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Cotillion

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  13,780 ratings  ·  1,473 reviews
"One of you shall have her, and my fortune into the bargain"

Such was the whimsical, some would say outrageous, statement of the ageing Mr Penicuik, to the three of his great-nephews gathered around him.

The future of his vivacious step-daughter, Miss Kitty Charing, was thus assured, provided she married one of the handsome beaux now seeking her hand. But Kitty was in no hur
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 1st 1991 by HarperPrism (first published 1953)
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Mikaela Their speech patterns were characteristic of their set - very similar to Sherry and all his friends in Friday's Child. While both Freddy and Dolph's s…moreTheir speech patterns were characteristic of their set - very similar to Sherry and all his friends in Friday's Child. While both Freddy and Dolph's speech are abbreviated, Dolph's seems to spring from a difficulty in conveying his ideas (or having ideas), whereas Freddy's spring from carelessness. While Dolph cannot form elegant speeches, Freddy just doesn't care to. While Freddy will sometimes miss the undercurrents of a conversation (and thus his responses may appear dim) it's due to the fact that he has very little guile -- he doesn't assume the worst of people, even when that is their intention, and on numerous occasions he 'fakes' lack of understanding in order to appear harmless while actually being very aware of what is going on. Furthermore, Freddy's reservations about Camille and Jack show that Freddy does have a great deal of intelligence that he only exercises when he cares enough to pay attention (which he normally doesn't, although his affection for Kit make him exert himself on her behalf more than he normally would). I think the similarity of speech is a very clever writing tool of Heyer's, as we the reader are not supposed to view Freddy as a serious love interest as the beginning of the book. However, as the book proceeds we are slowly alerted to Freddy's responsibility, kindness and intelligence, and that transformation of opinion makes for better reading than if Freddy had appeared as canny as Jack from the start.(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  13,780 ratings  ·  1,473 reviews


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D.D. Chant
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love, Freddy!!! He is one of my top (if not THE top) Georgette Heyer heros. Surprised that's how I feel? Then let me explain. Freddy isn't your average GH hero, he is a pink, NOT a rake, NOT a nonsuch and certainly NOT 'in the petticoat line'. He is quite simply everyone's friend but no ones crush. His cousin Jack (Who IS a rake, IS a nonsuch and is VERY much in the petticoat line) thinks he's amusing in the way that you might find a kitten or puppy amusing. Which effectively made ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Kitty Charing is the orphaned ward of the miserly and eccentric Mr. Matthew Penicuik. "Uncle Matthew" has no children of his own, but has five grand-nephews, including his favorite, the suave and handsome gambler Jack. Kitty has a crush on Jack, and Matthew hopes he’ll marry Kitty, but he decides to throw the field wide open: he'll leave Kitty his fortune, contingent on her marrying any of his grand-nephews. So Matthew calls a meeting of all of his single grand-nephews, two of whom promptly prop ...more
Anne
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that needs to laugh :)
Recommended to Anne by: Jaima
*Spoilers ahead! Also beware of fangirling and reader who got considerably carried away*

This is a Heyer novel, so of course I expected to enjoy it, but I hadn't planned on falling totally head over heels in love with it!! This is by far my favourite of her Regencies. It's been a while since I hadn't had that much fun with a novel!



This delightful Regency romp opens up with a hilarious scene of three cousins sitting in a drawing room at Arnside, waiting for their eccentric great-uncle to put in a
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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
Warning there may be spoilers for Arabella by Georgette Heyer in this review.

I find it hard to say which is my favourite Heyer Regency. When I read Arabella that is my favourite,but when I read Cotillion that is my favourite.& I have only just reread Cotillion for the umpteenth time, but maybe Cotillion is my true, absolute love.

The point both books have in common are the heroine. Both are pretty brunettes with kind hearts & no real money of their own. Society's rules are less important to them than a social conscienc
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mark monday
Synopsis: Naive country lad Kit Charing's obstreperous and stingy guardian has made it clear that the boy will inherit nothing unless Kit marries one of her nieces: either the amiable but rather dim fashion plate Frederica Standen, the simple-minded Lady Dolphinton, mean-spirited Claudette, uptight bible-thumper Huette... or the intended target, the beautiful and very popular Jacqueline Westruther. Unfortunately, despite being rather in need of funds, the prideful minx Jacqueline resists, refusi ...more
Michelle
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book by Georgette Heyer. I've heard so many great things about her that I had to see for myself. At first, I wasn't too pleased with the book, but I warmed to it after the first couple of chapters.
The way “Cotillion” starts out: with a miserly, eccentric uncle trying to hold his relations hostage to his will, I thought it would be dreary. But as soon as Cousin Freddy comes on the scene, the book takes a most pleasant, comedic turn! Against his will and his protests, the heroine
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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

The cotillion (also cotillon or "French country dance") is a social dance, popular in 18th-century Europe and America. Originally for four couples in square formation, it was a courtly version of an English country dance, the forerunner of the quadrille and, in the United States, the square dance.

