Jacob Proffitt's Reviews > Cotillion
by Georgette Heyer
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 particular, undergoes more character development than is common in Heyer's heroes and is easy to write-off in the early parts of the novel as empty-headed. He starts out much like many supporting characters in Heyer's other novels--stylish, proper, concerned about fashion, an unquestioning bachelor, and considered by his friends to be a well-meaning fribble. He ends much more in the typical heyerian mode of someone who is comfortable in his world and well able to shape it to his needs and desires.
Indeed, in many ways, this book is more about the hero than the heroine. Freddy undergoes a strong metamorphosis as he begins to recognize his own ability to manage his world and put his imprint on it. That others come to appreciate, and respect, his new-found capacity for action isn't nearly so important as realizing, himself, that he is perfectly capable, and willing, to do what must be done to see to the comfort of his friends and the people he cares about. Kitty, on the other hand, doesn't really grow or change except in relation to her understanding of, and appreciation for, Freddy. This is a reversal of the many Heyer novels where the heroine's character develops appreciably and the hero merely learns to appreciate her stellar qualities.
Catching the early hints that Freddy has much more depth than seemed at first possible made all the difference in my enjoyment of this book. It hasn't become my favorite Heyer novel, but it's certainly climbed out of my dog pile and will be happily re-read on a much more regular basis.