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Group Reads > The Talisman Ring Group Read March 2016 Chapters 1-6

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message 1: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited Feb 29, 2016 10:33AM) (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4170 comments Mod
Our Virgin Read. I'm really looking forward to this one!

Please use spoiler tags or the spoiler thread for spoilers. We don't want to spoil anyone's first read!

Is this anyone's virgin (first time) read?

How many times have you read it? What format are you reading it in?

I'm taking away an old Pan of my Dad's. The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer It is a lot newer than the rest of the Pans so Dad must have worn it out & replaced it at some point.

I have read this multiple times, the last time more than 25 years ago.


message 2: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4170 comments Mod
MaryC's post (copied from Group Reads)

We started it two nights ago and spent some time today googling "sugar loaf hat." It turns out to encompass a variety of styles, with the common feature being a high, rather pointed crown. Those of the 1790s looked rather like the inverted flowerpot hats of the 17the century, brimmed and tapering toward the top without really being pointed. Someone here probably knows more about them!


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments My second read of the book - previous time and this time I am listening to the very well done audiobook.

I'm only on the second chapter but I've decided that I like GH's books even more the second time through. Her endings aren't surprising so that's not the charm of them. It's the language, the characters, and the humor that make them so fantastic and I enjoy that more on the second read than I do the first.


message 4: by Jacquie (last edited Feb 29, 2016 11:31AM) (new)

Jacquie Scuitto | 261 comments No idea when I first read it but like most GH books it was late 1960s to early 1970s. How often? No idea but the Pan paperback is in much better shape than Sophy!


message 5: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1288 comments I have a brand-new, uncracked Arrow paperback—must have replaced my old Pan at some point. Haven’t read this one for many years, so it’s about time I did!


message 6: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 457 comments I've read it several times previously, this time I'll be listening to the audiobook.


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments IRL I think I would find Eustacie to be annoying and am a little charmed by Sir Tristam's alpha-male attitude. He needs a more managing female and someone who brings out his sense of humor.


message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments I love that she is already planning on taking a lover!


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments "And they will fetch you from the gaming hell ..."

"Fetch me from where?!?!" interrupted Tristam.

Love it! I can't imagine a worse suited couple than these two and I wonder if Sylvester knew that. Possibly the thought of Tristam being stuck with her amused the old man on his death bed.


message 10: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1208 comments Amy wrote: "I love that she is already planning on taking a lover!"

I know! I love their meeting and his reaction to her romantic fantasy.


message 11: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2579 comments Mod
This is one of my favorites, I honestly do not know how many times I have read it. This time it will be the kindle version.

Sir Tristam is great, and Eustacie is just adorable.


message 12: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee I find more enjoyment reading about Sarah Thane than with anybody else in this book.


message 13: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ (last edited Mar 01, 2016 11:11AM) (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 361 comments I'm a newbie with this GH book! I'll probably start it tonight and juggle it with about 5 other books I'm currently reading. :p

In the old days, sugar was sold in tall loaves:
description

People would carefully scrape off bits of sugar to use sparingly in recipes. Hence the name of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro:
description

I'd guess a men's sugarloaf hat in this era might look something like this:
description


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments I do think Eustacie is onto something when she tells Tristram that he doesn't like women. Does anyone else get that impression?


message 15: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2579 comments Mod
Wow thanks for the shared research! What an odd looking hat.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 361 comments Critterbee wrote: "Wow thanks for the shared research! What an odd looking hat."

I researched sugar loaves when I was writing my review for The Miniaturist, so I was able to copy over the first couple of images from that review. :) Sugarloaf hats, however, are few and far between on Google images.


message 17: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments Tadiana - Thanks for the information. I share Sylvester's POV that a man that wears a sugar loaf hat is not one that I would want to be friends with. :)


message 18: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2579 comments Mod
Amy wrote: "I do think Eustacie is onto something when she tells Tristram that he doesn't like women. Does anyone else get that impression?"

I think that is in reference to his 'suffering a disappointment in his youth,' and becoming embittered towards women.


message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments Critterbee wrote: "Amy wrote: "I do think Eustacie is onto something when she tells Tristram that he doesn't like women. Does anyone else get that impression?"

I think that is in reference to his 'suffering a disapp..."


