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Group Reads > The Talisman Ring Group Read March 2016 Spoilers thread

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message 1: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4372 comments Mod
For spoilers & final conclusions!


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments I'm going to be cautious and discuss how the romances end up here so not to spoil it for anyone else.

I'm sure that everyone else figured it out much earlier than I did on their first time through reading this book but it took me forever to figure out that Eustacie and Sir Tristam weren't going to end up together. I'm sure I was about 75% through and was still thinking "how is GH going to make these two people fall in love ... they are so unsuited for each other!" Oops. I was happy to know that I was wrong and was delighted with the ending matches.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments I loved it! Absolutely loved it.

So funny. How Tristram brings in the Bow Street Runner at the end is clever.

I love the romantic scene between Tristram and Sarah. When he tells her that it's been a long time since he's been able to look at her without thinking how beautiful she is .... *sigh*


message 4: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer I think Sir Tristram and Miss Thane make a great couple, so do Ludovic and Eustacie. The ending, where Miss Thane says she'll only marry him if he agrees to ride ventre a terre to her deathbed is wonderful.


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments Just for fun - do you think that Shields and the Lavenhams will have a close relationship afterwards?

I could see it either way. Sarah and Tristram (mainly Tristram) might be very glad to be done with all their theatrics and drama. Being married to Eustacie would have been horrible for Tristram and there's no way he could have controlled her.

OR

After everything that happened they'll feel like ol' war buddies and get together frequently to remember that time they solved the murder.


message 6: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments One thing to remember is that Tristram's estate is in Berkshire, which is quite a way away from Sussex where the action in this book takes place and where Lavenham Court is. I suspect they'll meet in London every now and then, but not see too much of each other. Sarah and Eustacie will probably correspond.

I feel a bit sorry for Hugh, because he may be lonely without Sarah. But Gloucestershire and Berkshire aren't too far apart, and maybe he'll enjoy being an uncle.


message 7: by HJ (new)

HJ | 948 comments Louise wrote: "I think Sir Tristram and Miss Thane make a great couple, so do Ludovic and Eustacie. The ending, where Miss Thane says she'll only marry him if he agrees to ride ventre a terre to her deathbed is wonderful..."

I agree! One of the nice things is that Sarah and Tristram share a sense of humour. She'll be good for him, because she'll keep him more cheerful than he used to be. Ludovic and Eustacie should be good together, although I confess I find them a little annoying.


message 8: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Amy wrote: "Just for fun - do you think that Shields and the Lavenhams will have a close relationship afterwards?

I could see it either way. Sarah and Tristram (mainly Tristram) might be very glad to be done..."


I'm sure they will see each other a lot, and all remain close friends. They will meet often in London, and visit each other's homes. Sir Hugh will be a frequent visitor too. They may all go travelling together and have more adventures. And I am sure Sir Hugh will be an indulgent uncle to his nephews and nieces, he will be a favourite with them.


message 9: by Critterbee❇ (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2657 comments Mod
Amy wrote: "Just for fun - do you think that Shields and the Lavenhams will have a close relationship afterwards?

I could see it either way. Sarah and Tristram (mainly Tristram) might be very glad to be done..."


Certainly Sarah and Tristam will have to help Ludovic and Eustacie out of several more scrapes during their lives! Can you imagine L and E staying out of trouble? At least it should be entertaining for Sarah, who seems to enjoy adventure.


message 10: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Of course, as they grow older, the age gap between the two couples will become relatively smaller, and they'll find more in common than their adventure at a county inn. Eustacie may even become downright dull with marriage and motherhood, like Natasha in War and Peace (awful thought!).

I agree that Hugh will make a marvelous uncle! However, the thought of Hugh after the story ends also takes me back to our talk about possible sequels. He'd probably also make a very good husband!


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments MaryC wrote: I agree that Hugh will make a marvelous uncle! However, the thought of Hugh after the story ends also takes me back to our talk about possible sequels. He'd probably also make a very good husband!

