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Lady of Quality
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Group Reads > Lady of Quality Group Read February 2017 Spoilers thread

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Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4101 comments Mod
Here is the place for your final opinions. Open spoilers fine & welcome.

Because of the similarities between this title & Black Sheep there will almost certainly be spoilers for this book as well.

If you haven't read The Black Sheep it may be best to keep out of this thread. :)


message 2: by Belinda (new) - added it

Belinda | 220 comments How sad this is the last book GH wrote when she was 70, suffering from ill health but had been married to Ronald for 47 years. Ronald described the hero in this book as 'the rudest man in london'. What does everyone think of that? Jane Aiken hodge also said that 'As she [GH] grew older, georgette Heyer's heros grew ruder, and her heroines both older too and more interesting'. Annis is 29.


message 3: by Belinda (new) - added it

Belinda | 220 comments Correction - I didn't mean to say it is sad GH had been married to Ronald for 47 years - that part is quite lovely. It's just sad she was unwell and was battling I'll health to keep writing when she did this one.


QNPoohBear | 1224 comments It's a real testament to her skill as a writer that she was able to pull this off, even if the plot is similar to Black Sheep. I don't think Oliver is necessarily the rudest man in London but he's pretty uptight. He does have reason to be rude to Annis at first, given the circumstances in which they meet.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "It's a real testament to her skill as a writer that she was able to pull this off, even if the plot is similar to Black Sheep. I don't think Oliver is necessarily the rudest man in London but he's ..."

True, he gets dragged unwillingly from London to track down his runaway ward, I'd be ticked as well! It's rude but funny that he's so open to Annis and Lucilla about how annoying Maria is.


Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review) (knyttwytch) Well I just finished it and whilst I thought the ending fizzled out a bit I did enjoy it! It was Black Sheep with some Frederica and a bit of Sprig Muslin !


Howard Brazee The way people perceive "The Rudest man in London" is by observing who he is rude to. It's how he treats the people I care about that matters. So the person who's rude to lower classes and polite to higher classes doesn't get that label.

We do enjoy the Henry Higginses (is that the way to write the plural of Higgins?) in fiction, if not so much in real life.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1263 comments Yes, that is the way to write the plural of Higgins! So many people get it wrong, you are to be congratulated!

The possessives of proper names are another area that snags a lot of folks. So long as he is a bachelor, it is Henry Higgins’s house; but after marriage, it would be the Higginses’ house. Damn Anglo-Saxon for giving us so many names ending in ess!


Barb in Maryland | 634 comments My take on poor Maria Farlow--
Maria's main driving force is fear of being desperately poor again. GH describes Maria as being overwhelmed with gratitude and she undoubtedly is. However, Maria is aware that her good fortune could vanish as quickly as it arrived. That underlying terror governs all her emotions and reactions to everything Annis says and does. Once you realize that, everything she does makes sense. She writes letters to Geoffrey, whom she sees as her savior, in order to stay on his good side. She is jealous of Lucilla and Jurby because Annis might decide that she(Maria) isn't needed or wanted any more--and if she's not needed or wanted then she's out on her own again. Maria overcompensates in her efforts to prove herself necessary. The babbling, the errand running, the insistence on being related (the flu episode)--all driven by total fear.
I do believe Maria will be a lot happier, and perhaps less annoying, when she is absorbed into Geoffrey and Amabel's household. But I'm not sure even that will stop her tendency to babble.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Howard wrote: "The way people perceive "The Rudest man in London" is by observing who he is rude to. It's how he treats the people I care about that matters. So the person who's rude to lower classes and polite t..."

Hah, good point - treats a flower girl like a duchess, and vice-versa...


message 11: by Susan in NC (last edited Feb 03, 2017 09:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Well, just finished and updated my review from a couple of years ago, this one is still 3.5 stars for me. Annis and Oliver are amusing, but I just don't see them falling in love; Annis seems frustrated and bored with her life, hence taking on Lucilla's temporary guardianship is a welcome diversion. But the constant bickering between her and Oliver just didn't cut it for me - I'm sure there was sexual attraction, but I just didn't feel the love, as it were! If we hadn't just read Black Sheep I might have enjoyed it more, I dare say - and I could've cheerfully strangled Cousin Maria, so I agree with Sir Geoffrey and Oliver and Annis in that regard! Still, time spent with Heyer is time well spent and even my least favorite of her books is better than 90% of what's being written today, so...


