Virginia's Reviews > The Private World of Georgette Heyer

The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge
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Sep 18, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011books, library, nonfiction
Read on September 18, 2011

I have not actually read any Georgette Heyer books, but I have heard of her peripherally and thought this would be a good overview. Plus, it was in front on the library's New Books shelf.

This was so short! I think Ms. Heyer herself sounded like a fascinating person - and a challenge to research, since she did not give interviews, etc. The biographer certainly found enough details from a variety of sources to determine the factual events of Ms. Heyer's life, BUT I think this biography suffered from not being able to include many of the thoughts and feelings of its subject. There were a lot of financial details that were just not that interesting, but I assume these would be on the public record, and easier to research. Similarly there were many details about contracts and legal battles with publishers - not compelling reading.

All of the aspects of this that I disliked were related to the author and editorial choices, NOT the subject. I AM going to read a couple of Georgette Heyer books themselves - the descriptions of the research and attention to detail involved in her books sounds impressive.

My favorite part of this was: "An Infamous Army sets a strong romantic story in Brussels during the weeks leading up to Waterloo. [Ms. Heyer's] description of the climactic battle has been used at Sandhurst and acclaimed as the best there is, and as her son remembers, the only public lecture she ever gave."
I mean, how cool is that??? I could not imagine anything like this happening now, with any writer of popular fiction.
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