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Group Reads > Powder and Patch Group Read July 2016 Chapters 11-19

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
& this is where we do it a little differently! This is the second half of this very short book. There may be open spoilers in this half. If revealing important plot points in any of GH's other books, please use spoiler tags.

Any questions about this - please ask.

& how did you like this book?


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
OK I read it one gulp last night. (maybe should have had just two threads (one for this, one for the missing chapter)

I enjoyed it a lot more this time than I ever had before. One is after over 30 years of marriage I feel a lot more sympathy for Cleone's position! My husband dresses to suit himself. He has two wardrobes in our house but wears the same things day after day.

& in parts, the book is very funny.

I'm still pondering my rating. I enjoyed it 5★ worth, but the comments about a woman wants mastering really set my teeth on edge!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
Cleone is very much Lavinia/Fanny/Juliana isn't she?

Maybe GH was fond of this character & after The Black Moth wanted to give her her own book?


Teresa | 1775 comments I'm afraid I have to disagree. I didn't like it at all and thought I'd never be finished it. Started off really good but then it just went down hill to silliness. Philip was a bit of a fool at the start and I wanted to shake Cleone till her teeth rattled. I liked her at the beginning and even felt sorry for her but that didn't last.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
Aw, sorry you didn't enjoy it Teresa! Have you read the missing chapter yet?


Teresa | 1775 comments No actually I didn't. Was quite late when I finished last night. I'll get on to that today.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3610 comments Just finished, but haven't had a chance to read the missing chapter. As a first-time read, I found it fast and fluffy light, if lacking the usually sparkle and wit I expect from Heyer's Regencies and several of her mysteries. There were a few memorable support characters - Tom, Lady Sally and Francois - and although I thought Philip was sweet and sincere, I liked him better in the beginning! The resolution was thoroughly predictable and I thought Sir Maurice and Cleone got their just desserts, so good on Philip!

I enjoyed it more than Teresa I think, but I still wouldn't rush to reread it.


Louise Culmer Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "OK I read it one gulp last night. (maybe should have had just two threads (one for this, one for the missing chapter)

I enjoyed it a lot more this time than I ever had before. One is after over 3..."


Dominant heroes are generally very popular in romantic fiction. most of heyer's heroes are quite forceful.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3610 comments Louise wrote: " Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "OK I read it one gulp last night. (maybe should have had just two threads (one for this, one for the missing chapter)

I enjoyed it a lot more this time than I e..."


Good point Louise - and along those lines, I know I'm looking at these men through modern, middle-aged eyes, but are any of the other readers finding it very difficult to see powdered, patched, high-heels and wig-sporting men as romantic leading man material?!? I'm sorry, but it really is hard to imagine, and definitely takes me out of the story...


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1161 comments Well I finished it; and despite my reservations about reading it again (since I had disliked it so much the first time I read it some 50 years ago), I found myself actually enjoying it. Firstly, I decided to ignore the fact I had totally disliked the basic plot when I first read it:- I had no sympathy first time round with either Philip, his father or Cleone and I thought Philip was a wimp for giving in!!

However, once I had suspended disbelief and accepted the basic premise, I found it an enjoyable romp. GH's writing skill still shines through and it is a lively and enjoyable little tale.
It was light and frothy, had lots of descriptive detail about the clothes and jewels, the French influence on style and behaviour at the time, and some witty and often rather clever dialogue.

It was an interesting read on several counts. I enjoyed the glimpse into Georgette Heyer's thinking. The book reflected not only the social mores of the 1750s but GH's own environment in the 1920s. The idea that women wanted to be dominated and mastered was so very common then - and although we might shudder today, in the context of the period - it was seen not only as unremarkable but almost romantic. As Louise says, these kind of heroes were very prevalent in romantic fiction then and they certainly appear in GH's books with great regularity.
I still found Philip's transformation from an apparently dowdy, dull, inarticulate squire to the intellectual, popinjay favourite of the aristocratic society of the French enlightenment somewhat miraculous but again - it's a fairy story so I just sucked it up.
I really liked recognising the various personality types and tropes that GH employed to such advantage in various other books. The relationship between Phillip and Francois was very reminiscent of that between Dominic and his valet. Tom was bound to reappear as Rupert and Cleone was very much the Fanny/Juliana character. Young Jenny would see many new incarnations and Sally appears so regularly, I feel she is an old friend. However, I really liked that as she went on she refined these characters and made them real. An easy, light read that actually belies the skill that the young GH had.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3610 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "Well I finished it; and despite my reservations about reading it again (since I had disliked it so much the first time I read it some 50 years ago), I found myself actually enjoying it. Firstly, I ..."