message 12: by Alathea (last edited Feb 04, 2017 07:01AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Alathea Jane (vronlas) | 54 comments I finished it yesterday, only the second time I've read it. The first time I read it, I was struck by the way in which "quality" is used: it is because Annis is a "Lady of Quality" that Carleton would not dream of attempting to seduce her. On the second read I was even more aware of this. Annis's "quality" isn't integral to her as a person: it's solely a reflection of the fact that she is wealthy and of good family. Carleton has had numerous mistresses, for none of whom he appears to have felt anything: he dismisses them as meaningless in his life. Now I know that there are big differences between Regency society and today's, and most of the time I can enjoy reading Heyer without worrying too much about them: but with this book I found it just too unpleasant. I started wondering about the women with less money and lower social status who did have to settle for a "carte blanche" from a wealthy man, and thinking that there must have been women among them who were no less intelligent or lovely or independent than Annis is supposed to be.

If Carleton had actually cared about any of his "incognitas" (telling choice of word there - they're not people but "unknowns") I'd have felt more kindly towards him.

Miss Farlow belongs to a different category of woman, but she too suffers from the disadvantages facing women. To begin with she is amusing, but by the end the portrayal is becoming too strident. She is dismissed by everyone except Amabel, and it doesn't reflect well on any of them. I was reminded of Emma's rudeness to Miss Bates, but in this book there is no Mr Knightley to point out the importance of behaving kindly to those of lower social status.

I didn't join in last month's group read because I've never read Black Sheep... and the reason I've never read it is because the plot summary made it sound like LoQ. However, seeing the posts comparing Black Sheep positively to LoQ, I think I'll give Black Sheep a try.


message 13: by Susan in NC (last edited Feb 04, 2017 07:21AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Alathea wrote: "I finished it yesterday, only the second time I've read it. The first time I read it, I was struck by the way in which "quality" is used: it is because Annis is a "Lady of Quality" that Carleton wo..."

Oh I hope you do try Black Sheep next, so you can compare. I read it once long ago and read LofQ a few times, vaguely mistaking it as Black Sheep I think! I purchased Black Sheep for last month's read, so I won't make that mistake again.

You raise some excellent points about the status of women, and how most of them as a sex were dismissed as insignificant- only well-bred women mattered. Thanks for bringing it to our attention - that attitude is always in the background of any Regency rake novel, I think, and depending on how promiscuous the rake is or was certainly effects my enjoyment of him as a believable hero. If he's really been a man-whore I can't help wondering if the poor heroine is going to saddled with a syphilitic madman by the time he reaches middle age! Definitely robs the rake of his sexy dash...


Howard Brazee Yes, "quality" is definitely a measure of the class structure. And I believe our class structures are one of the very worst things we have. That said, his treatment of incognitas is not that different from the way the elite treated everybody else. Modern sensibilities might condemn that aspect of class oppression more but I don't think that they (the incognitas) found their choices to be worse than other choices available to them. For many, that gave them options to move themselves and their children out of the poverty that they were born in.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Howard wrote: "Yes, "quality" is definitely a measure of the class structure. And I believe our class structures are one of the very worst things we have. That said, his treatment of incognitas is not that differ..."

Good points, Howard!


Marissa Doyle | 108 comments I've also always considered this book vastly inferior to Black Sheep--really, the only thing that saves it is the sheer comedic awfulness of Maria. But there's little development of Oliver and Annis's relationship--to me it's "fight-fight-fight-omg I love you." And beyond that, there's very little romantic conflict. Annis has already shown herself quite willing, at least temperamentally, to forge her own path and marry against her brother's wishes...so I can't see that there's anything actually keeping her and Oliver apart. Very unsatisfying, and yes, I can't help wondering if GH's declining health plays a big part in that.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1263 comments I think quality is meant to be more nuanced. At first blush it’s purely a statement of social class and what is due to a lady of the gentry; but then it takes on other nuances as the reader gets to know Annis better. It’s her qualities that make her a protagonist, as in the content of her character.

As for the “incognitas,” we perhaps underestimate the vast gulf between rich and poor at the time. If you were a poor woman outside the gentry class, you had few opportunities to earn more than a few shillings a week—scarcely enough to feed yourself, much less lay money by to start a business or ease your old age. You worked at hard physical labor till your health failed.

