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The Talisman Ring

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,513 Ratings  ·  487 Reviews
Neither Sir Tristram Shield nor Eustacie, his young French cousin, share the slightest inclination to marry one another. Yet it is Lord Lavenham's dying wish. For there is no one else to provide for the old man's granddaughter while Ludovic, his heir, remains a fugitive from justice.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Arrow (first published 1936)
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Dorothy I think the point is that he's not the real hero of the story, nor is Eustacie the real heroine. Heyer always has some characters for comic relief,…moreI think the point is that he's not the real hero of the story, nor is Eustacie the real heroine. Heyer always has some characters for comic relief, and they're it. Yes, he does come across as not as bright as he could be!(less)

Community Reviews

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mark monday
On the menu tonight: THE TALISMAN RING

Amuse Bouche
Pour la table, we present a pair of charming Georgian romantics. They are très amusant! These light little treats will tantalize your taste buds and have two simple(-minded) components: a delightful if melodramatic young miss served "à la française" alongside a feckless and overwrought young heir. Other - lesser - restaurants have served such dishes as a main course - how droll! Here they find their proper place: as a lure to engage you in more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This Georgian period novel by Georgette Heyer, set in 1793, is a mix between a romantic comedy and a mystery/suspense novel. The main characters:

• Ludovic Lavenham, the impetuous young heir to a baronetcy, accused of murder and on the run for the last couple of years, doing a little smuggling on the side, and whilst doing so bumping into ...
• Eustacie, an equally impetuous young French girl with wildly romantic ideas, who is running away from an unwanted arranged marriage with ...
• Sir Tristram
I found this vintage Georgette Heyer, The Talisman Ring, simply exquisite with its humor and wit, smooth and agile prose, with amusing and intelligent dialogues. The mysterious plot is hilarious and full of wild adventures with smugglers, stupid Bow Street runners, an evil cousin and a malevolent valet. Attempted murder, midnight house break-in, and mayhem make for a fast and pleasurable read.

Lovable and piquant characters and romance gives The Talisman Ring a special flavor that doesn’t oversha
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't have a shelf for Romance, but I'm thinking perhaps I ought to make one. I'm such a bad boy for ignoring such a huge genre.

Yes. That's right. I just read Romance. I'm challenging myself.

But, to be honest and fair, this is really more of an offshoot of the old Regency Romances and full of the whole comedy of errors that we all know and love. Too good to be true? Rich grandfathers, viciously maligned cousins, onerous duties, mystery, theft, and yes, of course, Marriage.

Marriage is what bri
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
If the rating system here allowed it, I would take off a half star for how annoying Eustacie and Ludovic were, and how little I cared about their fate. I know they are a parody of young romantics and serve as a foil for the older and more sensible couple, but I really wanted Ludovic to get slapped at certain points where he insists on recklessly endangering everyone else for no better reason than his own boredom and fecklessness.

Fortunately for me, Heyer, though more tolerant of young bucks than

First published in 1936, this is one of Heyer’s last Georgian romances. Set in the south of England at some undefined time shortly after the French Revolution, it includes romance, adventure, random French words and phrases, Bow Street Runners, a missing heirloom and an heir who must be cleared of murder before he can resume his rightful place in society.

A parody of the romantic adventure genre, the novel is an inspired piece of fluff. The ingénue, Eustacie, is lovely, smart, and a lot less ann
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
I'm struggling ever so slightly with the review on this book as I read it at the start of my holiday. If I feel I have more to add I may edit this later.

In spite of a slow start, the always inventive GH excelled herself with this one.

Her variations this time were;

I think this is her only book this late in the Georgian period.

(view spoiler)

& just for once the villain actually (view spoiler)
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quite different to anything else I've read by Heyer. Fantastic rip roaring comedy- mystery- farce, with not one romance, it two!
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who needs a laugh
I do believe this was almost funnier than Faro's Daughter!

Miss Sarah Thane and her brother have stopped at a little inn for a brief respite when she is awoken in the middle of the night by smugglers. Sumugglers who have barely escaped the Law. After that Sarah is determined to keep her brother tied to this spot so she can do some investigating and maybe clear an innocent man's name, but she can only do that with help, help that comes from an unlikely source.