I too think he'll get married now that he doesn't have Sarah to take care of him. He'll be a wonderful husband - particularly for a woman that likes managing things. I picture him with an older and calmer Sophy.


message 12: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer I've never imagined Hugh getting married, I've always thought he enjoys being single and wouldn't want to be bothered with a wife. He's always seemed to me a natural bachelor.


message 13: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1752 comments I've just finished it and I posted a review. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it again. Loved Hugh. One of my favourite characters in the story. I think I agree with Louise above, I couldn't see him getting married. I think he's quite selfish in his own likable way. He doesn't seem to think about much beyond a hand of cards and a good
brandy. Hope eveyone else enjoyed it too.
Roll on April for the next one.


message 14: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments Just finished and also posted my review - still four stars for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it again! I thought Ludovic and Eustacie were adorably young and romantic, and Sarah and Tristram were so much fun - two delightful couples, each in their own way. Basil was oily and rotten and a very good villain - not a real mystery, of course, more of a need to clear Ludovic's name and bring Basil to justice. I loved Sir Hugh, he stole just about every scene he wandered in and out of and I enjoyed his relationship with Sarah, she loved him so much but managed him so well! If Hugh were to marry, she'd better be very sensible and have a great sense of humor like Sarah, and hopefully appreciate fine liquor and a good horse, as well - or at least let Hugh enjoy them!


message 15: by Elza (new)

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments I think it's interesting that we never get the backstory of Tristram's earlier disappointment that has put him off the idea of falling in love again. Obviously not as socially damaging to him as Damerel's affair in Venetia, but either somebody burned him pretty badly -- or he has made it a convenient excuse to avoid the marriage-minded misses (and their mamas) of Berkshire.


message 16: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1752 comments Yes now that you mention it we never did find out about it. And was it mentioned only once? Seems like a bit of an after thought with GH. Surprising really.


message 17: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments Elza wrote: I think it's interesting that we never get the backstory of Tristram's earlier disappointment that has put him off the idea of falling in love again. Obviously not as socially damaging to him as Damerel's affair in Venetia, but either somebody burned him pretty badly -- or he has made it a convenient excuse to avoid the marriage-minded misses (and their mamas) of Berkshire

With the way he reacts to the idea of an arranged marriage and his attitude towards all women I imagine he suffered some sort of heartache or embarrassment. He might not have wanted to fall in love again but I think that once he met Sarah there was no turning back for him.


message 18: by Elza (new)

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments In Chapter 1, Sylvester scoffs at Tristram's "still letting a cursed silly calf affair rankle with you."

I don't think it's mentioned again until Chapter 8, when Sarah teases Tristram about "an unfortunate affair in your youth." He responds that "I do not know by what sign you knew that there had been an affair in my past about which I do not care to think. ... There is no fear of my falling in love, ma'am. I learned my lesson early in life, but believe me, I have not forgotten it!"

I have to say, I would love to know the details! But I'm glad that he got over it. Of course, he had no chance against Sarah, did he? :-)


message 19: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Yes, how did she know about "an unfortunate affair in [his]youth"? Did Eustacie tell her something (whatever she knew about it), or was Sarah simply perceptive enough to find it "written all over him"?


message 20: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments MaryC wrote: "Yes, how did she know about "an unfortunate affair in [his]youth"? Did Eustacie tell her something (whatever she knew about it), or was Sarah simply perceptive enough to find it "written all over h..."

The latter. I suspect that Sarah has seen some adventures in her life and is a pretty good judge of people. She's in her late 20's and isn't some schoolroom miss.

Tristram's wariness of women, the fact that he wasn't married despite being a decent catch, and his attitude towards her probably gave her a good idea that something of that sort had happened. Something we might call an "educated guess" these days.


message 21: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee Elza wrote: "I think it's interesting that we never get the backstory of Tristram's earlier disappointment that has put him off the idea of falling in love again. Obviously not as socially damaging to him as Da..."

It is just there as an excuse for him not being married. I'm not even sure it happened - it was a guess made to him by someone who wanted to believe that.


message 22: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Howard wrote: "Elza wrote: "I think it's interesting that we never get the backstory of Tristram's earlier disappointment that has put him off the idea of falling in love again. Obviously not as socially damaging..."

Tristram reacts quite strongly when Sarah makes her lighthearted remark about him having disappointed in love, and confirms that there was such an incident - he was probably jilted by someone.


message 23: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee But was it the trauma that kept him single? Or was it merely an excuse? Not that it matters, but in the book, it didn't take much work to get him past his past.


message 24: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Howard wrote: "But was it the trauma that kept him single? Or was it merely an excuse? Not that it matters, but in the book, it didn't take much work to get him past his past."

