Georgette Heyer Fans discussion

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Heyer in General > Minerva (Cousin Kate)

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message 1: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments I'm rereading Cousin Kate, this time in audio, and am struck by the thought of what that story would be like if it were told from Lady Broome's point of view. I can't help envisioning her as a Walt Disney villainess and imagining how she must have felt when she read Sarah's letter! Any thoughts to share?


message 2: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Turner (tashaturner) | 30 comments Love the idea


message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments Yes indeed, I can see her scheming and planning and feeling totally justified in it all, for the sake of Broome. Sarah's letter would have seemed like a godsend , she must have been getting pretty anxious over Torquil's fate, time would have been running out for his being kept safe and contained.


message 4: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments And can you envision the story as an opera, with Maria Callas as Minerva?


message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments Yes I can . Though the beautiful Maria would have to have been in her larger sized day I think - I envisage Minerva as a stately woman with one of those prow-like busts don't you ?

PS maybe Sarah Brightman as Kate?


message 6: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 537 comments If well done, a retelling of Cousin Kate from Minerva's POV could be really creepy ... if you take into account that the character is (probably) mentally unbalanced, though in a subtler way than her son.


message 7: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments A truly gothic novel.

Is there a world of Heyer interpretations and rewrites, as there is for Jane Austen? This one would be a challenge to write, but the problem is I suspect it would not appeal to those of us who like Heyer's Regencies partly because nothing too nasty actually happens.


message 8: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 537 comments There is some Heyer fan fiction out there, though I haven't run across any that I thought was really outstanding. Unlike Austen, though, Heyer is still (mostly) in copyright, so there's not as much leeway for authors to play around with her work legally.


message 9: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 19 comments Found one which was a continuation of, I think, Unknown Ajax - not bad :)


message 10: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I love the idea of Cousin Kate as an opera! Until I thought of it that way, I'd never noticed the similarities (in situation) in Rebecca. The creepy Mrs. Danvers, the creepy Minerva. The crazy Torquil, the crazy Rebecca. But Kate is spunky and not given to imaginative fol-der-ol. So, never mind, there's not much in the way of similarities, after all! (except atmosphere, I cling to that one!)


message 11: by HJ (last edited Nov 20, 2013 01:28PM) (new)

HJ | 948 comments Margaret wrote: "There is some Heyer fan fiction out there, though I haven't run across any that I thought was really outstanding. Unlike Austen, though, Heyer is still (mostly) in copyright, so there's not as muc..."

I forgot the copyright point.

I've read fan fiction, some of which was good! But definitely riffing on the characters, i.e. not what Heyer might have written.


message 12: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments Emy wrote: "Found one which was a continuation of, I think, Unknown Ajax - not bad :)"

I wonder if that's the one I've read. Does it start with Ajax and Vincent filling in the tunnel?


message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments Hj wrote: "Emy wrote: "Found one which was a continuation of, I think, Unknown Ajax - not bad :)"

I wonder if that's the one I've read. Does it start with Ajax and Vincent filling in the tunnel?"


Oh , just for one heart-stopping moment I though this meant there was real actual Heyer sequel, that I had never heard of................


message 14: by Janhavi (new)

Janhavi (janhavi88) | 165 comments lol, Barbara, that would have been awesome :D


message 15: by Barbara (last edited Nov 24, 2013 10:21PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments Yes Janhavi ,wouldn't it , I was quite cast down when I realised. I knew really but a girl can dream can't she ....


message 16: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone researching Georgette Heyer found a cache of unpublished manuscripts? Or someone who moved into a house she used to own, looking in the attics? This is the type of thing I dream about, for several authors...


message 17: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 537 comments Having read her biographies, I have to sadly say that finding unpublished Heyer manuscripts is highly unlikely. She was supporting her family by her writing, and didn't spend a lot of time on things she wasn't going to publish. I guess the closest we come is My Lord John, and that is in print although unfinished.


message 18: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Margaret wrote: "Having read her biographies, I have to sadly say that finding unpublished Heyer manuscripts is highly unlikely. She was supporting her family by her writing, and didn't spend a lot of time on thin..."

But maybe the reports of her death were widely exaggerated, and she lives on in an attic at the top of a farmhouse in Cornwall writing witty romantic comedies to save the world's sense of humor someday...


message 19: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments Yes, she suddenly got tired of having to support her family, and decided that they could learn to get on without her. So she faked her death and went off to write romances in peace.