Eustacie has, after knowing her cous
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book manages to be both a Regency comedy of manners and a swashbuckling romance in the vein of Heyer's earlier set Georgian books. This is one of those books where the hero manages to be perfect but not irritate me, the dumb Beauty character inspires an affection in me, the lesser hero makes me smile, and I wish I could have a cup of tea and laugh over the world with the heroine. Very well drawn, very well remembered. (Also has one of my favorite proposal scenes!)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Collins
This is one of the least substantial Heyer romances I have read, with little insight into the psyche of our hero, but it was still a fun read.

Eustacie is 18 years old, French, and romantic. The kind of girl who almost regrets having been rescued from The Terror when she thinks of the tragic, pitiable figure she should have made when led to the guillotine, dressed in a white gown, of course.

Sir Tristram is older, practical and sober, and Heyer spends a few pages making you think that the two of t
Jacob Proffitt
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, audible, chaste
I'm bumping this up to five stars on the most recent reread. The banter between Tristram and Sarah is just way, way too good and bonus points for the subtlety of the romance. And I admit that much of my attachment is to Sarah. I love how she throws in with Eustacie so eagerly and yet still develops an appreciation for the polar opposite in Tristram. And I particularly love that they complement each other so well with Sarah mitigating some of Tristram's reserve and him supporting her fully and ea ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was feeling a bit stressed, so it felt like the perfect time to revisit The Talisman Ring (and maybe also The Grand Sophy, if I get the chance). Heyer’s books are the perfect light reading to my mind: relatable characters, witty dialogue, entertaining set-ups… In this one, two cousins are supposed to get married, despite being completely unsuited; hijinks (and a few more cousins joining in) ensue.

The joy is really in the exuberance of the two ‘heroic’ characters, as I think of them, Eustacie a
Ah, now here is a worthy successor to Mary Stewart for my bathtime reading. For god's sake, tell me which other Heyer books are like this so I can besiege the library for them. It's funny, it laughs at itself, the characters are ridiculous, the hero initially seems forbidding and then turns out to be a good sport after all, in a rather severe and cautious way. I fell for him totally. Eustacie and Ludovico weren't my interest at all: Miss Thane and Sir Tristram were much more my speed -- and I di ...more
Ana Rînceanu
My 18th Georgette Heyer

This book was a perfect delight. This is one of the rare Heyer novels where I like both of the couples, the humor was spectacular. What starts out as a marriage of convenience plot evolves into a part rom-com part murder mystery. The b0ok was not in the least interested in even attempting seriousness when talking about Romance or the absurd coincidences, but after embracing the farce, this book managed to transport me into several giggle fits and a satisfied sigh at the e

Fluffy, Georgian romance which is totally charming and delightful. There are mysterious rings, murder, cousins in exile, dying uncles, arranged marriages, runaway heiresses, smugglers, excise men, someone getting shot, upper class prats, priest holes & secret passages, evil cousins, Bow Street Runners, a marriage proposal, breaking and entering, fist fights, attempted murder, quizzing glasses, bad guys getting caught, romance and much hilarity. What more could you possibly want?

A wonderful a
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
You dare.

As previously and more delicately observed by Miriam: Eustacie and Ludovic were a pair of fuckwits.

I mean, honestly.

Also quite astutely noted by Miriam: the pleasing story arc of the older and not-utterly-moronic romantic pairing, which managed to be novel in that their appeal as characters really did increase as they came together, turning them into an engagingly sardonic duo of considerable (if deadpan) hilarity.

The scene at the inn, after Sarah pretends to succumb to the Vapours, and
Mar 01, 2016 added it
This was a re-read for me and I enjoyed it just as much the second time round. It all more or less took place in an inn but that just added to the story. I didn't much care for Ludovic. I thought he was a selfish brat who went his own way regardless of advice and without caring what the consequences would be.
Sarah and Tristram were made for each other. She would probably have been called a bluestocking in her day.
I loved Sir Hugh. He was a man who had simple needs and wants and made random obse
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Another delighful foray into Georgette Heyer's romantic imagination.