For some women, their beauty and charm were hard currency (just as they are today, for gold diggers and models and beauty queens), and they benefited far beyond the dreams of their homelier counterparts. A few of the clever ones, attached to bachelor households (where they could mingle socially with the gentry and aristocracy, as they could not if their protector were married), were able to become influential in politics or start lucrative businesses on the strength of what they earned. Did they have the respect of mixed polite society? No, but I don’t think that has much changed, either.


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1073 comments Some excellent points about the class structure which of course underpins all of GH's books. I have always found it much easier to read her historical novels (18th and 19th century) because I could distance myself and suspend my very mid-20th century disapproval of the horrors of the British class system. This is how it was - and in some cases still is! I still love reading her stuff in spite of my disapproval which I manage to keep at bay!
Interestingly, I don't think that " Quality" is simply a view about class in this book. I think the play on words suggests that it is much more than a class definition but that's just my take on it.
I think the disapproval of Oliver Carleton's past sexual activities - or rather his attitude towards the ladies is a little unfair. He is comparing those relationships with what he feels for Annis now and they fall a long way from matching this love he has discovered. These ladies were not at all necessarily 'lower class' (what a horrid expression - sorry!) Many ladies - once married - (or perhaps more especially widowed), enjoyed dalliances with wealthy and titled men. These were called incognitas because their identity was unknown. A man's friends and servants would know who the man was dallying with - her husband hopefully not.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "Some excellent points about the class structure which of course underpins all of GH's books. I have always found it much easier to read her historical novels (18th and 19th century) because I could..."

Good points all - Marissa, you really nailed my general feeling of dissatisfaction with this book (especially compared to Black Sheep), and Abigail and Susan make interesting distinctions about the Incognitas and class structure and limitations on women of the Regency era.


Howard Brazee Different era, but I enjoyed the story and movie "Gigi", by Colette. This sub-discussion reminded me of it.

And I see billionaire's eye-candy wives. (There also are some such husbands, who for some reason are less admired).

I remember the quote "I just hang around millionaires until I fall in love!".


message 21: by Susan in NC (last edited Feb 05, 2017 11:11AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Howard wrote: "Different era, but I enjoyed the story and movie "Gigi", by Colette. This sub-discussion reminded me of it.

And I see billionaire's eye-candy wives. (There also are some such husbands, who for som..."


Ahh, lovely memory, that's one of my favorite movies of all time - and as you point out, apropos to this discussion. And Lord yes, the arm candy wives! I'm sure it's true love all round, the pre-nup is just a formality...come to think of it, pre-affair (pre-affs?) negotiations were a big part of Gigi's plot as well!


Barb in Maryland | 634 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Howard wrote: "Different era, but I enjoyed the story and movie "Gigi", by Colette. This sub-discussion reminded me of it.

And I see billionaire's eye-candy wives. (There also are some such husban..."


Well, 'pre-nups' were a huge part of getting married for the ton of GH's fictional world. All those discussions of marriage portions, dowries, settlements--the financial side was treated as strictly business, no matter how much in love the hero and heroine were. Granted, all those arrangements were to make sure the heroine had the monetary wherewithal to maintain herself if widowed. Necessary precautions of the day, when any monies she brought into the marriage became her husband's immediately. (Unless the funds were tied up in a trust by a savvy father or grandfather--probably more common in fiction than in fact.)
One of the last scenes of LoQ has Oliver and Geoffrey going off to discuss the financial details, leaving Annis sputtering that it has nothing to do with Geoffrey.


message 23: by Susan in NC (last edited Feb 05, 2017 01:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "Howard wrote: "Different era, but I enjoyed the story and movie "Gigi", by Colette. This sub-discussion reminded me of it.

And I see billionaire's eye-candy wives. (There also ..."


Yes - and in the case of Gigi, there were families of - what can we say, professional Incognitas? - who would go from wealthy protector to wealthy protector, and terms had to be negotiated with each new man. Pretty distasteful, especially when Gigi calls Gaston on it, saying something along the lines of "you will go on to a new lady, and I have only to go into another man's bed." A great and powerful scene, I always thought- out of the mouths of babes, truly!


message 24: by Elza (new) - added it

Elza (emr1) | 296 comments First off, I have to say that having just recovered from a bout of flu myself, I sympathize greatly with Annis' situation. Heyer clearly had experienced influenza herself, as her description of how it makes you feel is right on the money.