Well, he had intended to marry Eustacie, so he obviously wasn't against marrying. Just didn't expect to fall in love again.


message 25: by Susan in NC (last edited Mar 07, 2016 08:37AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments I agree, I think it was probably a first-love-passed-him-over kind of thing, and it burned as so many things do for a young man (my son is a college sophomore, everything is a cause to be fought for, even if it's none of his business, and as for girls, every week brings a new "hot" one...) So I think Tristram just got into the habit of shying away from falling in love - and as Howard says, it probably became a convenient excuse to keep away the marriage-minded mamas. Sounds like he's almost a Corinthian - hunting, boxing, shooting - so he's got plenty of outlets and interests to make his wealthy bachelor existence enjoyable; he knows he'll marry eventually and when he's ready he'll crook his finger and a suitable bride will appear. Check her bloodlines, teeth and dowry, and if it all checks out, he's set! I would wager he barely remembers the face of that tragic first calf love, it's just become a convenient habit - and once Sarah comes along, he doesn't stand a chance - you can have fun with a member of the opposite sex OUT of the bedroom?! Women can have thoughts and ideas and be brave, resilient and clever?! Who'd have thought...


message 26: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee Susan wrote: "I agree, I think it was probably a first-love-passed-him-over kind of thing, and it burned as so many things do for a young man (my son is a college sophomore, everything is a cause to be fought fo..."

Well said!


message 27: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments Thank you!


message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 1326 comments yes, good posts Susan!


message 29: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments Thank you, I really enjoy reading and discussing with this group! It's a much richer reading experience, don't you think? I learn so much, it reminds me of being back in class with my best lit teachers and professors!


message 30: by Judith (new)

Judith | 27 comments Judith Lynn
And remember how separate men's and women;s lives were then. young women of the upper class unmarried were carefully watched by family; only formal meetings. once on the shelf like sarah you would not be considered as marriage material (except as a 2d or 3d wife for a young family). older women were not viewed as good breeders. In our history classes we often repeat "the past is a foreign country" no "presentism allowed".


message 31: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments Judith wrote: "Judith Lynn
And remember how separate men's and women;s lives were then. young women of the upper class unmarried were carefully watched by family; only formal meetings. once on the shelf like sara..."


So true, and well-stated.


message 32: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Judith wrote: "Judith Lynn
And remember how separate men's and women;s lives were then. young women of the upper class unmarried were carefully watched by family; only formal meetings. once on the shelf like sara..."


Sarah is still in her 20s, and certainly still of marriageable age. And travelling around with her brother she has probably met plenty of men, just not one who has taken her fancy until she meets Tristram.


message 33: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 38 comments just wanted to chime in to say that I just joined this group after reading this wonderful book. it's been really enjoyable reading everyone's comments, particularly those that imagine what happens after the novel. have to say that I agree with those that think Sir Hugh (my favorite character) is a bonafide bachelor, probably to the end of his days, and I think that sits perfectly well with him. although I do hope that he finds the right horse.

this is only my second Heyer (my first was the uninspiring Footsteps in the Dark) and it will definitely be far from the last. she's a delightful writer and this was a delightful book. I'm not sure if I'd change a thing even if I could.


message 34: by Jacquie (new)

Jacquie Scuitto | 261 comments How I envy you, Mark! I still remember the excitement of buying the newest paperback Heyer novel at the British Bookshop in Frankfurt, Germany, and meeting her delightful characters for the first time. I have revisited many of those many times, happily losing myself in their adventures again and again.. I was able to share my delight only with a friend in the States with whom I corresponded and for whom I bought copies and sent them to her.
This forum is lots of fun or me even though I don't always read the books under discussion as I know them so well already. The insights, the likes and dislikes, the extra information about the times are so enriching! Keep up the sharing and lively discussing -- I love it!


message 35: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer mark wrote: "just wanted to chime in to say that I just joined this group after reading this wonderful book. it's been really enjoyable reading everyone's comments, particularly those that imagine what happens ..."

I'm glad you like The Talisman Ring, it's my favourite Heyer, so funny and with such wonderful characters.

Footsteps in the Dark is pretty feeble. My favourites of her mysteries are the four with Inspector Hemmingway - No Wind of Blame, Envious Casca, Duplicate Death and Detection Unlimited. She managed to create a really good detective in Hemmingway.


message 36: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 38 comments I will check out those four mysteries, thank you Louise!

Jacquie, right now I'm enjoying reading through this group's Favorites discussion. and then after that, the entire folder Really Useful Stuff has a bunch of topics I also want to read through.


message 37: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments Welcome mark! Talisman Ring was one of my first Heyer's years ago and I was glad to see I enjoyed it as much, if not more, upon rereading with the group. I was delighted to find such a clever and interesting (and polite) group to discuss one of my favorite authors with - erudite as well, I've learned a great deal - enjoy!


message 38: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 38 comments thanks Susan! I've already learned a lot going through the Really Useful Stuff folder. and going through the Books folder has helped me construct a list of Heyers I want to read next. there are a bunch of them but I think my top contenders are Cotillion, Frederica, Unknown Ajax, and Grand Sophy. I'd love to read The Great Roxhythe but the prices listed elsewhere are unbelievable.


message 39: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments You've got a great list there - I've not read The Great Roxhythe, but I look forward to reading your comments if you do find it.


message 40: by Howard (new)

Howard Brazee If I remember correctly, the e-book version of "The Great Roxhythe" used to be free on Amazon, but it is not now available there. I see it downloadable elsewhere now, but I don't know how to tell whether a site is legal or not.