That's what it says on the cover and that's what you will find between the covers of this delightful comedy of manners from the pen of Georgette Heyer, whose accomplishments in the recreations of the
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Hannah
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

I am enjoying my reads from the prodigiously fertile pen of Georgette Heyer, but I'm not always sure what I'm going to get when I start Chapter 1. Some are dull (Faro's Daughter), some are stupid (Powder And Patch), some are downright wall-bangers (The Convenient Marriage), some are hysterically funny (Friday's Child), some are gothically dark (Cousin Kate), some are realistic non-HEA's (A Civil Contract), and some are little gems of near perfection (Arabella). I t
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Phrynne
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of Heyer's best books featuring one of her very best characters, that of Freddie Standen. Such an adorable man and just the perfect match for Kittie once she comes around to realising it. So many great characters in this book! I loved Freddie's father and his sister, Meg and Dolph was also great fun.
There is just something about a good Georgette Heyer book. They are light, funny, entertaining and oh so smart. And they are wearing the test of time. Still so good after so many years:)
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Madeline
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How is this only the second Georgette Heyer romance I’ve ever read? I picked up An Infamous Army years ago and loved it; I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to seek out another one of her Regency romances. Cotillion often appears on lists of people’s favorite Heyer novels, so it seemed like a good starting point for diving back into her work.

I am happy to report that, in short, Cotillion is a goddamn bonbon of a book – clever, cute, and so light and carefree it practically bounces. As an ad
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Jacob Proffitt
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, chaste, audiobook
June 2019 re-read: Yup, still good. Glad I moved his up on the re-read rotation. I hadn't remembered all the shenanigans with Kitty once they hit London but found them very engaging so I'm not sure why they'd faded from my memory.

This is one of the few Georgette Heyer books I own, but haven't re-read in recent years. I won't make that mistake again. I must have read it early in my Heyer days, because I'm pretty sure I didn't understand the main characters, Freddy and Kitty, very well. Freddy, in

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Vivian
This was me finishing my first Heyer novel. Yeah, yeah, yeah... where have I been.



Kitty is the duckling ready to assume her swan plumage, and does she ever in this escape from Cranky Manor where her guardian has kept her in the severest of conditions. Needless to say, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, Kitty is on the first coach out of there.

And thus begins the shenanigans.

The entire story is amusing and set at a breakneck pace. Imagine if you will, Austen pairing up with Gilbert an
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Muriel
Cotillion quickly moved to the top of my favorite Heyer books. It's so frustrating to see her lumped into the general romance novel section as she's so much more than that and I'm afraid that a lot of people who are snooty about reading "romance" novels are missing out on a marvelous author. Time Magazine put it best, "With a Georgette Heyer you don’t buy a book, you buy a world. If it suits you, you settle down forever." ...more
Kelly
I believe that this book is the definition of the word "romp." It's all a farce, hardly any romance in it at all except the silly kind Heyer makes fun of (despite the fact that the story is almost all tangled marriage plots- they just involve such ridiculous people who by and large are not in love with each other, so there's absolutely no romance at all.). There are a plethora of laugh out loud lines and exchanges, and I very much wish that someone would turn this into a play in the style of Osc ...more
Julio Genao
dandy.

a lesser heyer, in my view—and yet still possessed of a number of sparklingly funny passages and two very clever subversions of traditional regency romance plot devices.

i found the subtle tension between high ton propriety and compassionate but naive ideology fascinating. our country innocent of a heroine dismissed the unsavory reputation one must expect to find oneself with if one chooses to associate with vulgar but friendly people who laugh a lot. but when this kindhearted inclination w
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Amy
202o Re-Read
First, "ditto" my 2018 analysis of Freddy. I positively adore him.
Second, I just adore this book. I've read it I-don't-know-how-many times over the last 9 years and it still leaves me in fits of giggles. That is, I think, part of the genius of Heyer. No matter how many times you read her dialogue, it is still genuinely funny. While she didn't write "classic novels" in the sense that you read her books to to learn about human character (though arguably you could), they are timeless g
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Tahariel
Jun 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantic people
Shelves: romance, period
I absolutely adored this book - Heyer's writing is, as always, not only perfectly in period but sublime, the humour subtle and the romance so carefully handled that each moment when it is moved along a little more seems perfect.

Kitty is fun, but my real love in this book is Freddie, the male lead, who is so wonderful and real. Not only has she given him a very strange manner of speaking, but he is always there, a presence that really warms the story from the inside out.

This is probably my favo
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Karlyne Landrum
Aug 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of the top three Georgette Heyer -- and that's saying something. She's always deft with her handling of the handsome hero and pretty but destitute heroine plot, but Cotillion goes beyond the ordinary with lovely side characters and issues which all go to further the reality she's taking Kitty -- and us -- into. None of the "extraneous" characters are; they are there with great intent to show all of us what kind of man Freddy is. And I for one say, "I like him. I like him better than Hugh. I ...more
Sophia
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a re-read and to be honest I'm not sure how many times I've read it. Let's just say its probably close to five times. I fell in love with the author's books and Cotillion is one of the reasons.

It has many facets to it and a host of colorful characters and situations. It's cute, sweet, clever, and even a little suspenseful. It is also very much a coming into their own themed piece for both Kitty and Freddy.