This is not one of my all-time favorites, and it does seem that Heyer tossed this one off pretty quickly -- understandable since she was in poor health, but still.

I do like this about it, though: it is one of the few of her books in which sex is talked about pretty forthrightly. There are Oliver's previous "incognitas," whom he talks about openly to Annis -- very inappropriate for the society in which they lived, yet Annis welcomes his honesty. He assumes that she knows what he's talking about, and she appreciates that.
Also, Geoffrey & Amabel's relationship is one of obvious affection. (Geoffrey, BTW, has to rank as one of Heyer's better Older Brother/Head of the Family types. He & Annis clash, but they do care for and appreciate each other.)
But especially there is Annis' revelation on the difference between being "mauled" by an unwelcome suitor (i.e., everyone before Oliver) and being embraced by the man you love. Add to that her welcoming Oliver to her bedroom while she is in a state of (relative) undress, with Jurby's approval, no less, and Oliver's snarling at Maria that he's not planning to rape Annis -- well, it's pretty racy stuff for a Heyer.


message 25: by Jacquie (new)

Jacquie Scuitto | 261 comments I'm sure many of you remember the to-do when Forever Amber was published. I don't remember the details but they were pretty tame compared to what is being published today! Amazon (from whom I get most of my modern regency novels) differentiates between historical and clean historical novels!
I must confess to skimming the more graphic sex scenes and enjoying Heyer who writes more restrained romances!


message 26: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited Feb 06, 2017 06:47PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4101 comments Mod
I've finished & I'm pondering my rating. It's likely to be 2.5★ As I said in the second thread I don't like Annis & GH didn't give Oliver much personality beyond rudeness. I think Oliver didn't get much book time as GH didn't know to develope the romance.Other than Geoffrey & Annis , just about every character in the book seems to have been recycled from an earlier GH novel.

& other than Annis originally coming upon Ninian (what a name) & Lucilla (another pearler!) nothing much happens in this book.

I really wish GH's financial circumstances hadn't compelled her to keep writing after The Black Sheep frankly (even though Cousin Kate improves a little on rereading)

Edit; changed my mind about Oliver. Oliver =Max, only not so well drawn.


Jenny H (jenny_norwich) | 618 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "...Other than Geoffrey, Annis & Oliver, just about every character in the book seems to have been recycled from an earlier GH novel."

My own thoughts exactly - I've always thought LoQ to be a terrible potboiler. In fact, Annis is just a watered-down Abigail and as for Oliver - well, GH herself admitted she had two types of hero, and this is just the 'dark' one we find all over the place, without much character beyond, if any. He's rude and overbearing, not very good-looking, though muscular, and doesn't require a valet to get him into his coat.
And no, there isn't really a plot. The young runaways (who are not actually eloping after all) coming to grief by the roadside is straight out of 'Sylvester', and as you say, not much else happens. I occasionally re-read it because there are some very funny bits, but I do think she was scraping the bottom of the barrel here. It was her last one, wasn't it?


message 28: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (last edited Feb 05, 2017 05:48PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4101 comments Mod
Yes her last one. I think she was old, sick & bored with writing Regencies. It isn't quite as similar to Black Sheep as I remembered, but Lucilla is a less likeable Fanny (not that Lucilla is unlikeable but I prefer Fanny) & Maria = Selina.

But I can understand how Annis couldn't repulse Maria. Maria's choices would have been very limited. If I thought GH had done it deliberately, having Annis become judgemental & bitter because she still isn't free would have been a master stroke.


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1073 comments Perhaps it was because I was confined to bed last week with a chest infection:- feeling very sorry for myself and therefore much easier to please! - but I really enjoyed reading this one again. I did not dislike Annis although there were things she did which I did not approve of, but I found myself very much in sympathy with her as a strong, independent women trapped in an era which did not facilitate a woman's independance.
Yes, it's a "lift" of Black Sheep (and bound to compare unfavourably when read so near to it) but it's still full of Heyer's wit, observation, authenticity and excellent prose. I think this time, she enters into the character's interior world much more than she used to.

So, why did I like it when it was so clearly not as good as Black Sheep? I think Elza's comments come closest to my feelings. GH's understanding of relationships is acutely realised in this book, whether tackling prospective lovers, family members or dependants.It seems to adopt a more mature attitude to relationships - more adult. Anyway, whilst it may be a long time till I read it again - I enjoyed catching up with these characters again.