Confusing rights are probably responsible for the high price of the available dead-tree versions.


message 41: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4372 comments Mod
mark wrote: "just wanted to chime in to say that I just joined this group after reading this wonderful book. it's been really enjoyable reading everyone's comments, particularly those that imagine what happens ..."

Hi mark - good to see you here! You have picked out some great titles for your future GH reads! Feel free to dig up the old group threads when you want to comment! :)

Wolfed this book down in 3 days while I was away & absolutely loved it. As a couple of other people have commented the scene where Sarah masquerades as Ludovic/Lucy is one of the funniest GH ever wrote.

I see the two romances as nearly parallel (from memory I think only The Masqueraders had this.

I love Eustacie & her dauntless spirit. I will say this time around I prefer the older couple's romance where as in my younger years i was more interested in Ludovic & Eustacie.


message 42: by Jenny (new)

Jenny H (jenny_norwich) | 721 comments mark wrote: "... I'd love to read The Great Roxhythe ..."
I haven't read it myself, but anyone I've ever heard of who has says GH was absolutely right to suppress it!


message 43: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4372 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "mark wrote: "... I'd love to read The Great Roxhythe ..."
I haven't read it myself, but anyone I've ever heard of who has says GH was absolutely right to suppress it!"


It's unintentionally very funny! I have a copy if we ever decide to do it as a group read.


message 44: by Lori (new)

Lori Mulligan Davis | 196 comments Amy wrote: "Just for fun - do you think that Shields and the Lavenhams will have a close relationship afterwards?

I could see it either way. Sarah and Tristram (mainly Tristram) might be very glad to be done..."


I think our GH clue is that Sarah will put up with ANYTHING, having chosen a life accommodating "Sir Hugh's vagaries." Some people in the non-spoiler thread were annoyed by Sarah's "one-note" harping on "adventure." But I think a closer reading is that she is merely acting that way to accommodate Eustacie's yearning for adventure. Sarah is a patient, tolerant, kind person. If she can get along with the tiresome Hugh, she can enjoy anyone. Though she's wise enough to know Eustacie and Tristram would NEVER suite, she genuinely enjoys Eustacie, though they are nothing alike.


message 45: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer Lori wrote: "Amy wrote: "Just for fun - do you think that Shields and the Lavenhams will have a close relationship afterwards?

I could see it either way. Sarah and Tristram (mainly Tristram) might be very gla..."


I don't see Sarah as putting up with Sir Hugh, I think she enjoys her life with him, Heyer makes that quite clear. Likewise I think she genuinely enjoys her adventure, I don't think she is just trying to please Eustacie by saying that. She is a amused by her, but I think she is really enjoying herself, just as she has done with Hugh.


message 46: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 38 comments that was my impression as well. the Sarah that I feel like I got to know is a person who is not only tolerant and good-humored and affectionate towards people as different as Eustacie and her brother, but a person who just loves life, and is always curious about where life will take her. particularly if it is an adventurous direction. I don't see her as an adventuress necessarily, but rather as a person who will just embrace experiences as they come her way. I think Tristram is a very lucky man - someone like Sarah will make his own life more interesting because of her open-minded and curious spirit.


message 47: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4372 comments Mod
I think Sarah is definitely the GH heroine with the best sense of humour!


message 48: by Amy (new)

Amy (aggieamy) | 422 comments mark wrote: "that was my impression as well. the Sarah that I feel like I got to know is a person who is not only tolerant and good-humored and affectionate towards people as different as Eustacie and her brother, but a person who just loves life, and is always curious about where life will take her. particularly if it is an adventurous direction. I don't see her as an adventuress necessarily, but rather as a person who will just embrace experiences as they come her way. I think Tristram is a very lucky man - someone like Sarah will make his own life more interesting because of her open-minded and curious spirit.
"


Well said! That's exactly how I see her also. She'll also be a delightful mother. Tolerant, patient, and have a good sense of humor.


message 49: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3594 comments mark wrote: "that was my impression as well. the Sarah that I feel like I got to know is a person who is not only tolerant and good-humored and affectionate towards people as different as Eustacie and her broth..."
Well said, mark and Amy, you both summed up my feelings about Sarah as well,


message 50: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4372 comments Mod
& this book is unusual for GH in that the villain is going to face criminal charges!

Were the Georgians less worried about scandal that the aristocrats in Regency times?


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