Beautifully put, Susan - you articulate several good points about why I enjoyed the book as a first time reader much better than I did, thank you!


Louise Culmer Susan in NC wrote: "Louise wrote: " Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "OK I read it one gulp last night. (maybe should have had just two threads (one for this, one for the missing chapter)

I enjoyed it a lot more thi..."


it's not something i care for much myself. But it is what the rather tiresome heroine wanted, so she can't complain.


message 13: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited Jul 06, 2016 01:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
I'll need to look up my Koestler to see if this is the case, but if GH planned to offer this novel to Mills & Boon she may have been constrained by their specifications. I know modern Mills & Boon have a maximum word count of around 50,000 words. It would be a real challenge to get decent character development in that length.

http://www.millsandboon.com.au/author...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
http://www.historyundressed.com/2013/...

Among other things the theory that GH's father may have composed the rondeau.

Anyone's French good enough to translate the rondeau for us? :)


Teresa | 1775 comments Thank you for that wonderful link Carol. I'll have to take a night off and go through all the marvelous sites I've discovered since I joined this group.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3610 comments Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "http://www.historyundressed.com/2013/...

Among other things the theory that GH's father may have composed the rondeau.

Anyone's French good enough to transl..."


Oh dear, my high school French is beyond rusty - I'm afraid it's nonexistent!


message 17: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1419 comments Not a pretty translation, but here goes:

Cette petite perle qui tremblotte
Au bout ton oreille, et qui chuchotte
Je ne sais quoi de tendre et de malin.
A l’air à la fois modeste et coquin
Si goguenarde est elle et si dévote.

A regarder c’est toute une gavotte
Où l’on s’avance, se penche, et pivote,
Lors que tu branles d’un mouvement fin
Cette petite perle.

C’est une étoile dans le ciel qui flotte—
Un vif éclair qui luit dans une grotte—
Un feu follet qui hors de son chemin
M’ attire, m’ éblouit, m’ égare—

Enfin, elle m’ enbête—saperlipopOtte!—
Cette petite perle.


This little pearl that vibrates
On the edge of your ear, and that whispers
Little tender nothings, tender and spiteful.
Its air is at once modest and coquettish.
So nasty is she and so pious.

To look at she is a complete gavotte
Where one advances, bends, and pivots,
Until you twirl in an elegant movement
This little pearl.

It’s a star in the sky that floats—
A lively meteor [or light?] that glows in a grotto—
A crazy fire that outside my way
Attracts me, catches my eye, and entices me away from the straight and narrow [sorry about all the extra syllables!]—

In sum, she gets me hot and bothered—gadzooks!
This little pearl.


[Inelegant, but you get the general idea.]


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3610 comments Thank you Abigail!


message 19: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited Jul 06, 2016 07:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
Yes thank you Abigail! I've got to say I'm with Philip's French friends on the subject of his poetry!

& I took French at school but it is just about all gone now.

I've always wondered what the "clocks" were on the stockings.

The writer on this blog is a Regency writer but this is the clearest explanation I've found!

http://lesleyannemcleod.blogspot.co.n...

Maybe this one will be clear to the rest of you!

http://www.marquise.de/en/1700/howto/...


message 20: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 541 comments I'd have to look it up, but I'll bet "feu follet" means something like the English "will-o'-the-wisp" -- the kind of tricksy light that leads you into a bog!


message 21: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1419 comments I’m guessing that too, Margaret, but I couldn’t find it in my old Larousse dictionary/encyclopedia. And I couldn’t remember the term! Thanks for reminding me.


Teresa | 1775 comments Thanks for the translation but oh my Lord what a load of rot!!!


message 23: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1419 comments I think that’s pretty much the point—the effete pointlessness of courtly society, the obsession with trivialities.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3610 comments Abigail wrote: "I think that’s pretty much the point—the effete pointlessness of courtly society, the obsession with trivialities."

I agree wholeheartedly- very well said! That's why, like Louise Sparrow, I much preferred Philip at the start of the novel.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 361 comments Abigail, thank you SO MUCH for that translation!

