) with an emphasis on how beautful the hero, heroine and villain all are, and the !drama! and !action! is fairly heavy-handed.

That said, it's not a bad novle. It reminds me most strongly of of the style in The Reluctant Widow, only instead of light-hearted banter and scrapes courtesy
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Alice
Jan 10, 2014 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency
I have been putting off getting back to my reviews for so long, that this one may be a bit choppy, as the story is not as clear in my brain anymore. :P Please forgive. ;) But I did write down some points to hit so I'll follow those! :D

One thing I loved about The Black Moth was the theme of loyalty in the family. Our family is the best and closest earthly thing we have, and they deserve our utmost loyalty! Especially the two brothers in this story, really got this point across. Both of them staye
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Anne
This was my very first Heyer novel and I must admit that I was immensely impressed. I totally loved this book, even though I agree with some of the reviewers who have said that it is not her best effort. Having read a few other of her novels, I can see that now, but I still had to give this one 5 stars, because I enjoyed it so much when I read it! I thought the ending was ridiculous though; the way she wrapped up the whole affair with Jack, Diana and the villain...really it was poorly done. The ...more
Donna
Sep 12, 2010 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, romance
I have a lot of complaints about this book, but there's still something to love in the idea of a society where being a highwayman for years is more forgivable than cheating at cards.

John Carstares is an Earl, a highwayman, and a social outcast, thanks to his decision to take the blame for his brother's attempt to cheat at cards. Richard, the guilty brother, wants to set the record straight, but that could put his marriage at risk. Their story also includes a villainous Duke, a fiery young beauty
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QNPoohBear

This book reads very much like a first novel and one that would appeal to teens with lots of melodrama, dashing heroes, swordfights and a beautiful heroine. There are many spots were the writing doesn't flow very well and the characters are all pretty much cardboard. There's noble Jack, wicked Tracy, spoiled and selfish Lavinia, intelligent and kind Diana, etc. These character archetypes would be developed into flesh and blood people in later novels but in this first work, Miss Heyer had not yet
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
At the beginning of the year, I set myself the goal of re-reading all my Heyer books. I have all her books except for her eight detective novels, and I've read all but, I think, two - two of the more serious historical ones: My Lord John and, ah, forget the other. Oh maybe it was just the one then? Well, it's nearly May and so far my progress has been pathetic, to say the least. I read Heyer's books so many times during uni but it's been eight or nine years and I found I couldn't remember the st ...more
Tasha Turner
I love the way Georgette Heyer writes. That being said this is not the best of her books. Villain is too villainous. Hero is to willing to let things lie. the writing style may not be for everyone as there are a lot of descriptions of people, places, outfits, and food. As always I laughed a lot while reading. This is one of the few authors whose books I buy because I reread her books.

1/2013 Just reread as I needed a change of pace. I'd forgotten how much I loved this book. It made me laugh as al
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Damaskcat
Feb 18, 2015 Damaskcat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read 'The Black Moth' more than forty years ago and decided then that it wasn't one of my favourite Heyer novels. I have just re-read it and still class it as one of my least favourite. It is set in the eighteenth century and not the period she made quintessentially her own, the Regency, so I suppose it starts off with a disadvantage from my point of view.

The book lacks, in the main, the author's famous lightness of touch and her humour, though towards the end there are flashes of it as
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Fiona Marsden
Feb 23, 2014 Fiona Marsden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating story of not one but two romances. When I first read it *cough* in my teens, I was enthralled by the wicked protagonist Tracey "Devil" Belmanoir and loved the romance with Jack and Diana. But this time I found myself taking more notice of the secondary romance between Lavinia and Richard, Jack's brother.

This an adventurous romp about Jack Carstares who takes the blame for his brother's cheating and is exiled from society. We enter the story when Richard has encountered Jack
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Brande Waldron
Feb 28, 2010 Brande Waldron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With a special thanks to Danielle @ Sourcebooks I was introduced to Georgette Heyer and the first novel in a four-part series including These Old Shades, Devil’s Cub, and An Infamous Army, The Black Moth. This is also her first novel and in the true spirit of what first opened my eyes to Jane Austin, I have found a new author to follow. An eccentric setting in this Regency Historical, with all the perfect, prim and proper but doesn't fail to be witty and cunning with sharp dialog that kept me en ...more
Thom Swennes
The Black Moth is the first novel of the highly prolific romance author Georgette Heyer and rivals the works of her 19th Century colleagues. Written in 1921, The Black Moth is the story of the lives and follies of England’s 18th Century aristocracy. Although the story is well written, I ‘m not very impressed with its contents. I have no doubt that this class is correctly portrayed, their lives don’t make for particularly interesting reading. The way they waste their lives on trifles, pleasures a ...more
Julianna
Nov 02, 2010 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of "Classic" Romance
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Until picking up The Black Moth, I had never read a “classical” romance, and I have to say that it was a rather different sort of reading experience that was more challenging than the typical modern romance. It is written in what I would call a literary style with vernacular that is more authentic to the time period in which it is set. It was a little difficult to keep track of all the characters, because there were so many and each one went by several different names (fi
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Jean Gobel
I started this book as something lighter to read as a break between Dunnett's epic series. It was just that. An easy read, a light hearted melodrama lacking only those tongue-in-cheek asides to the audience that let you know everything is in fun. And indeed it is.

Richard Carstares cannot live with his conscience over what he did on that night seven years ago, causing his beloved big brother John to abandon his Earldom, flee to Europe, returning after a time to live and roam as a highwayman, but
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Shawna
Sep 08, 2009 Shawna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pip
I liked that the worst people in this book are more or less the main characters! I prefer characters who are acknowledged as terrible, but are still human, to ones who are held up as supposedly perfect paragons (and Jack does not impress me with how quickly he shrugs off the first attempted abduction/rape of Diana with "Oh I don't know. I dare say we are none of us exactly saints." <-- Actual quote. WHAT. Even his friend is taken aback. This is not romantic hero material in my book).
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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.

Hey
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