While it has a very similar feel to Sprig Muslin in both character types and plotline, I personally found The Talisman Ring to be far superior of the two, mainly because the young ingenue Eustacie was far more likable and far less silly then the one in Sprig Muslin. But the shining star of this Georgian romp was clearly the older, mature Sarah Thane. Sarah is my favorite type of Heyer heroine: old
Dec 23, 2008 rated it liked it
The word that captures this book for me is fun! Or delightful! I am not a romance reader, but I stayed up all night reading this because I was having such a good time. Heyer transcends what I think of Romance because she doesn't take herself too seriously but just wants to give us a grand old time. Which she does. There are the usual stock figures, but she manages to imbibe them with breathe and scope so they leap off the page full of life. It's usually the ingenue who manages to piss me off the ...more
Smugglers, murders, Bow Street Runners, hidden cellars, priests holes, damsels fleeing home at night through snow, and a double romance. This is a highly amusing and entertaining entry, nicely balancing the adventure with the personal interaction, and a particular standout for Sarah, who is an awesome character, both eternally calm, and taking delight in tweaking at her over-serious match's staidness.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comfort-read
I love this novel so much. It is such a madcap comedy, with a fast-paced plot - definitely one of the funniest Heyers. There is also a romance, of course, even two, but they are not the main focus. All the characters are great, even the secondary ones (which is typical of this author). This time around, I listened to the audiobook narrated by Phyllida Nash - definitely recommended.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
Read for the Bodice Rippers.

When I was a girl we turned up our noses at romance novels. In fact, if I remember correctly, Mills and Boon was a sort of general epithet. My first adult contact came in my late thirties, during a lengthy recuperation when I badly needed escapist literature. I think I started with contemporary romance novels,and didn't even consider historical romance until someone mentioned Georgette Heyer in the same breath as Jane Austen. I've read several Heyers since, but this o
Oct 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency-era, england
This is an hilarious regency romance that will have anyone with a pulse chuckling if not laughing out loud. The dialog is superb. Reminds me of Gilmore Girls or the old black n white Thin Man movies. I wish someone would make movies of all these funny Heyer novels.
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
March BOTM for the Georgette Heyer group.
So much fun! Phyllida Nash did a good narration, especially for Eustacie & Beau Lavenham. I am glad that I broke down and bought this audio edition of one of my favorite Heyer novels (even though I already owned a paperback copy).
This was so much fun! The setting is Georgian England, but the story structure and tone seemed much more 1930s to me, a slapstick comedy that had me casting Carole Lombard as the mischievous Miss Thane, Errol Flynn as the dashing Ludovic, Fredric March as the level-headed Tristram, and... I'm still struggling to figure out who could do justice to Eustacie's morbid enthusiasms, prompted by too many Gothic romances.

If I hadn't been reading a library book, I would have dog-earred about half the pag
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this one is brilliantly fun. Heyer had such amazing pacing in her earlier works. This one has mystery elements, Robin Hood like elements, and witty dialogs. I tend to favor the young couple more so than Sarah + Tristram. I do love Sarah and Eustacie together as friends, and how silly they were about coming up with 'adventure' ideas. I know some have said that they thought Eustacie was a bit much, and I do think that at the beginning of the book she was at her most annoying. But she is a ...more
Jane Stewart
Narrator hurt the book.

I had two problems with Phyllida Nash.

1. Her breaths were annoying and distracting. When talking to someone in person one does not hear breaths. Throughout the book I’m thinking when is the next breath going to come? They interrupted the story. Narrators: PLEASE listen to the recording of yourself and if you hear your breaths, use a different microphone - or stand farther away from it.

2. She has a haughty British tone. She does not read with wonder and i
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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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“You would more probably have gone to the guillotine,' replied Sir Tristram, depressingly matter of fact.

'Yes, that is quite true,' agreed Eustacie. 'We used to talk of it, my cousin Henriette and I. We made up our minds we should be entirely brave, not crying, of course, but perhaps a little pale, in a proud way. Henriette wished to go to the guillotine en grande tenue, but that was only because she had a court dress of yellow satin which she thought became her much better than it did really. For me, I think one should wear white to the guillotine if one is quite young, and not carry anything except perhaps a handkerchief. Do you not agree?'

'I don't think it signifies what you wear if you are on your way to the scaffold,' replied Sir Tristram, quite unappreciative of the picture his cousin was dwelling on with such evident admiration.

She looked at him in surprise. 'Don't you? But consider! You would be very sorry for a young girl in a tumbril, dressed all in white, pale, but quite unafraid, and not attending to the canaille at all, but--'

'I should be very sorry for anyone in a tumbril, whatever their age or sex or apparel,' interrupted Sir Tristram.

'You would be more sorry for a young girl--all alone, and perhaps bound,' said Eustacie positively.

'You wouldn't be all alone. There would be a great many other people in the tumbril with you,' said Sir Tristram.

Eustacie eyed him with considerable displeasure. 'In my tumbril there would not have been a great many other people,' she said.”
“I may have said that I wanted to have an adventure," replied Miss Thane. "But I never said that I wanted to be murdered in my bed.” 4 likes
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