(Sadly, I think that if she did do that she'd have wasted her time writing more of the heavy historicals which she loved and I hate...)


message 20: by Janhavi (new)

Janhavi (janhavi88) | 165 comments I read Jennifer Kloester's new-ish biography and she makes the valid point (or cites someone else making the point) that if Georgette Heyer *really* wanted to write the historicals, she would have. instead, she worked on Lord John on the side, while publishing some 22 regencies in a row over two decades. Kloester's take was that while Heyer felt that 'serious' authors would write historicals, and felt she couldnt be taken seriously for the comedic farces she was so brilliant at, at the same time she knew that was her forte and at some level that was what she wanted to write.

Im being a bit unclear, but basically, more than Heyer 'loving' the historicals, those were the kind of books she thought were 'serious', 'literature' etc.

And let's face it: even today, romance novels are not treated as proper literature.


message 21: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments It takes a tough person to be able to do what she loves without paying attention to what society says about that love. And, for all of her "tough" exterior and biting tongue, I don't think she was tough!


message 22: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments Janhavi wrote: "I read Jennifer Kloester's new-ish biography and she makes the valid point (or cites someone else making the point) that if Georgette Heyer *really* wanted to write the historicals, she would have...."

Interesting! I can see that point.


message 23: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Janhavi wrote, " . . . Jennifer Kloester's new-ish biography and . . . makes the valid point (or cites someone else making the point) that if Georgette Heyer *really* wanted to write the historicals, she would have. instead, she worked on Lord John on the side, while publishing some 22 regencies in a row over two decades. Kloester's take was that while Heyer felt that 'serious' authors would write historicals, and felt she couldnt be taken seriously . . . ."

I imagine we all know a certain 19th century English author, Scottish by birth and Irish by name, who felt the same way: if only he could ditch the genre fiction the public demanded and start emulating Sir Walter Scott! Maybe if GH had stuck to one recurring character or one family and killed them all off-- No, that didn't work for him, either!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Mary wrote: "I'm rereading Cousin Kate, this time in audio, and am struck by the thought of what that story would be like if it were told from Lady Broome's point of view. I can't help envisioning her as a Wal..."

Cousin Kate was one of the GH titles that I did not care for the only time I read it. Maybe someday, I will give it another try.


message 25: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Andrea IS Catsos Person wrote: "Cousin Kate was one of the GH titles that I did not care for the only time I read it. Maybe someday, I will give it another try."

It is one I don't much like either... I think it is the Gothic tone as I am not generally a fan of Gothic novels.


message 26: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments If it weren't for the heroine being so full of common-sense and not prone to fainting and not being a damsel in distress, I wouldn't like its Gothic overtones, either. But I find the contrast of the down-to-earth heroine and the Gothic background kind of fun!


message 27: by Barbara (last edited Jan 13, 2014 10:18PM) (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments Karlyne wrote: "If it weren't for the heroine being so full of common-sense and not prone to fainting and not being a damsel in distress, I wouldn't like its Gothic overtones, either. But I find the contrast of ..."

Yes I do agree with this Karlyne, Also, I,like the way in which GH crafts the difficult situation with Kate and Minerva, so that when Kate says she feels 'crushed by generosity" we understand completely. As we, of course, understand that she actually is being crushed into ( so Minerva thinks ) submission to Minerva's will.


message 28: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments And, Kate herself is a heroine after my own heart. She's not only sensible, but generous and kind and yet independent. She doesn't understand the situation she's been plummeted into (I mean, what "normal" person would?!), but she meets it bravely head-on. I like Kate!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Ok. Maybe I will give Cousin Kate another chance. You all have sold me on giving it another try.


message 30: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 88 comments Cousin Kate was the first Heyer I ever read. I loved it and read it again and again. Some of the other Heyers have replaced it as my favorite but I still reread it occasionally. Minerva is an awesome villianess. I think I always imagined her looking sort of like Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I imagined her as the villainess in Snow White.

Another beef I have (if I remember correctly) I could not see how Kate and the hero (forgot his name) arrived at a place where they loved each other. I was not sold on that. I know that a common complaint about GHs romances is that the H/h spend so little actual time together. However, in other titles I did not have a problem with this and was sold that the H/h had fallen in love.


message 32: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments I imagine her looking like Joan Sutherland - maybe with less chin - but that sort of magnificent figurehead type.


message 33: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Ellen wrote: "Cousin Kate was the first Heyer I ever read. I loved it and read it again and again. Some of the other Heyers have replaced it as my favorite but I still reread it occasionally. Minerva is an aw..."