I'd love to know what the disappointment was ... I don't think we are ever told.


message 20: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer this is my very favourite Heyer. i've read it many times over the years, and i've listened to Phyllida Nash's audiobook version as well many times. It's so funny, and all the characters are delightful.


message 21: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1580 comments I'm reading this in paperback form published by Arrow in 2005. At the time they were releasing GH books in batches every six months or so. Not long started and enjoying it already. I'm so glad I joined this group and this challenge!!! Totally loving reading my GH's again. I love the comedy in these books and often laugh out loud when reading them.


message 22: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments I don't know how often I've read this, and listened to it as an audiobook, but numerous times! I'm reading the Kindle version this time. I enjoy it every time; the characters are so vivid. I love the conversation between Eustacie and Sir Tristram, and the way he says "Does that rankle?" when Sarah Thane accuses him of being devoid of all sensibility because he could remain unaffected by the thought of a young girl, dressed in white, all alone, and in a tumbril.

It's such an amusing book, but there's some good action in it. The description of Eustacie's ride through the forest in the snow at dead of night is excellent.

My favourites are Sarah and Sir Tristram. And they both have grey eyes!


message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1208 comments Howard wrote: "I find more enjoyment reading about Sarah Thane than with anybody else in this book."

me, too - but Eustacie is #2


message 24: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments I love these characters so much that I find myself wishing for more information ...

What was Sir Tristram's disappointment early in life?
How did Sir Hugh become a justice of the peace? (He is such a fun character. I wonder if he ever falls in love.)


message 25: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3367 comments This is my second time reading it, and I've got the Arrow paperback from 2005 - just going to start reading it now, I look forward to refreshing my memory as it has been several years for me...


message 26: by Elliot (last edited Mar 02, 2016 11:26AM) (new)

Elliot Jackson | 275 comments Well, i'm gonna be the party-pooper and say that on my latest re-read, this one disappointed me. Even the parts I remember thinking were the funniest - like Eustacie's and Sir Tristram's interactions - fell flat this time round.

Honestly, I remember liking it once upon a time! Now I find Eustacie and Ludovic gratingly idiotish, Sir Tristram unpleasant (tho' not without reason, given what and who he's surrounded with), and Sarah just *relentlessly* arch - the I'm Living An Adventure At Last bit just got old and one-note for me fast.

The only character I found myself in total sympathy with was Sir Hugh - "Is there still booze in the house? Fine. I'll be in my bunk."

Yes, I'm afraid it's true...I would probably never gallop "ventre a terre" to poor Eustacie's death-bed, as another commenter so pricelessly pointed out once upon a time... ; )

On a more serious note, I think I find Heyer's "romantic comedy/thriller" efforts less aesthetically satisfying than when she just exploits the regular pitfalls of the Regency social scene for her plots. When she tries to bring murder and mayhem into this world, I don't buy it. There's not enough grit, there are no real-seeming consequences. All the characters in this one seem to be bent on seeing murder, mayhem, and the mocking of social inferiors as a total romp, and I just...don't. It's the same problem I have with her more contemporary mysteries - everyone is so busy being witty and arch about murder!

I must be more of a prude than I thought. How disheartening!


Jay-me (Janet)  | 111 comments Elliot wrote: "Well, i'm gonna be the party-pooper, and say that on my latest re-read (which was a couple of months ago) this one irritated me. Even the parts I remember thinking were the funniest - like Eustacie..."

I'm glad I'm not the lone voice in not liking this book. Eustacie annoys me almost as much as Tiffany Wield.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 361 comments I don't mind Eustacie: she's not mean-spirited or selfish like Tiffany. I wouldn't want to read a whole book about her, but as a minor character I can live with her. Obviously my true love is reserved for Sarah and Tristram. Sarah's dry commentary on Eustacie's stories and flights of fancy remind me a little of the Duke of Avon in Devil's Cub.

I'm about halfway through and interested to see if there's a twist coming up in the plot. I have to assume there is; otherwise it's not much of a mystery.


message 29: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments Jay-me (Janet) wrote: "Elliot wrote: "Well, i'm gonna be the party-pooper, and say that on my latest re-read (which was a couple of months ago) this one irritated me. Even the parts I remember thinking were the funniest ..."

I can see that in the early chapters. Towards the end of the book I started liking her more. I felt like she was given more personality than dumb French girl in later chapters. The flip side to that was that I felt like Sir Hugh started to get dumber as the book wore on.