Barb in Maryland | 634 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "Perhaps it was because I was confined to bed last week with a chest infection:- feeling very sorry for myself and therefore much easier to please! - but I really enjoyed reading this one again. I d..."

Thank you, Susan, for articulating my feelings better than I can right now. I'm still mulling it over--but I did like it (just not quite as much as 'Black Sheep').


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments With a 3-3.5 star rating I fall between Carol and Jenny and Susan; there were fun parts but after a third (maybe fourth) reread, I'm still not really feeling Annis and Oliver as a couple. They are as individuals rather rude and snarky and critical of others - I didn't see a lot of the charm Annis was supposed to possess, especially when she was repeatedly stating what a dull party full of dull people she was throwing for Lucilla - I can only imagine how brittle they might become after marriage to each other! Will they suffer anyone's company gladly, or just tolerate them and tear them to shreds once they've left the room?


Howard Brazee Susan in NC wrote: "Will they suffer anyone's company gladly, or just tolerate them and tear them to shreds once they've left the room? "

Tolerate is the word, but...
I don't see that they have any interest in tearing others to shreds after they've left the room.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4101 comments Mod
Howard wrote:
Tolerate is the word, but...
I don't see that they have an..."


I think Susan meant they would tear other people to shreds.

Another thing that really jarred was the plans for Lucilla. Too tiring to have her for the year to have her for the year till her (likely) come out and marriage, so Oliver foists her onto a woman he barely knows.

This is similar, but not the same as The Black Sheep. Mary is family & I would speculate that both Abby & Selina would want to be involved with her come out.


message 34: by Susan in NC (last edited Feb 06, 2017 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "Howard wrote:
Tolerate is the word, but...
I don't see that they have an..."

I think Susan meant they would tear other people to shreds.

Another thing that really jarred was the plans for Lucill..."


Thanks Carol for clarifying for me! What I meant, Howard, was that Oliver already has little patience and blatant contempt for a lot of people, and Annis can come across as arrogant and imperious; I was thinking after several years of marriage to each other Annis might become as brittle and snarky as Oliver and they'd be likely to hold more people in contempt and not bother to conceal it. In fact, they'd both be making fun of foolish or annoying people as soon as they left the room, as Oliver already does to cousin Maria.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4101 comments Mod
Susan in NC wrote:In fact, they'd both be making fun of foolish or annoying people as soon as they left the room, as Oliver already does to cousin Maria. "

Or in Oliver's case while they are still in the room!


Howard Brazee Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "I think Susan meant they would tear other people to shreds."

Me too. But I don't think they would. One really has to care about status to put others down, and I don't think they really care that much about the hierarchy.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments So true, Carol - and Howard you raise a good point and I agree, but I also think neither of them suffer fools gladly.


Jackie | 1181 comments I also felt the plan for Lucilla was sort of jarring - we'll just leave her with her friend's Mom while we get married, honeymoon, and so on. but then, I felt sorry for Selina, left with only Laura Butterbank to hang out with.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4101 comments Mod
Jackie wrote: "I also felt the plan for Lucilla was sort of jarring - we'll just leave her with her friend's Mom while we get married, honeymoon, and so on. but then, I felt sorry for Selina, left with only Laura..."

I felt Selina and Miss Butterbank would be great together. But I felt GH had sort of written herself into a corner with Lucilla's fate.

On the other hand the outcome for Miss Farley was brilliant - & so well written! Totally the outcome Geoffrey deserved!


message 40: by Carolien (last edited Feb 07, 2017 10:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carolien (carolien_s) | 85 comments Oliver reminds me a lot of the Duke of Avon in These Old Shades, but written by a much older GH with more life experience.

Neither of them suffer fools gladly, but I think they will suit each other very well.

I think GH overdid the slang in the dialogue between the two of them completely and that results in quite a brittle book when compared to Black Sheep or even Venetia and The Nonesuch which have similar heroes. That said, it remains one of my favourite Heyers. I generally enjoy her older heroines much more.


Barb in Maryland | 634 comments Carolien wrote: "Oliver reminds me a lot of the Duke of Avon in These Old Shades, but written by a much older GH with more life experience.