This one was fun and frothy, but I have no use for Cleone as a heroine, though I liked Philip. And Aunt Sarah's advice to Philip on how to handle a woman? I about died. The times, they have changed. Thank goodness, in this case.

This barely got 3 stars from me, and I'm making major allowances for it being written in the 1920s. If it were a more recent book, it would be 2 stars.


message 26: by Jenny (last edited Jul 07, 2016 09:43AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jenny H (jenny_norwich) | 730 comments Abigail wrote: "...In sum, she gets me hot and bothered—gadzooks!
This little pearl"


Isn't the point of the last line, though, that it's not part of the original poem, but a heckle from one of Philip's audience, taking the mickey?
It's not the admirer saying the little pearl gets him 'hot and bothered', but the heckler saying he's sick of hearing about it! The change of the exclamation 'saperlipopette!' to 'saperlipopOtte' is to make a preposterous rhyme with the previous lines, all to make fun of them.
Even his French friends think he's overdoing it a bit!


message 27: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1419 comments That could well be, Jenny! I like your interpretation.


Howard Brazee Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "And Aunt Sarah's advice to Philip on how to handle a woman? I about died. The times, they have changed. Thank goodness, in this case."

Note that Aunt Sarah said that she herself never was a woman for whom that advice would work. That helped some.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
I read somewhere that both Heyer & DuMaurier were great ones for having characters show (or believe) women's values that were nothing like they behaved themselves - sort of do as I say, not as I do!


Teresa | 1775 comments I read a biography of DuMaurier and she was a very interesting person.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
Barbara Cartland *shudder* was another one who never behaved like one of her heroines.


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1161 comments Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "Barbara Cartland *shudder* was another one who never behaved like one of her heroines."

Barbara Cartland never behaved like anyone that I knew! - and how she got away with writing the gazillions of rubbish books that she churned out - remains a mystery to me!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
& interestingly enough, even though this book is probably no ones favourite Heyer, the following is the second most popular Heyer quote on GR.

“You're only a man! You've not our gifts! I can tell you! Why, a woman can think of a hundred different things at once, all them contradictory!”



Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 458 comments LOL but it's so true!


message 35: by Susan in NC (last edited Jul 11, 2016 05:42PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3610 comments Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "& interestingly enough, even though this book is probably no ones favourite Heyer, the following is the second most popular Heyer quote on GR.

“You're only a man! You've not our gifts! I can tell ..."


Brilliant!


message 36: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Teresa wrote: "I read a biography of DuMaurier and she was a very interesting person."

It rather turned me off that Daphne DuMaurier seemed not to like Americans. Think of the nameless heroine's awful employer at the beginning of Rebecca and then the whole idea in Rule Britannia!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 361 comments MaryC wrote: "It rather turned me off that Daphne DuMaurier seemed not to like Americans. Think of the nameless heroine's awful employer at the beginning of Rebecca and then the whole idea in Rule Britannia! "

At least Mrs. Danvers wasn't an American. ;)


message 38: by MaryC (new)

MaryC Clawsey | 480 comments Good point, Tadiana! Her American characters are rather brassy and thick-skinned.


message 39: by Elza (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments Louise Sparrow wrote: "LOL but it's so true!"


I'm sure y'all have seen this on Facebook or elsewhere:
"Men, if you want to know what a woman's mind is like, imagine a browser with 3,241 tabs open. All. The. Time."


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
Elza wrote: "
I'm sure y'all have seen this on Facebook or elsewhere:
"Men, if you want to know what a woman's mind is like, imagine a browser with 3,241 tabs open..."


Hahahaha - just a question out of sheer, idle curiosity!

Is this anyone's favourite Heyer? Or even in their top 5?

I do like it & enjoyed the read this time more than ever before but it will never be one I mention when people ask what my favourite is.


Jenny H (jenny_norwich) | 730 comments Abigail wrote: "That could well be, Jenny! I like your interpretation."

I thought that was what it actually said in the book! I can't check though, because it turns out that I don't actually possess a copy. I obviously never liked it enough to buy one.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4435 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "
I thought that was what it actually said in the book! I can't check though, because it turns out that I don't actually posse..."


Yes, I'm sure Sainte Dantin interjects!


Jenny H (jenny_norwich) | 730 comments Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "Is this anyone's favourite Heyer? Or even in their top 5?"

It's definitely in my bottom 5! I dislike it so much that I've only just realise I don't own a copy.


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