Nobody can be as annoying at Tiffany Weld. I wish she was real so I could kick her in the shins.


message 30: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1580 comments On chapter six. Still loving it!!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 361 comments Amy wrote: "Nobody can be as annoying at Tiffany Weld. I wish she was real so I could kick her in the shins."

Lol! I'm sure there are worse human beings in Georgette Heyer's books, but no one I detested reading about more than Tiffany. She almost ruined The Nonesuch for me. I deducted at least a full star from my rating of that book because of her.


message 32: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Jay-me (Janet) wrote: "Elliot wrote: "Well, i'm gonna be the party-pooper, and say that on my latest re-read (which was a couple of months ago) this one irritated me. Even the parts I remember thinking were the funniest ..."

I love Eustacie, I think she's a great character. She's romantic and imaginative, but also brave, resourceful, and she has a sense of humour too.


message 33: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1580 comments Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽ wrote: "Amy wrote: "Nobody can be as annoying at Tiffany Weld. I wish she was real so I could kick her in the shins."

Lol! I'm sure there are worse human beings in Georgette Heyer's books, but no one I de..."


The Nonesuch!!! My absolute favourite GH. I read it often.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 361 comments Teresa wrote: "The Nonesuch!!! My absolute favourite GH. I read it often."

Absolute favorite? How do you feel about Tiffany? :) I like everything else in that book ... except the Big Misunderstanding (those tend to rub me the wrong way).


message 35: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1580 comments Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽ wrote: "Teresa wrote: "The Nonesuch!!! My absolute favourite GH. I read it often."

Absolute favorite? How do you feel about Tiffany? :) I like everything else in that book ... except the Big Misunderstand..."


Yes I know what you mean about Tiffany. I think I actually got a headache reading the parts she was in:) Misunderstandings don't really bother me as long as they're not totally ridiculous.


message 36: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee On a more serious note, I think I find Heyer's "romantic comedy/thriller" efforts less aesthetically satisfying than when she just exploits the regular pitfalls of the Regency social scene for her plots."

Agreed. Partly this is because I don't think she's that good of a mystery/action writer. And partly because I get the idea (rightly or wrongly) that she sympathizes with aristocrats getting away with stuff normal people wouldn't get away with.


message 37: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 457 comments Listening to the audio book I just kept going so I have no idea where chapter 6 ends. I'm on chapter 12 now!

I'm loving it as much as always.


message 38: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2579 comments Mod
Elliot wrote: "Well, i'm gonna be the party-pooper and say that on my latest re-read, this one disappointed me. Even the parts I remember thinking were the funniest - like Eustacie's and Sir Tristram's interactio..."

Aww, too bad, Elliott! I always enjoy reading Talisman Ring because it is just so ridiculous. Makes me smile!

Although, I did feel that Beau's character was somehow inconsistent, or not believable especially when OOOO I think I need to go to the spoilers thread.


message 39: by MaryC (last edited Mar 02, 2016 08:41PM) (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 479 comments I don't know what chapter I'm in now, since my husband and I are listening to the book on audio, but we've reached the interaction with her "maid" and are realizing that, silly as she may be, she's also quite smart. Of course the other couple are my favorites. I'm reminded that I read once that, in the source for Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice and Benedick were merely the secondary couple!

Another thought: could it be that those of us who read the book some time ago and now find Eustacie and Ludovic less charming than they did then are simply seeing them with older eyes?


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1091 comments Elliot wrote: "Well, i'm gonna be the party-pooper and say that on my latest re-read, this one disappointed me. Even the parts I remember thinking were the funniest - like Eustacie's and Sir Tristram's interactio..."

That makes 2 of us Elliot. I agree with your comments - well expressed! This has never been one of my favourites and still isn't!! I must be a party pooper along with you.


message 41: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3367 comments As of last night I was just finishing chapter 3 and so far I'm enjoying it moderately - yes, Eustacie and Ludovic are rather silly, but fun, but I look at them with rather indulgent eyes because they are so young! I was glad she took some action, she clearly wasn't bowled over by Tristram and Sylvester clearly saw her as nothing but a brood mare with good bloodlines to be handed off before he died, so,who cares what he wanted! Her plan is ridiculous, of course, but I do get a chuckle from her bizarre mix of French pragmatism and little-girl romantic daydreams, yikes! She reminds me a little of Leonie in These Old Shades (also way overdo for a reread for me) - daring to take off on a dangerous escapade to get her way; so far they are amusing, but from several of your comments I expect that may change soon...


message 42: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments Howard wrote: "Agreed. Partly this is because I don't think she's that good of a mystery/action writer. And partly because I get the idea (rightly or wrongly) that she sympathizes with aristocrats getting away with stuff normal people wouldn't get away with."