Neither of them suffer fools gladly, but I think they will suit each oth..."


Good point about the excessive slangy dialogue lending a brittle quality to the book. With that much talking there was no room for all the little descriptive touches or bits of action to plump up the feel of the book.


Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 333 comments I felt Lady Wychwood was the most likeable character in this book, so was pleased she got the last line! Her speech about Oliver and Annis was very touching, as well. It wasn't my favorite Heyer, but honestly, I didn't find it that bad. Perhaps it suffered from too much Maria, who wasn't interesting enough for such a prominent role. I felt sorry for her, too, being so dependent on others. I think Heyer must have been aware of the awfulness of her position, but still used her as an object of contempt.

One of the more interesting things about Annis was her lack of vanity. Her style of beauty wasn't one she admired (or something like that). On the whole I wasn't sure what to make of her, but I did think she and Oliver had some good moments (horseback riding and the proposal scene). And I think they will enjoy their jaunts to Paris together!


Alathea Jane (vronlas) | 54 comments I think one of the weaknesses of LoQ is that Heyer only shows Carleton in a positive light in his relations with Annis. Compare that with Venetia, where the hero is introduced as a rake but then we have a long section where he is shown in a much more positive light in his kindness to Venetia's brother, which alters both Venetia's and the reader's view of him. Something like this is missing in LoQ. It's certainly not there in Carleton's treatment of Lucilla, which is dismissive and patronising.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Alathea wrote: "I think one of the weaknesses of LoQ is that Heyer only shows Carleton in a positive light in his relations with Annis. Compare that with Venetia, where the hero is introduced as a rake but then we..."

Thanks, excellent point, you summed up what I was feeling but couldn't quite put my finger on it!


Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 333 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Alathea wrote: "I think one of the weaknesses of LoQ is that Heyer only shows Carleton in a positive light in his relations with Annis. Compare that with Venetia, where the hero is introduced as a ..."

I agree, excellent point!


message 46: by Nick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 437 comments Does anyone else feel sorry for Carleton's 'incognitas'? It seemed like he spent a lot of time disclaiming his relationships with them. It's one thing to say that you've never truly loved anyone like you love the woman you propose to. It's quite another to insistently and repeatedly claim that they meant nothing at all! Nothing!

Given that Carleton is so unpleasant to everyone, especially people he doesn't care about, I started to worry that he had been an absolute bastard to those poor girls.

(I realise that it is a bit weird to worry about characters who don't even appear in the book!)


message 47: by Alathea (last edited Feb 08, 2017 09:40AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Alathea Jane (vronlas) | 54 comments Nick wrote: "Does anyone else feel sorry for Carleton's 'incognitas'? It seemed like he spent a lot of time disclaiming his relationships with them. It's one thing to say that you've never truly loved anyone li..."

Yes, I do! Even more so when he refers to them as his "convenients".

And the fact that Annis actually *likes* the way he talks about them (...pleased rather than shocked her...) makes her complicit.

On the other hand, I've just started reading the Memoirs of Harriet Wilson (online at Project Gutenberg) and from what I've read so far she seems to have been quite capable of paying men back in kind.


message 48: by Nick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 437 comments Alathea wrote: " I've just started reading the Memoirs of Harriet Wilson (online at Project Gutenberg) and from what I've read so far she seems to have been quite capable of paying men back in kind. "

Haha - yes, I haven't read her memoirs but she came up in a Wellington biography I read. Apparently a lot of men of the time paid to be kept out of the memoirs but Wellington was shameless and didn't pay up.

I think that most of the 'barques of frailty' in Georgette Heyer novels turn out to be clever young business women, so hopefully the incognitas are alright.


message 49: by Susan in NC (last edited Feb 08, 2017 11:01AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3319 comments Thanks for the recommend Alathea, that sounds very interesting! And Nick, yes we have discussed the Incognitas further up in this thread - I too was struck by how callously Oliver dismissed any sort of feeling for them at all - and calling them "convenient" as Alathea noted above is disgusting, makes them sound like a public toilet!


message 50: by Nick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 437 comments Susan in NC wrote: "we have discussed the Incognitas further up in this thread."

Thank you - how stupid of me to hae missed it somehow. It's an interesting discussion.

Susan in NC wrote: "calling them "conveniences" as someone noted above is disgusting, makes them sound like a public toilet!"

Yes, that's exactly how I felt!


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