Maleficent and Joan Sutherland, now that's a combination!


message 34: by Veronica (new)

Veronica | 108 comments Minerva is a very good villain, very like Beatrice from Beauvallet.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I didn't like Cousin Kate for my first read of it. Due the discussion of it's good points I am going to try it again. I am trying to see if my library system has it. Their copy may be lost since it is a very old edition. In libraries, sometime old books that according to the catalog are owned by the library, are not on the shelf when you go to look for them.


message 36: by Veronica (new)

Veronica | 108 comments Andrea IS Catsos Person wrote: "I didn't like Cousin Kate for my first read of it. Due the discussion of it's good points I am going to try it again. I am trying to see if my library system has it. Their copy may be lost since it..."

its Gothic but it is different.


message 37: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Andrea IS Catsos Person wrote: "I didn't like Cousin Kate for my first read of it. Due the discussion of it's good points I am going to try it again. I am trying to see if my library system has it. Their copy may be lost since it..."

Ask your librarian; they often have to store books in odd places when they run out of room on the shelves!


message 38: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments Karlyne wrote: "Ask your librarian; they often have to store books in odd places when they run out of room on the shelves! ...."

Just what I was going to say. In our libraries, more and more room is given over to computers for people to go in and use, so that books almost seem an after-thought. I tend to request them online before I visit, so that they can be retrieved from storage.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Karlyne


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Karlyne & HJ, thanks for the suggestion. I'll make the library staff check their storage areas.


message 41: by Mir (new)

Mir | 35 comments That's how my system is, too -- only the newest and most popular items are on the shelf, everything else needs to be requested ahead of time.

You might also ask your librarian if they have any sort of interlibrary loan. Usually this service is no more than a dollar, and sometimes free. I've gotten a lot of out-of-print items this way.


message 42: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Our library asks for a "donation" of about $2.00 to cover postage, etc., but you don't have to actually donate. Or you can donate whenever you want!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments My requested library copy of "Cousin Kate" has arrived. I was fearful that it may have been lost since it is a old copy that has been re-bound.

I cannot read it yet as I am tied up with 2 group reads.

However, I am looking forward to rereading it to give it another chance since joining this group. I may try The Quiet Gentleman and the Corinthian again as well. You folks have had an influence on me.


message 44: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (sema4dogz) | 435 comments Maybe we could do a group read perhaps? If not Cousin Kate, then a favourite like Cotillion or The Grand Sophy - or any really?


message 45: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Barbara wrote: "Maybe we could do a group read perhaps? If not Cousin Kate, then a favourite like Cotillion or The Grand Sophy - or any really?"

I'm always up for a re-read of Heyer, except for The Unknown Ajax. It's still MIA!


message 46: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments Barbara wrote: "Maybe we could do a group read perhaps? If not Cousin Kate, then a favourite like Cotillion or The Grand Sophy - or any really?"

I think a group read is an excellent idea. It's fun both for those who have read all the books and for those who are new to them, as I've found in other groups.

The way which seems to work best, I think, is for a separate thread to be set up and then divided into 5-chapter sections - that way, everyone can read at their own pace and comment as they finish each five chapters, so there's no risk of seeing a spoiler for later on the book from someone who's reading more quickly, or earlier. Within the five-chapter sections anything can be said without fear of spoiling as people will only read the comments once they finish the section.

We could propose books we think would be good, and once we have a few titles a moderator could set up a poll? If people generally think it would be good fun!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments What a great idea! HJ, the set up that you just described is how the group read of JAs "Emma" is set up. I'm a participant of this group read of Emma.

I propose a group read of Cousin Kate or of Cotillion.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I also propose a group read of "Sylvester."


message 49: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments I vote for Cousin Kate!


message 50: by Leslie (last edited Jan 26, 2014 07:25AM) (new)

Leslie Andrea IS Catsos Person wrote: "What a great idea! HJ, the set up that you just described is how the group read of JAs "Emma" is set up. I'm a participant of this group read of Emma.

I propose a group read of Cousin Kate or of ..."


I would reread Cousin Kate - maybe my impression will be different this time.

When were you thinking of starting?


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