I am not a fan of her contemporary mysteries at all so your comment made me think about why I enjoy her Regency mysteries. It's the people in the stories that make them interesting to me and not really the mystery plots. In both this book and the The Toll-Gate the reader can figure out who the bad guys is pretty quickly because they are going around acting secretive and wicked. I don't think anyone is particularly surprised at the big reveal. What the mystery provides is a good background for our heroes and secondary characters to interact and get to know each other.


message 43: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3367 comments Amy wrote: "Howard wrote: "Agreed. Partly this is because I don't think she's that good of a mystery/action writer. And partly because I get the idea (rightly or wrongly) that she sympathizes with aristocrats ..."

Well said - many of my favorite historical mystery series are character driven and I enjoy them as such, a chance to revisit with interesting characters who happen to be solving a mystery. The best authors manage to combine compelling characters and complex puzzles (Imogen Robertson and C.J. Sansom), but I have found them rare and precious indeed!


message 44: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer I've never thought of the Talisman Ring as a mystery - it is fairly obvious who the villain is early on. it does have quite a lot of excitement though, which I enjoy so long as there is plenty of humour and some interesting female characters as well.


message 45: by Elza (new)

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments This is only my 2nd read of The Talisman Ring and the first was a looooong time ago, so it all seems pretty new. I do remember that before the first read, I'd heard a lot of wonderful things about it and was mildly disappointed that it wasn't as good as I'd hoped. Here's hoping that I am a happier reader this time around!

Just finished Chapter 2, so not very far in, but I was struck right away by the prospect of a deathbed wedding. I wonder if this is connected to the very moving wedding in The Toll-Gate -- she didn't get to write that scene in TTR after setting it up, so wanted to use it in a later story? I'll have to check on the dates.

Tristan is straight out of GH Central Casting -- dark, harsh, and sardonic, with expressive eyebrows. She does love those eyebrows, doesn't she?
And Eustacie is another Kitty or Amanda. Very young, very pretty, and very determined to get her way.


message 46: by Cascades (new)

Cascades | 40 comments I am about halfway through - Chapter 8 or 9, I think. This is not my first read but I honestly don't remember anything (only read it once before several years back), so it is as good as a first time read. Reading it in e-book format from the library.

I agree with the readers who like the Regencies/comedies of manners better than the adventure/mysteries. This one seems a bit dull and colorless to me. I did enjoy "The Toll Gate" much better than this one though.

I liked Sarah Thane but somehow she felt a bit too contrived in the first scenes. Didn't particularly like Sir Tristram. Ludovic and Eustacie are made for each other. I don't think Eustacie comes anywhere close to Tiffany in the annoyance quotient! Sir Hugh is funny.


message 47: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Cascades wrote: "I am about halfway through - Chapter 8 or 9, I think. This is not my first read but I honestly don't remember anything (only read it once before several years back), so it is as good as a first tim..."

I'm the opposite, I love The Talisman Ring but I find the Tollgate very dull.


message 48: by Vasoula (new)

Vasoula | 43 comments I agree! The Toll Gate doesn't seem well structured. It feels a bit put together in a hurry.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments I just completed ch 4 yesterday.

I'm not sure who the heroine/hero are. I didn't read the blurb. And I've avoided reading past comments about the book or characters since I hadn't read it yet. I didn't want to be spoiled.

At first I thought Tristram and Eustscia were the H/h, but after reading ch 4, I can't be sure.

Tristram's responses to Eustscia's fanciful comments are hilarious. I want more of Tristram responding to Eustscia's babble!

Right away in ch 4 Sarah Thane reminded me of Lady Hester Theale and opened my mind to the possibility that SHE, Miss Thane and not Eustacia is the heroine. It's too early to tell.

Also after ch 4 where Ludovic (that doesn't look like a very English name, but I'm not English so what do I know?) makes an appearance, Tristram is looking a bit sinister or shady to me, so I went back to read ch 2 again to pay closer attention to the story of the affair with that cit fellow named "Plunkett."


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Just for fun, who is the chit with the silliest notions? Amanda? Horatia? Or Eustacia?

I think Eustacia's are silliest, but she and Tristram together are hilarious!


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