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The Black Moth

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  4,099 ratings  ·  379 reviews
This is Georgette Heyer's first novel-a favorite of readers and a stirring tale to be enjoyed again and again.
ebook, 368 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Casablanca (first published January 1st 1921)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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 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
Aslaug Gørbitz
Jan 12, 2013 Aslaug Gørbitz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Olga Godim
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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

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
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
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.
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
Fiona Marsden
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
Brande Waldron
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
Nov 02, 2010 Julianna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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).
Trudy Brasure
I would never have guessed that this was Heyer's first novel. It was better written than "Powder and Patch." Her character descriptions are always enjoyable and her renown historical detail is already firmly in place. This is a Georgian Era piece, and not her traditional Regency. I think this is the only title character that isn't really the hero of the story. The Black Moth instead refers to the hero's nemesis. Strange title choice.
My strongest complaint is that although she takes her time to
The Black Moth – Georgette Heyer
A disgraced gentleman comes across the black moth who happens to be a duke in process of kidnapping a pretty young girl, he is a highwayman by profession though not very seriously. He rescues the girl and gets injured while healing he meets old friends and there is lots of guilt and determination to clear his name from friends and the man who orchestrated it all, the Black Moth. This was her very first novel, it flows a bit differently than her other books. It has
The Black Moth is Georgette Heyer's first novel (written when she was seventeen), and in some ways it shows: the story is a tad more melodramatic than usual (and part of the plot seems eerily similar to Stevenson's Master of Ballantrae), and there's a lot of focus on the "delicate" features of the hero that makes him sound a bit like the Orlando Bloom of his day and not that appealing to me (he also faints quite often so the heroine has to take care of him - which is something I used to sigh ove ...more
Anne C.
Jan 08, 2015 Anne C. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heyer fans
Thankfully, this is not my first Heyer book, so I know she's so much better than this. Many note that this is the author's fist novel and it is helpful to know that context. I would recommend this book only to readers who are fans of the author already, as it's chief value is insight into the author's early talent. I can see the glimmerings of the delightful heroines Heyer draws in her other novels, as well as her knowledge of historical detail (such as gentlemen attending a lady's toilette). He ...more
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The Black Moth 2 11 Dec 24, 2014 10:27AM  
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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
More about Georgette Heyer...
The Grand Sophy Frederica Arabella These Old Shades (Alastair, #1) Devil's Cub (Alastair, #2)

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