Freddy is the poster boy for beta heroes. He balks at schemes, adventures, and dust
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Emily
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency-era, romance
No one makes me laugh like Georgette Heyer, and this book really cracked me up. It's a silly and enjoyable scenario: previously poor orphan Kitty must choose among her male cousins to inherit a fortune! If she doesn't marry a cousin, no one gets the money. The romantic hero is a foppish but steadily inoffensive guy, someone your parents love after the first 30 minutes (though in those first 30 minutes they raise an eyebrow at his "voluminous driving-coat, embellished with several shoulder-capes" ...more
Clare Cannon
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Just lovely! Highly recommended for teen girls and young adults looking for a fun read with some substance. As well as being an entirely pleasant story, it is altogether worthwhile to witness Heyer's characters grow through their interactions with one another. With such a light touch she educates the reader in how to fall out of love with the reckless anti-hero after recognising his sordid, selfish side, and how to fall in love with the generous, gentle and kind-hearted hero. Few writers are
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Lightreads
Feb 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Regency. The one where Kitty's eccentric guardian requires her to marry one of his nephews to get her inheritance, and Kitty schemes to get the one she wants.

This is not a good starter regency romance. It's a great tenth regency, particularly for people, like me, who really dislike the ones where the heroine falls for the handsome rake who she tames generally by letting him do appalling things to her. This is not that book. Very deliberately and awesomely not. It is a book about not being that b
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Emilia Barnes
Whenever I feel low, I read Cotillion. It never fails to cheer me up. It's funny and sweet, and my favourite Heyer.

2020 re-read:

My husband (overhearing the audiobook I'm listening to): Cotillion?

Me:


It does say something that after reading this novel a gabizmillion times, it still makes me snort-chortle and, when that last scene with Freddy and Jack happens (view spoiler) I still feel exactly like the first time I read it:



["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
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Jennifer Kloester
One of my favourite Georgette Heyer novels and not only for the wonderful Freddy Standen and his compelling father, Lord Legerwood, but also for the intricacies of the plot. The novel is like a cotillion - the complicated (to my mind anyway) dance requiring four couples to move through its various steps and patterns to the ending. This is such an entertaining book. Poor Kitty Charing, an orphan, dependent on her miserly Great-Uncle Mattthew is told she must marry one of her cousins if she (they) ...more
steph
I love Freddy. I just adored his gradual awakening and transformation into the man he was never really called upon to be until Kitty literally RAN AWAY into his life and he had to step up. Plus this line nearly made me swoon: "Stands to reason if you’re in it I must be too.” ---- FREDDY BE STILL MY HEART YOU DEAR MAN.

Lots of family drama and shenanigans as usually per Heyer but this was the first book of hers were I was totally into the hero and his character development than the heroine. Don't
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Bethany
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm wondering why it has taken me so long to read Georgette Heyer! Cotillion is an incredibly charming historical romance with a style reminiscent of Jane Austen and a fake engagement. It isn't a long book, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it and loved the characters and the development of the relationship. And a great classic romance option for readers who prefer not to have steamy scenes.

Miss Kitty Charing was adopted by a wealthy man and he plans to leave his fortune to her, on the cond
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Jessica
No, this one is my new favorite!

On Facebook a friend was talking about how many layers there are in Heyer's "sweet" romances, and it's so true! This one not only has a weird will, and mysterious Frenchmen, but also things like a young earl who is mentally handicapped, and a beautiful girl of low family who might be, essentially, auctioned off as a mistress!

Phyllida Nash, once again, is a great reader for these!
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Nick Imrie
“Tell you what, Kit! Got too kind a heart!”
A smile swept across her face. “Oh, Freddy, how absurd you are! When you have a much kinder one than I have!”
“No, really, Kit,” protested Freddy, revolted. “Haven't got anything of the sort! Been on the town for years!”
“Yes, you have,” averred Kitty, lifting his hand to her cheek for a brief moment. […]
Mr Standen, already shaken by having his hand rubbed worshipfully against a lady's cheek, goggled at her. “You think I've got brains?” he said, awed.
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_inbetween_
Jul 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How many times have I read all these books? This one, oddly enough, I once summarised in longhand on a few sheets of A4 paper while at school, from start to finish. Even then it had seemed even drier and even more understated than Heyer's other novels, but after Last Hellion and Wooster I had to read up on Freddy. Only when considering my other re-reads does it become clear again that this Jack is not that extraordinary, that Heyer always rooted for the down-to-Earth protagonists - even if they ...more
BJ Rose
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-regency, keepers
This is a treasure, and was such a pleasure to read! Kitty is a naive, caring country girl who convinces mild-mannered Clark Kent - oops, I mean Freddy to engage in a fake betrothal with her so she can escape her miserly adopted uncle and enjoy some time in London. Kitty is a very likeable but impulsive heroine who creates plenty of opportunities for Freddy to come to her rescue, which he does repeatedly.

I absolutely loved Freddy! He is the perfect example of an alpha male in disguise; a well-dr
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3,787 followers
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. Rougier later became a barrister and he often provided basic plot outlines for her thrillers. Beginning in 1932, Heyer released one romance nov
...more

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